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Question for my fish behavior experts


bp_fowler
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I went out for a few hours this morning to a spot on a local reservoir that’s been very good to me this so far this year.  However it seemed like today the bass very few in number and small in size.  I did notice that there were quite a few catfish that appeared to be spawning.  
 

So my question is will the catfish run off the other fish in the area if they have beds nearby?
 

I did find some good bass later on, still shallow but in a completely different area of the lake.  Not a catfish in sight though.

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Catfish are nest guarders, just like bass.  So when something comes near it, they will defend, similar as a bass.

 

Some people noodle them in this manner (not this guy).  They reach into dark, cavernous holes along the banks of rivers and the catfish will latch onto their hand or arm.  Then they heave that thing into a canoe or jon boat.  Sometimes the hole is empty, sometimes it has a catfish.  Sometimes there is something else in there like a water moccasin, snapping turtle, or worse, an alligator.

 

 

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Ah okay, that makes sense and explained what I saw today.  One of them even hit my swim jig, didn’t hook ‘em just clamped down on the trailer and held on right up the bank and let go once I started to lift him out of the water.  

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Catfish like bass have several species, let’s talk about the common; Channel Catfish and Largemouth Northern strain bass.

The major spawn for LMB occurs when the cold water period warms to 62-67 degrees in wind protected areas. Channel:

Catfish start the spawn 70-73 degrees, same water temps as Bluegill (bream), after the bass have spawned.

There will be overlaps between all these species but not the majority of the population.

Large lakes have up to 3 spawn cycles as is the nature of LMB. 

Common carp (Asian) also spawn in similar areas between 63-78 degree water temps, lots going on at the same time and place.

Tom

 

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Carp will disrupt bass spawn. I don't know that catfish will disrupt a bass spawn but they are a predatory species. Catfish fry are prime targets for bass.

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44 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Carp will disrupt bass spawn. I don't know that catfish will disrupt a bass spawn but they are a predatory species. Catfish fry are prime targets for bass.


Haven’t seen any carp in this lake, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.  Two other lakes literally down the road have them so I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.
 

I guess the thing that shocked me and prompted my question is how dramatic the change was.  I understand that with the changes in season and spawn/post spawn there would be some movement but the fact the bass are now almost completely absent from that area and the catfish had moved in made me wonder if there was a connection. Turns out there very well might have been.

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