The next evening we each caught more than 50 fat white bass apiece. Not surprisingly spawning begins at different times in different latitudes, progressing from south to north. May was bluegill time; scores of these fat panfish could be taken from a single bed when using crickets for bait. If you haven't had a bite after 15 to 20 minutes, troll up the bank until you find another likely spot and anchor again. In South Carolina, blue catfish are found in almost every drainage. Subscriber Services. The male guards the fry until they leave. Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi River basin. | See temporary closures and business changes, Texas Farm and Ranch Land Conservation Program. It may only be .3-.4 acres. Flatheads spawn at 66 to 75 degrees. Catching 30 or more a day was a cinch. #TheWaterIsOpen #GetOnBoard. 2009. Fortunately, the peak of the spawn is over in a few days. In many situations, blue cats behave more like striped bass than like other catfish. Cast a baited float rig directly to the hole, let the rig settle and wait for a hit. Fishing in "grooves" of slower-moving water between open gates often is productive. Unless you understand why this occurs, you're likely to return from a late-spring or early-summer fishing trip frustrated and perplexed. Children under 13 years of age must have a parent/guardian's consent before providing Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. Blue catfish bewilder many anglers. Other times, a difference in the rocks does the trick. Catfish leave the main body of water and migrate up smaller streams and creeks to spawn. Blue catfish has a deeply forked tail fin. Their activities differ considerably from those of their whiskered brethren. Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? Anglers are less likely to be stymied by flatheads that have seemingly disappeared. However, most blue catfish are not sexually mature until they reach about 24 inches in length. The best are those tributaries with a warm in-flow, such as creeks swollen by spring rains. The blue catfish feeds on a variety of organisms including clams, snails, aquatic insects, freshwater mussels, fish and plant material. The best fishing areas tend to be those where a small section of the bank has slightly different cover or structure than the rest of a long, look-alike stretch of riprap. It was late March last year when one of my fishing buddies called to say the white bass were making their spawning run up the tributaries of a local lake. This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. © 2015 All rights reserved. Sight Savvy: Different styles of bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses. If water conditions are favorable, some active feeders will always be available to catch, so there may be no noticeable decline in fishing success. The previous record also was caught in the same Panhandle river. Even more important to anglers in their home waters, spawning also may occur at different times within a single body of water. Start downstream and troll slowly upstream parallel to the bank, watching the sonar screen for the ups and downs of buckled-up revetment slabs. Before, during and after spawning season, catfish also congregate downstream from big-river dams. Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Spawning. This type of structure is found on big-river navigation systems maintained by government agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. South Carolina Guide to Freshwater Fishes. All our catfish are cavity nesters. Catfish nest in holes eroded beneath these structures, and if a hole can be pinpointed with sonar, the angler can drop a bait right in front of the fish. "They're swimming up the creeks and piling onto the shoals," he said. This species is found in South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ public fishing lakes and large impoundments such as lakes Wateree, Marion and Moultrie. Creeks and small streams above the lake warm first because they are shallow and fed by the first warming rains. Because tributary mouths are staging areas for ready-to-spawn catfish, they're among the top hotspots this time of year. Catfish usually ambush prey from behind current breaks -- humps, holes or trees -- near the confluence of the tributary with the main lake or river. Unlike other catfish, the male and female both assist in guarding the eggs and the young while they remain in the nest. Cast your bait to the rocks in these areas and fish it right on bottom. Channel and blue catfish spawn at 70 to 84 degrees, but 80 to 81 degrees is considered best. Flatheads select sites such as hollow logs, excavated caves in clay banks, root masses from downed trees or manmade structures such as old tires, car bodies and metal drums. South Carolina State Record: 109 pounds 4 ounces (1991). Then, when you find a hole and feel like the boat is directly over it, pick out a reference spot on the bank. And because fish in a system don't all spawn at the same time, a section of river or lake may contain pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn catfish. Your kitchen cupboards have some of the most effective catfish baits. Flatheads spawn at 66 to 75 degrees. Tie on a slip-bobber rig during late summer and load a cooler with suspended channel catfish. Give a Gift   A blue catfish will also have 30 -36 anal fin rays. Watch for big boulders changing to smaller rocks or slides of rocks creating underwater points. Spawning occurs in late spring or early summer in water temperatures of 70-75° F. Egg masses are deposited in cavities afforded by logs, brush or undercut riverbanks. All of our major catfish species spawn during spring or summer when the water warms to an optimal temperature. Blue catfish prefer rivers and large creeks with moderate to swift current over rock, gravel or clean sandy bottoms; however, they also do well in large impoundments. account_circle  Your contact information is used to deliver requested updates or to access your subscriber preferences. Concrete revetment also attracts spawning cats. Unlike other catfish, the male and female both assist in guarding the eggs and the young while they remain in the nest. It's easier than you think — and will put more big bass in your boat. Big channel cats especially like this habitat, but blues and flatheads may gather as well if there are numerous nesting cavities available in crevices between the boulders. Manage My Subscriptions, archive  Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed. FOIA | Privacy Policy If you've been overlooking the West's channel catfish, you're missing out on prime fishing. For example, a pipe or log may attract catfish. Blue catfish deposit their eggs between rocks, in root wads, depressions, undercut banks or other areas protected from strong current. To stabilize the river banks and prevent erosion, bulldozers are used to smooth the shoreline, then the soil is covered with concrete matting, or revetment. They were first introduced into South Carolina in 1964 when they were stocked into Lake Marion. Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish is mild and flaky, with a taste similar to striped bass. Not surprisingly spawning begins at different times in different latitudes, progressing from south to north. The best fishing often is in tributary streams instead because, as the water temperature warms, catfish migrate upstream into tributaries to spawn. Some species of fish that are commonly mistaken for this species: Rohde, Fred C, Arndt, Rudolf G., Foltz, Jeffery W., Quattro, Joseph M. 2009. For example, if you normally fish in the main portion of a lake, you may find that catfish bites are rare during the spawning period if you continue fishing your flat-water hotspots. Channel catfish usually select dark, secluded spots such as crevices in piles of woody debris, burrows in banks, and spaces between and under rocks. Watermen are encouraged to commercially harvest Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish. Description: (Anatomy of a Fish) A sexually mature male selects and cleans a nest site and spawns with a female he lures there. Cast your rig upstream and allow it to drift past these honeyholes. Consumers should ask for Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish at their local grocery store or restaurant. Editor's Note: An autographed copy of Keith Sutton's latest book, Catfishing: Beyond the Basics, is available for $22.45 (Arkansas residents, add sales tax) by sending a check or money order to C&C Outdoors, 15601 Mountain Dr., Alexander, AR 72002. Phone Numbers | Accessibility | I am thinking large plastic trash cans with a hole cut in the lid? Spawning season is peak time to catch many game fish, but when catfish are considered, it's a different story. 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201 The spawning behavior of blue catfish appears to be similar to that of channel catfish. In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. Banks covered with riprap also are key fishing areas during spawning season.

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