Fall cat locations in big rivers

Questions about Freshwater Fishing

Fall cat locations in big rivers

Postby catfishpat » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:01 pm

Hi Larry,

I fish the Mississippi and St. Croix near Hastings and am curious to know of good places to start my search for coldwater Channel and Flathead cats. Near the Dam? Wing Dams? Drop offs near shallow flats? The flats themselves? Creek mouths? The deepest hole I can find?

Thanks in advance for any info!

-Patrick
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Postby dahlberg » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:48 am

Hi P,
From what I've gathered, the cats winter in deep holes. I'm sure some hang around the washout holes at the dams but know that others inhabit deep water holes during winter that can be a few miles above or below a dam. It's getting cold fast, better get your cats caught quick!
best,
L
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Good day of Cattin'

Postby catfishpat » Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:23 pm

Hi Larry,

I just wanted to let you know that I was out on Friday and we got into a mess of Channel Cats off some Rip Rap between 18 & 24 feet of water. They seemed to be hanging out right at the base of the rip rap where it started to flatted out. Much deeper than they were just a few weeks ago.

They ran pretty small, from 1-8lbs but it sure beat working! All were caught on small circle hooks and released.

My big boat is now winterized and it's time to concentrate on the awesome late Fall Walleye fishing on a small river in MN(not saying which one!).

Anyway, thanks for your input. I am looking forward to seeing your show again this winter. It absolutely the best fishing show, period!

One more question for you. Have you ever caught large, 150lb + Piraiba Catifish? If so, what is you opinion of them as far as their fighting ability compared to other freshwater species that attain similar size.

Thanks again!

-Patrick
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Postby dahlberg » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:55 am

Glad you found some cats!
As a matter of fact I just returned from a trip dedicated to catching Piraiba, and caught one that three of us couldn't lift!
I'm sure it weighed well over 300# because it was about 8' long.
It pulled like a truck, and because of many many large sharp rocks couldn't allow it to run very far.
When it came to the surface it looked like a mid-sized barnyard animal. Using a Shimano Torsa 30 reel loaded to half full (to increase the drag tension) with 130# Sufix mono and a Trevala medium action 5 1/2 foot jigging rod it took me a little less than ten minutes to land it pulling as hard as I could physically pull. It hurt.
The episode should be on the tube sometime in Feb.
Thanks for the post, glad you enjoy the show!
best,
L
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Re: Piraiba

Postby catfishpat » Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:09 pm

Wow! I can't wait to see that big cat! I need to save my pennies so I can get to South America one of these days! It looks like I'll need to start saving for a new rod and reel too...

Some may question the possibility of getting a big fish like that landed in such a short time but I have similar experiences with 60-75lb Flatheads. They aren't 300lb monsters but I know that if I let 'em run too far that they will eventually find something to break me off on. I use 80# Ande and have the drag set as tight as it will go on an Abu 7000. I have never had a fight that lasted more than 5 minutes or so with that set up. I did have quite a tussle with a 40lb Cat when I was using a medium light action rod with 8# mono 2 years back. I did manage to get it in after it almost wrapped itself around the dock at my marina a few times. I consider myself lucky to have seen that fish.

Take care,

-Patrick
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