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I am just wondering what everyone thin ks would be a good bet for bait for channel cats in the spring. My location will be where the los pinos river enters navajo lake just across the new mexico border.
 

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durangofish said:
I am just wondering what everyone thin ks would be a good bet for bait for channel cats in the spring. My location will be where the los pinos river enters navajo lake just across the new mexico border.
cant go wrong with fresh liver, cut shad,blue gill, trout guts, etc,etc!
 

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My suggestions would be, anchovies, smelt or if you can get big threadfin shad just fillet it and cut them into 1"x4-6" strips.....that is $$$$ bait right there. Wouldn't mess with stinkbaits/doughbaits until it is really hot outside(even then usually produces more small fish)
If it is legal there, live palm-size bluegills are killer for big channel cats(10# and up)
 

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Chicken liver has always been one of my my favorites. #1 favorite is whole bluegills in states that allow it, like Texas.

If I was going to fish for a big one out here, I'd probably get a 6" sucker, cut it's belly open and hang it off a hook, or hooks.
 

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FishnPhil said:
Chicken liver has always been one of my my favorites. #1 favorite is whole bluegills in states that allow it, like Texas.

If I was going to fish for a big one out here, I'd probably get a 6" sucker, cut it's belly open and hang it off a hook, or hooks.

u can use gills out here, not sure about nm, gills out here are a mid summmer big bass bait!
 

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FishnPhil said:
#1 favorite is whole bluegills in states that allow it, like Texas.
I love being able to use big, live finbaits here on the east slope. I think the mistake people often make is using a little baby gill when they should be using one a good 5 or 6inches or better for the big cats. Big kitties want a bratwurst not a cocktail weenie ;)
 

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i feel that cut bait is best. cut a filet of shad,carp,or sucker into strips 4-6 inchs long and 1-2 inchs wide. put your hook in one end from the meat side all the way through and up on your leader then go about half way down and run your hook from the skin side into the meat and make sure you dont have a scale on the point of the hook. you need lots of bait so you can change every 15-20 min.
 

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The best spring bait I know of are leeches. Metabolisms aren't up that early in the year, so large offerings may be ignored. Cats have a hard time resisting a helpless leech. We catch a lot of cats fishing for eyes in the spring on 1/4oz. jigheads and a leech.
 

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I would put a good sized weight on, rig it like a 3-way or a drop shot setup. Hook the gill just like a minnow, just behind the fin and through the back (but not through the backbone). Toss it out and wait :)

Or like p-lo fisherman said, do a slip bobber.
 

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Rivrunnr1 said:
How would you guys recommend fishing a live gill in the summer? At the bottom, under a bobber? Slip bobber?
There is alot of variable that would determine that choice. Size of water, current, cover, etc. I think I would have to go with big slip float most often but there are times when a sliding sinker rig come into play.(like if you need to hold a bait in current while waiting for fish moving through current area feeding) Each one has it's time and place. There are times where I will simply "flyline" the 'gill with nothing but a big circle hook too.
 

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solesearcher34 said:
Rivrunnr1 said:
How would you guys recommend fishing a live gill in the summer? At the bottom, under a bobber? Slip bobber?
There is alot of variable that would determine that choice. Size of water, current, cover, etc. I think I would have to go with big slip float most often but there are times when a sliding sinker rig come into play.(like if you need to hold a bait in current while waiting for fish moving through current area feeding) Each one has it's time and place. There are times where I will simply "flyline" the 'gill with nothing but a big circle hook too.

i agree , well put
 

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The best cold water channel cat bait ever is homemade stink bait. You take gizzard shad and filet them. Place the filets in a pint mason jar,. Then take fresh chicken entralls and using your fingers squeeze all the juice from them into the jar. Seal the jars back up and let them ripen for a few weeks. Nasty smelling stuff, but can't be beat in cold or cool water!
 

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Hot dogs!! LOL I have actually caught some nice ones on hotdogs... I think live gills would work better though..

There was a thread about using live gills and I believe the consensus was that you have to use them at the same water that you caught them from. I'll try and dig up the post.
 

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Bait has to be alive, or you have to be able to see the fish and put the bait right in front of his mouth. I've had really good luck in blind spring with big tigerpattern leeches on a slipper. Oh yeah and dont forget to bring your lucky hat, shirt, pants, pole, reel, etc.... cause you're going to need it.
 

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I like fresh Cut shad. live gills, or good 'ol hot dogs.. My biggest cat came in early May on a night that dipped close to freezing
 
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