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south_metro_fish

Cats at night on the river

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I know we have a few months before this would even mater but another discussion got me thinking and made me wonder after trying a few times. Do cats bite at night? If so are they in their normal day location? And is there any thing special to use to get them interested. I fish for cats during the summer on the Mississippi down by Winona. Another question I have is when the ice starts moving out and we get some open water down there will the cats be active and what kind of locations would they be in?

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I will catch channels during the day and evening. The majority of my better flatheads come during the lowlight to dark evening hours. Thats not to say one cannot catch them during the day but the evening for me has been a better time frame.

I will fish the Flatheads by a deeper hole next to a wood snag or a small creek dumping into the river. If you can find baitfish in these locations, then all the better.

Seems the flatheads start to turn on around the 50-55 degree mark for water temps.

Bullheads, suckers and creek chubs work well for me but one can catch them on a few others also.

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yes most ppl only fish for cats at night,but you can fish for them during the day,they will bite when the water is above 50 degrees but below that they will be tough to get,but some will still bite,cats love the deep holes,so you'll want to try and find the deep holes where your fishing and try there

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Harvey lee that sparked my interest when you said small creek running into the river. I fish at my grandparents old house on the river that is now our cabin. Fished there scene I was a little boy. But there is a small creek that runs out of the bluffs and along the property line right into the river. It stays running most of the time. There was one time a year or 2 ago that it dried up for a few months but it is running for the most part. Where it comes into the river there is kind of a small wing dam I don't know if you could really call it one but it is a pile of rocks that sticks out a ways right next to the creek entrance on the north side. So the current hits the point and and slows down and sometimes creates a back current on the back side going the opposite direction right along the docks for a good 200 yard. This is all off the main channel with an island about 3 to 500 yards out separating the main channel. I have caught many small fiddlers right off the dock casting out as far as I could with stink bait but if I was to target that creek entrance how would you go about it, and do you think it is worth it.

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Sounds like a fun place to go.

They always seem to be pretty agressive at night. I always fish a little shallower in the night for cats but I havent done a late night catfish excursion for quite a while.

Im sure im wrong about this as they do bite under the ice but I cant seem to hook a cat until the water hits about 50 degrees. That being said I never really targeted them either because the spring crappie run was always getting my interest.

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50 degrees is still to cold for them. They will still hit but only by instinct. For the most part if I am remembering the article right they will almost go into a hibernation till the waters reach about 53 degrees. At 55 degrees they are full up and awake and hungry as [PoorWordUsage]. Channels can and do bite more then not in the winter or colder water months.

I fish shallower waters at night knowing that the bait fish are shallow so their predators should come up as well. Although the big boys or girls don't have to eat that often being that when they do eat that eat bigger fish. So if I'm not getting any fish or smaller flats then I will hit the deeper holes.

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The weird thing about the rocks is that I have tried for eyes there and not had much luck just 1 or 2 baby ones. About 50 60 yards in front of it where there is pretty good current yet the strippers chase minnows in early summer. What side of the rocks would I want to fish the upstream side with stronger current or the downstream side that has the creek flowing in. What depth is good to target.

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The less current side with the stream running into it would be the best. The cats should be sitting in there. The water should create a back current and wash out the back side which in turn should create some what of a hole there. Also you should have bait fish coming in from the stream and thats a great food source. If you ever see the bait fish there make sure you get your bait into the middle and hold on. I'm not sure what depths are around your neck of the woods. I would try anywhere theres a break in the current, the big boys like current breaks.

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Break in the current, like where the current is going down stream and the back current created by the rocks that makes it go upstream meet? There is a really defined one right there. Is that where the eyes would hang out in the evening in the summer time too?

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well for the eyes i would fish the mouth of the stream. Ya where you are almost getting the whirl pool affect is where you should be able to find the cats. How far out is the rock pile compared to the mouth.

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It starts right at shore on the upstream side of river from the creek. It goes strait out like a wing dam but only 30 or more yards. Just enough to divert the main flow away from the docks. This creek is not very big it has nothing more then aquatic insects and other small things, no fish or any thing.

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That's good to know I will have to get out there and check it out when it warms up. I am headed down there in two weeks so I will have to see if the ice will allow me to do some depth checking now i have a hand held depth finder. There is a wing dam up river a little ways by boat that last I knew had a big hole created by the current over the dam right next to the island would that be a good place to try too.

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There is one other place I have thought about for big cats in the area and that is the spill way and the dam. I know the dam would have deep water and lots of current and the spill way would probably have some good holes with a lot less current. Is it worth trying ether one them.

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Oh man ya both of them. The nice thing about the dam is that you would think that its all current but thats not true. you should be able to find the current breaks. they could be five feet wide or fifteen feet wide but if your on the river looking straight a the dam you should be able to find them and cast right down the middle. you should find yourself in tons of different species of fish

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I know where to go now how do i hook the big one? I have always used stink bait with cattails in it to hold it on the hook and never really caught a big one. That is how I was taught when I was younger. So it sounds like what circle hooks what size works good? Live bait sounds like it might work good so what works good and what size bait should you get. If there is any other baits that work I would be interested.

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I use a G-Mag from Gamakatsu for flatheads. For bait like most will say on here bullheads, but watch the size. I believe the size limit is 6 inches not more. the bullheads seem to be the best and most long lasting. You can go to any gander mountain and get decoy suckers, but that can get spendy. Most places its 2 bucks a piece for them. If your up for it the normally will give you their dead minnows for free and that always work great as a cut bait for big channels.

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Channels usually prefer swift current, or the breaks of the current. Flatheads prefer, less current, backwaters, and just easier places to eat.

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I have become a firm believer to ride out strong storms and when the tornado warning sirens start going, listen for the clicker wink

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