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OCdockskipper

Fall Bite & Catfish

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I am not exactly sure why, but the transition to the Fall bite on my home lake has been kind of delayed this year.  While water temps are just 2 or 3 degrees higher than the past few years, I have a hunch that the real cause of the delay was a series of weed abatement's done by our HOA in late August.  All September & October, the entire fish population just seemed a little off.  They weren't were they normally are, they were less aggressive and I noticed alot more fish suspended in open water areas.  My catch rates for this time period were about 50% of what they had been in past years.

So today was the first day that the fish seemed to fall into their fall patterns & behavior.  For me, this is confirmed not only with the behavior of the bass, but of the large channel catfish.  One of the signals of the beginning of the fall bite (& spring as well) on my home lake is some of my lures being intercepted by big whisker fish.  Today was no exception, in addition to the bass, I caught 3 catfish that went 6-15, 11-4 & 14-6 (picture of the largest below).  During summer & winter, I don't see much of these larger catfish but they sure make their presence known in early fall & spring.

What I wonder is if this is normal on other waters in the country?  Growing up, we use to consider summer time as prime catfish time, and it was rare to ever catch catfish on any lures.  I'm not sure if the difference is the types of lakes (I grew up on a deeper impoundment with shad as the main forage while my current lake is shallow with bluegill as the main food source).  

How do the catfish on your lake/river act?

14-6 cropped.jpg

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Most of our lakes have extremely high populations of catfish, so I'm never surprised when my bait gets slammed by a catfish instead of a bass, no matter what time of year it is. 

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Like Bluebasser , there are so many catfish around here that sometimes I target them with crankbaits .  A few weeks back I caught a dozen or lifting and dropping a Red Eyed Shad while fishing for white bass . 

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seems to me, in the waters i fish, that when the water starts to cool down in the fall, the catfish i catch are bigger and the flatheads like to come out and play a little more in the cooler water. same in the spring when the waters still cool but warming up after the winter...

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I love when this happens ! Seriously ! Same with pike ! I see alot of people complaining about catching other species but I think it's great

 

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On ‎11‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 0:03 PM, Yeajray231 said:

I love when this happens ! Seriously ! Same with pike ! I see alot of people complaining about catching other species but I think it's great

 

Absolutely agree... I caught the Biggest fish of my life on a lure while fishing for bass on the Niagra River. (18 lb Muskie)

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This year I have caught catfish on crankbaits, jigs, and t-rigged plastics.  Growing up I always heard that cat won't hit artificial baits, but now I know better.

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