Catfish Fishing

small river springtime cats

5/4/24 @ 9:27 AM
User since 11/6/18

I am not a dedicated catfisherman. It's usually been something I've done in summertime. Chicken livers in the deeper holes is almost a guarantee to steady action - as long as i move when fishing slows.. I release all but the one or two smallest cats I catch 'cuz I no longer "stock the freezer".

But I got out a couple/tree times this spring including a couple hours yesterday. I caught one bullhead. I caught stuff casting a jig but that doesn't count. Wasn't cats....Chicken livers in the deepest holes in a stretch of river inaccessible to shore fishermen. 

I know - earlier in the season "rancid minnows" works well but...holes? Flats,runs,eddies?...I never used commercial stinkbait but is it necessary in colder water?

Anyone wanna share?


Displaying 1 to 6 of 6 posts
5/18/24 @ 10:00 AM
User since 11/6/18
Vet - I've been a chicken liver or cut bait (mostly livers) guy for years but during covid,livers were almost impossible to get. Fresh cutbait isn't always a guarantee. This being WI I can't even possess a cast net on the water. I'd like to get away from livers for short trips...and since short trips are about all I'll be having time for...I did buy some of that mesh tubing for livers. I'd like to start using circle hooks as i really only want to keep the one or two smallest cats I catch. Livers will stay together better in the tubing and still stay on a circle hook. I've used a 3/0 baitkeeper hook since like forever but it's time I got more serious about release mortality.

SV - SSS - the blood? or the cheese mix. Dip tubes would work well with circle hooks and I've got a lot of big ones leftover from FL saltwater fishing where they were mandatory for certain species.
5/16/24 @ 9:10 PM
User since 9/8/20
Once the pleasure boaters take over the local lakes, I like to fish the rivers for cats and anything else that bites a dead stick presentation. My preferred bait in the colder water 
is cut suckers. Once the water warms into the 70's, I go to chicken livers, but I will still use fresh cut bait for larger channels and flatheads. 
On the rivers I fish, I have not found a big difference in fishing the deeper holes versus shallower structure. But, the deeper holes are only 10' to 13' 
5/7/24 @ 11:20 PM
User since 8/29/06
I use Triple S almost exclusively. I've tried cut bait and other stuff, but I always catch cats faster on stink bait. It works for me when the water temp is 50 or higher. I concentrate on snags in 2-6 fow in the Spring. I always do well.
5/7/24 @ 9:33 AM
-T Fish-
User since 2/12/23
I found some cats in the slower water with worms on the bottom on this trip. I'll echo what BIGG400 said. I think the water was warmer and calmer in the spot where I found them. ​On this trip, I was just searching for anything that would bite a worm on the bottom, and it just so ​happened to be channel catfish.

5/4/24 @ 9:49 PM
User since 12/23/12
I'm a stubborn year-round dip bait guy and it's been a very good late winter and spring for me so far. I'm fishing pools 13 & 14 on the Mississippi River and the Rock River.  I'm catching my fish shallow - 6 feet or less.  Areas that have reduced current - below snags or points. Muddy banks that are exposed to the sun are a plus Anything that produces slightly warmer water are cat magnets. I get most of my fish this time of the of the year in the middle and late afternoon. Hope this helps.
Displaying 1 to 6 of 6 posts
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