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my friend and i went fishing on friday night for cats and couldnt hook a thing. we had a ton of bites. but just couldnt hook them. we are still trying to learn how to fish cats. if some one could give us some help that would be great.
 

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ive always had good luck for catfish everywhere on hotdogs, chicken liver, night crawlers, shrimp, really anything that stinks, i like this pond in brighton by the rec center, i also like these ponds by my house off 88th and colorado, good luck
 

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we know where to fish and we used chicken livers. we had a ton of bites. just cant figure out when to set the hook we missed probly 20 fish cause we couldnt set the hook . do you let them run or hitem hard.
 

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I would recommend fishing with circle hooks and give the line some slack. If a catfish feels any tension it will spit the bait right out. Giving it slack will give the fish some time to put the bait in its mouth and hook itself. When using circle hooks, don't set the hook, just pick up the rod and start reeling. I learned this technique from other guys/gals on this forum this year and have caught a few nice ones this way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
we tried leaving slack and it didnt help. and we had circle hooks. so i guess they werent to interested. thanks for the suggestion
 

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What you probably had were other small fish such as panfish or bullheads pecking at your bait. Channel cats usually don't mess around. Probably 60% of the time or more, when a channel grabs your bait, he picks it up and runs. The rod will bend into a horseshoe. When this is happening, set the hook as soon as he is swimming with the bait. "Letting him eat it" or "letting him run" will cause him to drop the bait eventually.
In lakes I suggest a sliding sinker rig. Take a typical bank sinker and put it on the line. Then tie on a barrel swivel and put on about 2 - 3 feet of leader and a 1/0 widegap hook or a #2 treble.
Sometimes cats, even larger ones, will peck at a bait. Most of the time though from my experience, cats grab bait and run and they hit like freight trains.
 

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Ice is right, those were probably some other lil fish pecking at it. I've reeled in some big crawfish before after getting a bunch of "pecking" like hits. Sometimes, to me, it seems like a catfish would just pick up the bait and sit there.

If night fishing, I reel up the slack so the rod has a slight bend. This way, when a cat hitts, my bell signals me. I've had times where they hit and the line goes slack and I just leave it for a few minutes. I'll then reel up the slack again and as soon as the fish feels you on the other end, he'll then take off. Once the fish goes I'll then set the hook. Caught a few at Boulder Res this way last year and early this year.
 

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I have to agree with what Ice says here. I've never had much problems hooking catfish...I have more trouble hooking other types of fish. once a hook is stuck in a catfish mouth they aren't very likely to spit it out because of thier thick tough lips...it can be hard just getting the hook out of thier mouth because of the way the lips are. Its a waiting game too...you put your line in the water sit back and wait...Ive sat for hours waiting for a bite...but it did pay off with some nice size catfish.
 

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2 things you said may be the problem:

just cant figure out when to set the hook
And

and we had circle hooks
Like someone else said, you dont want to set the hook if you're using circle so that could be the problem.

Also, If your your fishing with a baitcaster type reel and it has a clicker, cast out, set your line tight and open your spool with the clicker on. If your using a spinning reel once you see the fish bite open your bail and let the fish take some line. Once your sure it is there just close the bail and start reeling. Dont set the hook, you'll just pull the hook out.

I just starter using circle hooks and since I only catch and release ill never use anything else when bait fishing. It does take some getting used to but...



-Jay
 

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I also just started using them, and it takes a lot of concentration to not set the hook. But they have worked really well for me. Good luck, and let us know how you do with the new technique.
 

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What the heck kind of picture is that Fishinfoo? I don't think you are going to catch any fish with that. You should have a picture of a nice fish like fishhard has. Is that the walleye you caught out in Canada fishhard? The reason why you two didn't land any fish is because you didn't take me out there with y'all. True I had to see my lady but I could of went if you gave me notice more in advance. Next time I'll go too and we can all jam to System of a Down while downing some Pabst Blue Ribbons. Anyone else here is welcome to go too if we post a trip on here.
 

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koni said:
I have to agree with what Ice says here. I've never had much problems hooking catfish...I have more trouble hooking other types of fish. once a hook is stuck in a catfish mouth they aren't very likely to spit it out because of thier thick tough lips...it can be hard just getting the hook out of thier mouth because of the way the lips are. Its a waiting game too...you put your line in the water sit back and wait...Ive sat for hours waiting for a bite...but it did pay off with some nice size catfish.

In fact I have had only 5 catfish ever spit the hook on me, out of well over 1000 caught and most released. Now I have had dozens break the line or get me down into snags and snag me up and break free. They seldom spit the hook and when they hit they often set the hook themselves. I still set the hook fairly hard though.
When you catch one icefishing on a tip up, they run and run and run and run. Pike and lake trout will pick it up, run, stop, run, stop. Cats don't mess around.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks fellas for the help. and no musky thats a bass i caught over at the private pond.

hey i w wonderin why they dont make patches for members so when yer out fishin you might be able to meet some folks from here... id sew one on my jacket..


There is a good redneck idea

IM tippin a pabst for you......
 

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I've read a few places that more of a sideways sweeping motion to tighten the line on a circle hook works better than keeping it overhead...does anyone have any practical experience on the subject?...I believe I saw it on Critical Concepts the In Fisherman series too...getting old and cant remember!!!
 

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reply to got musky. hey dude i'm tryin to get some pics of fish posted but the fact is, my ol' lady dont have to hook up at H P so shut your hole. jus kidin ya you will have to head out there with us next time. thanks for the advice fellas we will give it another shot.
 
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