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Flakeoutdoorsguy

Franconia cat help

12 posts in this topic

I wouldnt say that I am new to catfishing but i could use some help. I have been launching on the St. Croix at the franconia launch for a couple of years and trying to get a big ole kitty! I have tried a few differint spots, live bait, dead bait, stink bait, and all diferint times of the day and night with no real great action. My biggest fish was six to seven pounds, and most nights I only get one or two smaller ones, or worse skunked. What Im asking is what is the kind of location I am looking for? Faster current, an eddy, slow current? Deep water or shallow? I normally use suckers? One alive one dead with a circle hook? Any info would be great because after looking at some of the kitty pictures Im a little jealous and would love to hook into one. Thanks

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Well if you want a big kitty and not numbers, I would suggest finding a current break near deep water. You will have to more than likely put in some time, but there probably will be a big one there.

Look for a point or wingdam and fish the seam that it creates. This seam should be the transition between the deep and shallow/normal water level.

Make sure you have fresh lively bait 1 hour prior to and post sunrise/sunset.

Another area to try is where the river necks down to create a funnel, sooner or later a fish will come through there looking to eat.

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So when fishing the current break near deeper water should i be casting into the deep, shallow or both?

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yes, pepper the area with baits if possible. In order of preference for me would be a bait:

On the break/seam

In the deep hole

Up in the shallow area

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There is not much for current breaks up there a few islands and some sand bars it might be tough. Unless there are some I haven't seen but some very deep areas.

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Current breaks do not have to be large. Even the smallest of breaks can hold them up there. Like Dtro said near deep water. Up there there might not be deep water but when fishing a river that is shallow 6 feet is considered deep. You have to do your homework for areas. I have found 20+ foot holes with 2 feet deep in the surrounding area. Also try the sand flats near deep holes at night. In the same area you are fishing I have pulled up a number of 9+pounders.

IMG_0526.jpg From your neck of the woods.

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Ya ive got one in two years just a bit smaller than that fish. Wish I could pick up alot more that size.Thanks for the info. Couple more questions if you guys dont mind. Like two stroke said around an island there are cliffs on both sides and it does get very deep. 30-40 ft plus. would the cats sit in that deeper water during the day and make there way shallower when it gets toward evening? Should I fish upstream from the deep stuff so the scent travels into the deep? And I recently was at gander mountain and saw jigs for cats. Has anyone ever jigged for them? Seems like a good way to cover ground to find them but never tried it? There isnt alot of current there so you could move around nice and slow. Thanks again guys.

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They will sit deep but at this time of the year there is not much oxygen moving into those holes...not enough for big cats anyways. I would look for shallow water adjacent to those holes. There will be plenty of oxygen in the shallows at night and that's where the bait fish will be located and the cats will follow.

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Ya ive got one in two years just a bit smaller than that fish. Wish I could pick up alot more that size.Thanks for the info. Couple more questions if you guys dont mind. Like two stroke said around an island there are cliffs on both sides and it does get very deep. 30-40 ft plus. would the cats sit in that deeper water during the day and make there way shallower when it gets toward evening? Should I fish upstream from the deep stuff so the scent travels into the deep? And I recently was at gander mountain and saw jigs for cats. Has anyone ever jigged for them? Seems like a good way to cover ground to find them but never tried it? There isnt alot of current there so you could move around nice and slow. Thanks again guys.

Sounds to me like you almost know the answer to your questions. Maybe on your next trip you should bring a couple of bigger jigs. Hang a hunk of fresh cut bait on the jig and work the deep hole trying to work the areas with the most current. Current is all relative - a little current is a lot when most areas have none. That current may concentrate fish because it helps them find food. Start in front of the upstream sandbar and work around the bend down along the cliff face. There is some drowned timber and debris in the bottom of that deep water so you may get hung up - those fish may be suspended so watch your sonar. After trying that then move to the head of the hole (kind of near where the cable comes across the river, if you know what I mean??) and fish some cut bait in the head of the hole. Lots of snags near there that seem to hang up sinkers but don't give up.

Just upstream from there about 50 yards the river bends and the shoreline is rocky. That bend has current and holds bait (water is kind of shallow but there are crayfish and bait in that water that attract fish). Fish around that bend working from upstream down anchoring several times in different spots. Don't be distracted by shallow water here, they are after the bait. Spread your baits and keep it fresh to make a good scent trail and move them about every five minutes or so if you have not had a pick up. You are looking for actively feeding channel cats that cruise that area feeding.

There is an island upstream from there that has a deeper hole just below the riffle in the main channel that holds channel cats. A deep hole is again relative to the rest of the river. 6' is deep when every thing else is 2'. Fish the head of the hole and use fresh cut bait and change bait every 15 minutes or so.

That area is the most scenic cat water you will ever fish. Most cat water is ugly and full of muddy water and logjams. If you are not catching fish, sit back and enyoy the scenery and smile at all the pretty girls drifting by in their canoes.

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Thnaks alot everyone. Im gonna have to get out a few nights this week and see what happens. Ill keep ya posted. and steve thaks i know all them spots so i will hit them hard.

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Hey Flake im pretty new to the croix as well and I have a little experience and time in catting so if ya ever want a partner in crime let me know ill bring some baits and we can get a few kitties.

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yea that sounds good patriots fan. my email is Flakeoutdoorsguy@aol.com. I dont know where you launch from but we could maybe figure something out.

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