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Discussion Starter #1
I hadn't thought about cats this year until you mentioned it. :smile: Been too busy fishing for walleyes. But, I had the toon in the truck and finished up early in the Springs today...figured might as well head on down for a couple of hours of catfishing. It got pretty windy and I hit a couple of non flip phone pic worthy cats ...my camera died early this spring. The first was around seven ...eight pounds. The second a bit over ten. The third before I was blown off the lake was pic worthy...by pic worthy I mean take the picture..send it to my son's iPhone and have him email it back..kind of a pain..

Anyway..the pic worthy cat measured 33.5 inches with a 23 inch girth. definitely full of eggs. Kind of fun for a couple of hours...Thanks for the reminder Ninja!

 

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Good stuff Hobie. Definitely worth the trip and well worth the pic. First two I hope you kept to eat and the big girl I am pretty sure is back swimming.

Kinda jealous I now have to work for a living and only have "limited" days to fish instead of any damn time I want. But, I do have every Friday, Saturday and Sunday off and have managed a few hours after work on occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Let em all go. I like catfish, but the two, three, four pounders are the best to eat. We'll try to get together on a Friday some time. Fishing's only going to get better over the next couple of months or so..
 

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Nice Hobie!!! Great to see ya back!!! :thumb:
 

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Prodigal Hobie! Nice kitties... I've always wondered about your spring success with those fish. You seem to be the only person who has em dialed in. Well done
 

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Nice kitty action sir!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the comments guys. Really it's nothing more than little kid fishing in the spring. Find yourself a lake, reservoir or pond with a decent number of cats..get yourself a bobber large enough to suspend your bait and look for weed edges...over the top of weeds or in the sticks in three to ten foot of water. The side of the lake the wind blows into is the best...usually the north side in the spring. When your bobber goes down, make sure you can't see it at all and then wait a couple more seconds before setting the hook..too early and you'll just pull it out of their mouth..This works from late February until the middle of May. At that time, hit the riprap for the spawning cats..fish the same way along the edge of the riprap..adjusting the bobber as needed. That will work through June.
 

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Thanks for the comments guys. Really it's nothing more than little kid fishing in the spring. Find yourself a lake, reservoir or pond with a decent number of cats..get yourself a bobber large enough to suspend your bait and look for weed edges...over the top of weeds or in the sticks in three to ten foot of water. The side of the lake the wind blows into is the best...usually the north side in the spring. When your bobber goes down, make sure you can't see it at all and then wait a couple more seconds before setting the hook..too early and you'll just pull it out of their mouth..This works from late February until the middle of May. At that time, hit the riprap for the spawning cats..fish the same way along the edge of the riprap..adjusting the bobber as needed. That will work through June.
Awesome tips!! Glad you are well !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Neal. Also, you don't have to run the bottom..For example, yesterday the cats were in eight to ten foot of water suspending at five to six feet deep. I ran a five foot leader. Use enough weight/shot to keep the bait down as it drifts...more wind more weight.
 

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Thanks for the comments guys. Really it's nothing more than little kid fishing in the spring. Find yourself a lake, reservoir or pond with a decent number of cats..get yourself a bobber large enough to suspend your bait and look for weed edges...over the top of weeds or in the sticks in three to ten foot of water. The side of the lake the wind blows into is the best...usually the north side in the spring. When your bobber goes down, make sure you can't see it at all and then wait a couple more seconds before setting the hook..too early and you'll just pull it out of their mouth..This works from late February until the middle of May. At that time, hit the riprap for the spawning cats..fish the same way along the edge of the riprap..adjusting the bobber as needed. That will work through June.
Great post man! Can you give some more detail in this method? Maybe a YouTube video that illustrates it?
I've been wanting to try this method for spring ice out cats as they wake up. So do you suspend the bait near the surface more? Or suspend it just off the bottom?
Is this a slip bobber style or a more traditional bobber? You still use a circle hook for this or a treble or what?

And you mentioned 3-10 feet of water... is that where they are after ice out? I'm no pro and want to get better at cat fishing but I wasn't always under the impression that they stayed in deep water early summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ah my flip phone isn't much on videos...Looks like we'll be getting new phones shortly after Yvette (accidentally) dropped hers twice this past week. No amount of duct tape will fix hers.

As soon as ice comes off, the cats move shallow, as shallow as one to two feet. I have seen them at that time of the year sitting with their backs out of the water. In fact, I watched as one monster cat beached itself and was munching on a dead ten pound carp that had washed up on the beach. Just right up against the carp munching on it's side.. Half in the water...half out. They are looking for dead stuff that died during the winter and has blown into the shallows.

As far as depth goes with the bobber. You just want to make sure you aren't getting hung up on structure or the bottom. As mentioned a five foot leader was fine in ten foot of water. A two foot leader in three foot of water...etc. You can use a slip bobber if you'd like, but not necessary.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Also as far as fishing for them during the spawn. Usually starts around the last week of May to the first of June. When fishing the riprap, fish from just where you can't see the rocks underwater to about five feet further out. Close to shore. Adjust your leader so you don't get hung up on the rocks. If you get hung up...raise the leader six inches.

Cats nest and have to fan the eggs to keep water circulating..after the female deposits the eggs ... the male sticks around in the crevice to fan the eggs until the fry hatch. They will aggressively attack any minnows that come near the nest.
 
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