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Flathead catfish in Canyon Lake?

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@WRB @OCdockskipper, do you both know if there are any flathead in Canyon Lake? I’ve head of some but never seen any picture to confirm. The other days while fishing for crappies, the guy told me he caught 20 and 30lbs catfish in the lake. This might be the chance for me to exercise my heavy saltwater gear. 

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Never saw any flathead, just bullheads (brown) and channel catfish.  The bullheads were always small (under 2 lbs) and had vice grip jaws if they were able to bite down on your fingers.  Channel catfish over 30 lbs were caught every year by a few old timers that specialized for them.

 

One trick to catch the large catfish during daylight hours was to fish the causeway tunnels.  Use a large chunk of cut bluegill for bait with a decent sized bobber and fish the side of the causeway tunnels that has the wind blowing in.  The wind will blow the bobber & bait back into the tunnel, where some of the bigger cats hang out during the day.  The fight is intetesting because the catfish will either try to go out the other side or will make a charge towards you.  Either way it is a battle.

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Thanks @OCdockskipperyeah I caught plenty of small bullhead here, seem there are plenty. If I’m gonna fish for catfish, I would go out at night more chances and less heat. Which tunnel are we talking here the main crossway or north ski lake?  

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Any of them, as well as the bridge that connects to Treasure Island. 
 

The old guy that showed me how to do it started down at the tunnel at the end of Catfish Cove and worked his way around the lake (via truck).  He would fish a tunnel for 15 minutes or so & if no action, would move to the next one.  He did use caution when fishing the connection tunnel between the main lake and the no wake zone because of boat traffic, but it was early and there weren't any boats moving thru.  He then doubled back after he had made a circuit.

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On 8/20/2019 at 10:41 AM, OCdockskipper said:

Any of them, as well as the bridge that connects to Treasure Island. 
 

The old guy that showed me how to do it started down at the tunnel at the end of Catfish Cove and worked his way around the lake (via truck).  He would fish a tunnel for 15 minutes or so & if no action, would move to the next one.  He did use caution when fishing the connection tunnel between the main lake and the no wake zone because of boat traffic, but it was early and there weren't any boats moving thru.  He then doubled back after he had made a circuit.

Cool, thank. My friend and I did a half night trip last night at north ski dock. My friend only caught 2 catfish and a bullhead but got one big one broke off at the dock using threadfin shad. I only caught a few crappies and 6 bass all on Fat Ika oxblood.  This is another thing that I’m not found off Canyon Lake, it is hotter during the day and become chilly to cold at night. I had to end the trip at 2:00AM.

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15 minutes ago, Bass_Fishing_Socal said:

... it is hotter during the day and become chilly to cold at night...

That is the desert for you, although the cool evening temps just feel colder due to the triple digits during the day.

 

For the channel catfish, one bait that I never used at Canyon Lake (I didn't know about it) but has caught numerous cats over 10 lbs at Lake Forest is frozen mackeral.  Cut into decent sized chunks, something about the smell and oil slick they create draws in the big ones.

 

We have frozen mackerel available at Big 5 sporting goods, not sure if anyone carries them that far inland.

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