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SteveD

Trolling for Channel Cats

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My last two trips I've picked up 2 nice channels trolling upstream tapping a 3-Way Rig along a breakline. It is only two fish but I think this may be another tool to pull out of the tool box when the bite slows down. You can cover some pretty good territory and maybe find some fish.

I was out last night doing a little scouting - I came through a hole and marked some fish so I dropped the trolling motor and worked back upstream using a 3-Way Rig with cut bullhead. I nailed a nice fat 26" channel within 5 minutes just tap, tap, tapping that 3-Way back up current through the hole.

That was the only fish I got - I worked the hole for about 30 minutes after that but couldn't pick up another fish. I like that 3-Way Rig because I am holding the rod and I can feel everything on that PowerPro line.

You may want to give this a try next time you are out. I leave one of my flathead rods that is a very light graphite rod in a heavy action rigged in the boat with a 3-Way so I can just grab it and bait it and get it in the water quickly.

This is more of a trolling technique but it seems to work as effectively as the drifting. I was moving upstream at about .5 mph which was almost a slow crawl and my line was almost vertical under the boat. I was in 15 - 19 feet of water with a light current.

I did get hung up in the hole and broke off - that hole was full of debris and cover for those cats. I've got some 3/0 weedless Kahle hooks and I may use them next time I am out to see if that cuts down on the snags. I'm using a 1 ounce bell sinker on a 12 inch drop line (the drop line is 8 lb test so if the sinker gets hung up I can just break it off). I pre-tied a bunch of 12" drop lines and put them on a leader holder so I don't have to fumble around in the dark trying to tie up a drop line.

Give this a try - another tool for the tool box.

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Always trying new stuff Steve grin

You just never know.

Thanks for sharing. Might have to give it go round one of these days.

Quote:
Give this a try - another tool for the tool box.

If I remember correct, you even use a tool box grin

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Thanks Steve

Sounds like fun. Might be a fun thing to try over here in the skinny waters.

You give the planer board thing a try yet?

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You give the planer board thing a try yet?

I liked the Planer Board idea but they looked like a pain in the butt to deal with. I went a different direction and bought some outriggers from the Cabela's catalog. They should spread the lines the same way as the Planer Boards but simpler to deploy and recover. I haven't used them yet. I only need them when I have 3 people or more otherwise I can handle 4 rods with no sweat.

Now that I have tried the 3-Way rigs I see how we could fish 8 lines off my boat and really cover some water. Be fun to round up about 4 guys and give that a try some evening. I'll give you a buzz when the shad show up in force and we'll get a few guys together and give it a shot.

Everybody throw a buck in the pot for biggest fish, most fish, smallest fish, ugliest fish. Be a fun night, full of trash talk, and probably some funny video. Maybe we could get Larry to come along and he could wear that dress thing he talks about.

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Sounds like a fun way to go after um. Have you tried any artificial baits? (I'm assuming your fishing cleaner water)

I'm gonna be fishing the Otter Tail River this weekend with cranks and plastics..always get a few channels when they can sight feed grin

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Sounds like a fun way to go after um. Have you tried any artificial baits? (I'm assuming your fishing cleaner water)

I'm gonna be fishing the Otter Tail River this weekend with cranks and plastics..always get a few channels when they can sight feed grin

The St Croix is at normal pool elevation now and the water has cleared up considerably. I'm sure they are doing a lot of sight feeding right now. I'm going to play around with some artificial bait when I set up on some of my holes. I bought some of the Gulp scented baits and I'm going to put them on a jig and work the current seams. I can fish two rods on the St Croix so I can fish one rod conventionally with live bullhead and the other rod I can experiment with lures. I know they hammer cranks from fishing the Mississippi so they should chase a scented Gulp shad swimming past them on the St Croix.

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Theres nothing better then bumping you bait off the bottom with a bobbers. Works great in rocks and sandbars.

I agree with the bobber tip. I used bobbers on my drift rigs last year with good results. Just add a small bobber about 4" to 6" in front of the hook. I was running 36" leaders with a 5/0 Gamakatsu Circle Hook with a piece of cut bait. The bobber was just enough to float the bait and keep that hook out of the rocks and debris.

Normally I don't use any sinkers on my drift rigs but when I used bobbers I added a 1/4 oz to 1/2 oz lindy slip sinker above the leader to get the bait down. That was plenty of weight to reach the bottom.

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