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Catching Catfish on Bass Lures

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I know it's likely common in waters with a good population of catfish, but in the clear pits that I frequent, the presence of channel cats is extremely limited. In spite of that fact, this year alone I've hooked some big cats on cranks, spinners, buzzbaits, plastic worms and jigs. I think these fish grew up thinking they were bass and nobody ever told them otherwise. :question:

I had an 8lb. cat demolish my buzzbait around 1AM this morning that I thought was a lake record LM!:depressed: Cats on bass lures, bass on muskie lures, crappie on bubble gum..................WHAT'S HAPPENING?  Yes, this is what eight cups of coffee do to you.

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I also had a big channel cat crush a buzzbait at night .Like you , I thought I had the biggest bass in the state .

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I caught several 8-10lb blue cats on crankbaits a few years ago on Kentucky Lake.  Thought I had monster bass every time until they stopped fighting after a few seconds and just became heavy on the line.

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My FIL caught a squeaker on a bitsy bug the other day and I caught one a few years ago on a Texas rigged Berkley Gulp worm. 

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A lot of folks think of catfish as scavengers or scent feeders. While most cats will not turn down a meal that shows up on the bottom, certain species, particularly blues and channels in our waters are nocturnal hunters, that will chase live bait. Some of the best cat fishermen I know use live bluegills and shad as bait. I once had a pet catfish that terrorized a bass about the same size in a tank. In and around the Potomac blue cats hit bass baits on a regular basis.

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 A lake I fished years ago primarily for bass had a healthy catfish population. When we wanted to have a fish fry we would cast rattle traps out on 6 ft flats, let them sink to the bottom and rip them up. Could usually fill a 48 qt cooler within an hour. One day while casting beetle spins on ultra light with 4 lb line for bluegills I caught a 9, 11, and 14 lb. cat. My fishing buddy caught a 32 lbr on a # 7 shad rap. So yes, catfish are agressive predators.

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I got a 9lb cat yo-yoing a blade bait off the bottom of reservoir channel this winter. They get your mind racing for sure but after about half a minute of fighting the thing I had a pretty good guess that it was not a bass. 

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I caught a 10lb channel on a wacky rigged Yum dinger and one a week later on a KVD 2.5.

 

The craziest for me was in the middle of the day, channel cat on a dry fly.

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I'm usually good for at least 1 or 2 in a full day of fishing on the Potomac.  Always a disappointment...Smashing bite, heavy weight - Start yelling at your co-angler for the net - Start thinking about how this 6lber will help your tournament day....Then the death-roll starts and you start cursing those annoying cats while the Co rolls his eyes at you 😂.

 

 

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My buddy caught a 7 pound carp on a Senko. Somehow the carp got tangled up in the line, and wasn't even hooked, but he then managed to hand line it in so his pole wouldn't snap. 

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No monsters but some channel, blue and tabby cats on spinnerbaits -- never plastics. The tabby cats are mean and let you know it...gotta be careful with 'em...

 

good fishing...

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Some of the lakes I fish have really high catfish populations, not uncommon to catch 5-10 a trip on a lures. I had one night fishing trip several years ago I caught over 3 dozen channel cats, mostly on bladed jigs with a few on spinnerbaits and jigs. Caught fewer than 10 bass that night but the catfish were fun. My PB flathead was on a finesse jig and is still the lake record for the lake I caught it from. The best frog explosion I've ever had was a 10lb channel cat destroying a Scum Frog through a mat in a pond. 

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Has happened to me quite a few times over the years also. Catfish, Carp and some musky while Smallie fishing. 

 

It seems that catching channel cats in the river come when lack of rains sets in and water tends to clear up.  Might just be a coincidence. 

 

It does seem like you set the new state record at first. It's all good stuff. Great post. 

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On 6/25/2018 at 8:29 PM, Logan S said:

Then the death-roll starts and you start cursing those annoying cats while the Co rolls his eyes at you 😂.

That's the worse part of catching a cat. Having to cut the first 5 feet of line off because they rolled in it during the entire fight. 

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crankbaits, swimbaits, worms and crappie jigs all seem to catch cats just fine

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This is one of my favorite catfish catches on a lure because I watched it cruise up behind my bladed jig right at the boat and when I stopped the retrieve and let it pendulum down it flared on it and when nuts when I set the hook. Not very often I get to watch one bite like that, especially a big channel cat like this one.

 

 

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Caught a couple of 5-6lb channel cats yesterday on a senko.  It seems when they are hungry they will hit on just about anything.

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the moral to this story is, don't act like a buzz bait when swimming where you think that 100lber might be lurking :Bass_Boat:

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Didn't manage to get a picture of it but I caught an 8ish pound flathead on one of these little panfish jigs. 

 

500-1.jpg.937265c42480694c3bad25ba1dc1d4ca.jpg

 

Funnily enough, I was trying to catch bluegill to use as catfish bait. 

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On 6/25/2018 at 7:47 PM, davecon said:

 A lake I fished years ago primarily for bass had a healthy catfish population. When we wanted to have a fish fry we would cast rattle traps out on 6 ft flats, let them sink to the bottom and rip them up. Could usually fill a 48 qt cooler within an hour. One day while casting beetle spins on ultra light with 4 lb line for bluegills I caught a 9, 11, and 14 lb. cat. My fishing buddy caught a 32 lbr on a # 7 shad rap. So yes, catfish are agressive predators.

Have not tried this exact technique and will consider using it the next time I fish on a boat for catfish. Have caught catfish on topwaters, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits but have caught the vast majority of my catfish on some type of natural bait.

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