Tips For Cat

Catfish fishing under the ice

Catfish fishing under the ice

Whenever we think of catfishing, most of us get these mental images of warm, sunny weather, bare feet, fishing poles, and a generally summery outlook on things. So when we start talking about ice fishing, no one ever mentions catfish as a possible career.

In reality, however, many catfish are brought through the ice each year, and some species, especially blue catfish and channel catfish, are actually quite impatient in cold water. So the problem really is first deciding to go out and do some ice fishing and then setting up your gear to do the job.

There seem to be two ice fishing “schools” of thought (excuse the pun) when it comes to cats. The original, old-fashioned, lazy way is to find a nice, comfortable-looking spot that at least looks like a likely hooking point for a decent fish, drill a hole in the ice, and sit by your fireplace, or in your “fish house” (tent on the ice ) and enjoy the outing as well as the catch of fish that may occur. The second way of looking at it is that every outing is a competition for record catch volume, and as such the fish must be tracked down with military means, cornered and put on display, and then taken from the bucket.

Certainly a scientific and tactically planned approach to your outing is likely to bring in the most fish. This view also requires the most equipment, however, as its proponents work among perhaps two dozen holes in the ice and track fish from spot to spot with sonar fish finders as they race to the next hole on snowmobiles and try to “target remove’ the fish in each hole as they move.

Although the best producers in this ‘sport’ can catch upwards of forty fish an hour, there is still something to be said for skill and patience, choosing your spot, bait and playing on a level playing field, without a bunch of electronics and machinery , to eliminate any hope for catfish. After all, the sport of fishing is as much about finding the fish as it is about the actual battle once you’ve set the hook. It just takes more nerve and determination on the ice.

Whatever your approach, you’ll need the usual sturdy cat gear – a sturdy rod with a decent spinning or star reel, good braided or monofilament line, suitable terminal rigging and some nice, smelly bait. If you want to use a more conventional ice fishing rig, a flag float or tip rig will do the trick, but remember the size of the fish you’re after – these kitties will be an uphill battle and handling them without a line is even tougher.

When it comes to bait, smell is even more important in cold water than in the warmer months because smell doesn’t spread as quickly or be present as strongly in the water, so the more potent the bait the better . Small dead fish are still an excellent choice, especially for blue cats. Puncturing the bait or dipping it in some stinky additive can be another possible improvement to make it really smelly. Some anglers believe that the color of the bait is important when fishing for cats under ice due to the reduced spread of smell in the cold, but in deep water it is quite dark and catfish are known to have poor eyesight, so the importance of this factor has been discovered for discussion.

In the wild, cats eat a lot of dark-colored, smelly food, so give them what they want. With smelly, natural bait, the only other problem is where to fish it, assuming the fish will take it if they find it.

#Catfish #fishing #ice

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