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Depends on the forage in the area.

if there's lots of crawdads, use those or cut shrimp. otherwise if you are targeting bigger cats, use fresh-killed cutbait from an oily fish like shad, carp or Drum. you'll get fewer bites, but the fish that will hit will be big.

anything else will get you fiddlers, from my limited experience.
 

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If you're fishing from a boat, find deep holes or washouts in the channel under the current or deep holes in eddies adjacent tot he curent and put a big oily shad, carp or sucker filet in that, drift with the boat with enough weight to keep contact with the bait and then just let it sit in the eddy. The fish'll move around in the eddy a little in winter/early spring to grab food, but they're not going far. Don't spend more than 30 min in a hole, if they're not there, they're not there.
 

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I dont know how picky they are in the spring....i like shrimp though, and liver....although i have done well with cut shad when i can get it. I know one of the things i will do in the spring though is walk the shore at night with a headlamp and pay close attention to the rocks...when the crayfish start coming out in the shallows as the water warms up, the cats are usually there too on a regular basis. shrimp seems to work the best during that time of year in areas where the cats feed on crayfish...so fish shallow, near the rocks...a cat will eventually work that area looking for forage.
 

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setthehook said:
Catfish Goon said:
... from my limited experience.
Limited? I held you in the highest esteem as the god of all whisker fish.
Apparently you haven't seen mad catter's past reports and pictures.

THAT guy is the catfishing expert.
 

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One spring I was fishing with crawlers and live minnows on the bottom. I was getting an occasional trout and carp. The guy fishing 100 yrds down from me was landing a cat every 15 minutes or so. When I left I talked to him and found that he was using DEAD minnows........not live ones. The cats must have been feeding on the minnows that didn't make it through the winter. Crazy how they'd hit a dead minnow but wouldn't touch a live one. Soooooo............I think dead minnows would be a smart bait option as well.
 

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Crawdads work well but cut the tail off and peel the meat out just like shrimp cocktail. Summer time liver soaked in garlic. But dont use garlic salt use real crushed garlic or garlic paste.
 

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I fish Navajo in May and June mostly for crappie but I spend sometime looking for cats. Have had success with nightcrawlers. so far thirteen pounds is my largest.First trip there will be May 2nd.
 

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I always try to use whatever bait is natural to the lake. At Lake Mac Creek Chubs enter into the north platte river through small streams (???? Creeks). This time of the year all of the creeks and streams are running at full capacity and this is when all of the minnows enter into the main lake. There is nothing better to use at this time of year.
 

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ngfatboy said:
You all are thinking way to hard on this....fish with whatever the natural forage in the lake is, especialy in the sping.
catfish said:
I always try to use whatever bait is natural to the lake. At Lake Mac Creek Chubs enter into the north platte river through small streams (???? Creeks). This time of the year all of the creeks and streams are running at full capacity and this is when all of the minnows enter into the main lake. There is nothing better to use at this time of year.
I agree to a point.............I've had several catfish trips where I'd fish bluegill or crawdads from the same water on one rod.........and get no bites. Meanwhile......all hell is breaking loose on my other rod that has bird guts on it (chicken liver).......go figure.
 

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from what I notice typically, if you want numbers of smaller cats... the prepared baits, livers, crawlers and leeches work well.

The bigger ones stray away from that, if you use cutbait or live bait like crawdads, or forage fish... you will get alot slower action, but the hits you will receive will be from much bigger fish.
 

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Quote from: ngfatboy on February 01, 2009, 02:36:00 pm
You all are thinking way to hard on this....fish with whatever the natural forage in the lake is, especialy in the sping.

Quote from: catfish on February 03, 2009, 07:39:19 pm
I always try to use whatever bait is natural to the lake. At Lake Mac Creek Chubs enter into the north platte river through small streams (? Creeks). This time of the year all of the creeks and streams are running at full capacity and this is when all of the minnows enter into the main lake. There is nothing better to use at this time of year.


I agree to a point.............I've had several catfish trips where I'd fish bluegill or crawdads from the same water on one rod.........and get no bites. Meanwhile......all hell is breaking loose on my other rod that has bird guts on it (chicken liver).......go figure


Yes very true... But blugills and creek chubs are very different. As far as I know the panfish stay in the main body of the reservoir, on the other hand the creek chub lives most of its life in the streams. At this time of year chubs are a treat for the larger species.

All in all I would rather use shrimp then anything!
 
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