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Ice Out Channel Cats??

  • Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2021978

    Anyone actively target channel cats in this cold water? Either on the Mississippi or Minnesota?

    Cody Meyers
    Participant
    Posts: 322
    #2022019

    I imagine 3Rivers will be along shortly. I spend some time chasing them at ice out. It can be great fishing.

    Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2022026

    I imagine 3Rivers will be along shortly. I spend some time chasing them at ice out. It can be great fishing.

    What kinds of things are you looking for to find them? Deep holes? Or do they move shallow around creek mouths right away? I’ve heard of some great early spring fishing since they group up under the ice, just looking for a starting point when the water is this cold.

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4270
    #2022030

    IDO has a vid of catfishing after ice out-they were very shallow. Believe they were looking at water temps trying to find a fertile bay with a slight bump in temps.

    Cody Meyers
    Participant
    Posts: 322
    #2022079

    It really depends on what kind of system you are fishing and how quickly after ice out you are fishing them. They winter in deeper holes and will move shallow as the water warms up. Somewhere around 40 degrees and I’ll still be looking for schools of fish out deep.

    And think more like dead sticking for walleyes with spinning gear for cold weather channels. I don’t start with heavier gear and bottom rigs til it warms up a bit.

    Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2022083

    I’ll be giving them a try soon and report back with my results! Thanks for the help guys.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6241
    #2022096

    Search: BIG CHUBBY WINTER CHANNEL CATFISH!

    Buddy and I pulled two limits a weekend ago doing as described in the thread you’ll find above.

    A great time to fish for them

    Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2022149

    Search: BIG CHUBBY WINTER CHANNEL CATFISH!

    Buddy and I pulled two limits a weekend ago doing as described in the thread you’ll find above.

    A great time to fish for them

    That was a great thread to read! Lots of info to think about, my only problem is my boat isn’t ready yet and I’m running low on time to get it prepped so I’ll be on shore which might make things a little more challenging!

    Deuces
    Participant
    Posts: 3683
    #2022162

    Fish tend to find the bends in winter. Typically the bend in a river will be carved out and therefore deeper, and many fish species will shack up in that hole for the winter. And depending on their moods/current will move up down and side to side in that hole.

    Find a river map, and find the straighter stretches of river and then the nearest bend or 2 down stream from those. Cats in more natural river settings I find school up behind some type of current break. Usually a natural point out from the shoreline next to some of the deepest water. If there is a bridge abutment next to the channel that can be good behind too.

    Those dropoffs are hard to fish bc usually your bait sits down in the hole and sinks the line right into the drop above which will result in a snag quite often. Be mindful many fish will get caught in snags no matter what type of sinker hook system you try.

    I struggle finding cats in sections of deeper river areas and sections with wingdams. But natural rivers that average depths of 6-20′ I can do pretty well.

    I have a hole over northside mpls if you will fish it PM me. I won’t get there this spring, but I’ve caught a many from there before.

    3Rivers
    Participant
    Posts: 392
    #2022179

    We did alright this weekend on the MN River catching several channel cats, including a nice 31″er.

    At 40 degree water temp, they were definitely still stacked on some of the deep holes (sonar confirmed), however the fish we caught were on the tail out of the hole in about 6-8ft of water. Think like a fish this time of year and what they might be eating. Ours were caught on frozen bait, which in my experience works better than fresh this time of year. Also a couple on crawlers.

    Temps are crucial right now and the best bite is always during the warmest part of the day. Sat was no different with a bite window between 2-6pm.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6241
    #2022183

    I’ll be on shore which might make things a little more challenging!

    Certainly.

    So, the lesson is, MOVE MOVE MOVE. If your not catching a fish within 3 minutes of putting your bait out, move it. I usually go with 1 minute. Move it, means a few feet at a time. Cover some water, and then cover some more. When you find channel catfish at this time, they’ll be abundant. Work that area.

    Now is not the time to sit and wait for a bite.
    Cover that shoreline and keep casting and moving your bait.

    Little fish like holes with slight current and they’ll stack in there like minnows in a bucket, bigger fish will entertain more current and will be spread out in comparison to the little fiddlers.

    But, river is rising, things change fast right now.

    Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2022399

    I’ll definitely stay mobile then, do you guys usually use fresh cut sucker if you can find them?

    mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7142
    #2022626

    I’ll be checking my shore spots when the river passes 40 degrees. In my limited experience it seems like that is when I’ve noticed they start to get fairly aggressive again. I typically use cut sucker with good success. Sure wish we could use bluegill…..

    Cody Benjaminson
    Participant
    Posts: 11
    #2022684

    I’ll be checking my shore spots when the river passes 40 degrees. In my limited experience it seems like that is when I’ve noticed they start to get fairly aggressive again. I typically use cut sucker with good success. Sure wish we could use bluegill…..

    Haha no kidding, it would be a lot cheaper.

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