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JoshTrutwin

Rookie Looking for Advice

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My dad lives near Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi (south of Little Falls) and tells me he used to fish for catfish when he was a kid and is dying to go again. This weekend I was hoping to give it a shot, but I'm very much a rookie so looking for advice. I've never fished cat but it seems I'm in charge of the outing. My dad seems to not want to tell me or forgot what he did back in the day. smile My neighbor had some good tips though.

Anyway, specifically I'd like to know the following:

1. Most of the pics on this forum are nighttime photos. Is the bite during the day just not there?

2. I plan to rig some chicken liver (recommended by neighbor) or Blood PowerBait (recommended by local bait shop) with an egg sinker and cast out into the river from the shore. I just have a basic spinning reel with 8 or 10 lb line, nothing fancy. With this, how hard is it to tell there's a bite? Am I toast if something big comes along?

3. If I do manage to catch one of these beasties, what's a good size for filleting? Or is this a bad time for keeping? (too hot == mushy meat?)

Thanks, any other tips are appreciated, fishing is great but there's SO much more to it than I ever imagined. wink

Josh

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You will be limited to Channel cats only up there. The biggest that might ever come along might be 20lbs so I wouldn't worry too much about being undersized, yet still should be prepared for a 20lb fish.

I would suggest using a bank or no roll type sinker and a piece of cut up dead bait (Sucker minnow, goldeye, mooneye, even small chubs work in a pinch.) Also don't overlook Frogs.

Look for any type of cover the fish would relate to. Cutbank, snag, woodpile.

You should still be able to eat smaller channel cat and not have to many issues with it being "muddy". I would probably stick to the 3-6 lb fish if it was me.

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Good advice from DTRO. I might add:

Nighttime can be a great time, but channel cats can be caught pretty much anytime. Flatheads are much more nocturnal, but as DTRO mentioned, there's no flatheads up that far north.

Channel cats can be finicky biters at times, but more often than not, they hit pretty aggressively from summer through fall. Don't leave your rod unattended or it might get yanked in. You will not have problems telling if you have a bite.

I'd limit keeping anything to 5lbs and under. They tend to get tough/stringy when bigger.

Also, be ready for anything. You never know what you're going to catch on the river.

Do you, by chance, have any relatives that went to high school in Sartell? I graduated with a Trutwin.

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Dtro is spot on grin

New bait of the year, cut bullie all the way.

If not cut sucker.

I would look for rip-rap on shore, with deeper water close by shore. I like 20-25lb big game mono and a med/heavy action rod. Throw on a couple of OZ’s of weight (no rolls if you can find them) and a 4/0-6/0 circle hook. I like to have about a foot or so leader.

Between 6:30pm-11:00 is best up this way.

Good luck

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I agree with what has already been said. Being you'll be on the Miss, I would reccomend using cut redhorse fillets or crayfish if you can find some. Scale and fillet the redhorse and then cut into 1"chunks.

Half the fun is catching the bait=)

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Thanks for all the tips - always like to learn something new. I'll try to bring along some cut bait as well - I think 3 types will leave me with enough to choose from. Also nice to know that I won't be expecting any of the flatheads, though I bet they are a blast - how far south do you have to go for those?

Re: Ralph Wiggum - could be that we're related, I went to school in Royalton. My wife (an Erkens) went to Sartell so very familiar with the area. I get that question a lot though, as I understand it there are two sets of Trutwins in the area, no relation between em. I find that odd. Right now I live by Clearwater Lake, lots of fun fishing out there.

Cheers,

Josh

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That's a good vid, looks like he did loose a lot of meat though or not? Not sure, been a while since I've kept a cat. Any reason you can fillet them like any other fish?

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From what my neighbor tells me their bone structure is different from say a crappie which is pretty easy to fillet. I think they have a bone structure shapped like a "T" with the top of the T being the bottom of the fish, then another bone running from head to tail, top to bottom (if that makes any sense). I'm not sure if channel/flathead have the same bone structure?

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That looks like a really good way to do it. I've filleted them normal like a Walleye, but they have a hard rib cage.

I like that way (video) as it eliminates the belly fat in the process.

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I would look for rip-rap on shore, with deeper water close by shore.

Thanks,Shack. That gives me a couple of ideas for spots nearby my locale. You probably know where I am talking about. grin

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Another reason to fillet them that way is so you don't have to contend with all the blood. Back meat is the best anyways, stay away from the belly....don't wanna start to glow at night. Good Luck!

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I also am a rookie to catfishing.

Going down to Alma, Wi in two weekends for a little trip.

WHat type of rigs are a must have?

Any kind of help would be appreciated.

Thanks

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