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Guest

A couple yaers ago I started fishing catfish on the mississippi. we usually catch fish but I could use some help!Any ideas or tips would be appreciated.Thanks MALLARD

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captkev

Mallard, now its my turn to give some tips, If your looking for eaters, fish 12-18inchers, by far the bes eaters. use a stink bait. I use a bait called doc's you can get it at wal-mart when you get around real catfish country, or maybe even cabella's. I mix 2 tubs Doc's to 1/2 doz eggs and 2 tbl spn. Anecet. leave it sit in the sun for a day and you'll fight to keep them off. If your looking to catch a Lunker then fish with Live bait. sucker minnows or creek chubs. I fish the Minnesota River from New Ulm Mn. and north. and have coulght some dandies. Blue Cats prefer the live bait over the stink bait 10-1 If I catch a blue on stink its usualy small. <BR>Good Luck and hold on.

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Guest

Thanks captkev,Do you fish the mississippi at all? Will this mixture work on channel cats also? We mainly catch channel cats that run between 4 & 7 pounds with an occasional blue mixed in but they run a little smaller. when is the best time of day to catch them?Also when should the bite start on them? Thanks again! MALLARD

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Toad

Mallard1662,<P>Nice to find a fellow cat angler out there. What portion(s) of the river have you been fishing? <P>Actually blue catfish don't swim in Minnesota waters-- certainly not in any of the major rivers like the Mississippi, Minnesota, St. Croix or the Red. In the upper Mississippi, you'll be primarily catching channel catfish. Flathead cats also thrive in the river sections around the Twin Cities, then north into the St. Croix and south along the Mississippi.<P>Channel cats swim in good numbers up to the Little Falls section, then their numbers begin decreasing as you head further north toward Brainerd. <P>Prepared baits (doughs, pastes, etc) certainly work fine during some portions of the year. Though if there's a better bait than simple indiginous cut baitfish (chubs, suckers, shiners) I'd sure be interested to see it . . .<P>-a friend called Toad

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captkev

Toad,...? If I'm not getting Blue's on the Minnesota, what are they? I deffinatly catch two different kinds of cats there. one for shure is the channel cat and the other is what? not a flat head, I've coulght a few of them in Duluth.<BR> It seems as that one of my posts were deleted, I remember typeing this before to answer your ? mallard.>>> I have fished the Mississippi, from Little Falls south to St.Cloud. I fish for cats usually early and late in the day. I do get some durring the day, but the bite is usually better at Dusk.<BR>On the Minnesota River we fish the log jams durring the day then fish in the more open water at night. Just up river from a sharp bend. after a good rain, fish where there is a small stream that runs into the main river, and hold on. cats seem to pile up there feeding on the worms and crawlers that get washed in. I use this same theory for fishing trout.

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Guest

HiToad,I seriously think that I am catching two different species of cats like captkev.ARe you sure that they (the blues) are not in the mississippi? I have been fishing mainly between Anoka and Clearlake. Have either you or captkev ever used chicken livers? livers or cutbaits are what I use mostly. I have tried a couple of stinkbaits without much success, but havn't given them a fair chance.I am going to try the doc's recipe that captkev posted earlier though.ARE you guys fishing from shore or in boats?-------------mallard<p>[This message has been edited by mallard1662 (edited 03-20-2001).]

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GullGuide

I too would be very surprised if you have been catching blues in Minnesota. Blue catfish prefer swift flowing mostly clear streams and rocky bottoms, vs slow turbid water with mud and silt bottoms.<BR>Channel catfish come in many color variations, from brown to grey to a bluish tinge. These color variations also occur in the same lakes and rivers, so it is possible that you can catch two channel cats from the same hole, but each one could have a different color to them. Would like to hear more though on your resoning why you think they might be blues. Do they look different or just shaded different?<BR>GullGuide<BR>>"////=<

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Toad

The closest you'll find blue cats are in the Missouri River in the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska. They also swim in the Mississippi-- but only as far north as Illinois and Iowa. <P>I know it might seem, as GullGuide suggests, that some of your channel cats look like blues. Admittedly, blues and channel cats can at first be confusing to distinguish. You'll just have to trust me (and the MN DNR) that blues simply don't swim in Minnesota waters, though it would be fun if they did.<P>Captkev,<BR>Both channel cats and flatheads abound in the Minnesota. Flathead cats are a mottled brown with a rounded tail similar to a bullhead. Flatheads approaching 60-pounds definitely swim in the Minnesota. I've never heard of a flathead caught from the Duluth area-- the closest population I'm aware of is in the St. Croix River, quite a ways south. Certainly, channel cats live in the St. Louis River, but flatheads . . . not so sure.<P>mallard1662,<BR>I've used chicken livers a bit over the years, as well as 'stink' or dip baits. Sonny's Super Sticky and Cat Tracker's Sewer Baits are two of the better widely available dip baits. Livers work ok at times, but get your hands on some fresh baitfish native to the river you're fishing and fillet 'em up. I just have never seen a channel cat bait that compares. Flatheads? Now that's a different story. Big tough live baitfish is the way to go. <P>Fellas, let's keep the catfish talk rolling. Backwater Eddy is another excellent source of catfish info out there. Maybe we'll get a few of his views at some point. Take care.<P>-a friend called Toad<P>

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captkev

Toad, I have personaly cought and released a few flat heads just east of the Jay Cook Park bridge, I think it was 123st. While you are in the area stop by the Wabigawn Bar just south of the bridge and tell them I say HI. we cought sturgen there as well.<P>As for the chicken Liver, I don't like it. I have problems keeping it on the hook. We got the flatheads and sturgen on smelt.<p>[This message has been edited by captkev (edited 03-21-2001).]

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Guest

captkev, we go through a lot of bait when we use livers 2 to 3 pounds a night.Toad what leads me to believe that we are catching different species of cats is that the lips are quite a bit thicker than most, along with color and they are a bit more sluggish than what we believe are channels.Ihave never caught a flathead so that doesn't enter the picture.Wish I knew what the difference was in these fish I am catching was, just know there ie a difference.-------thanks!!!!mallard

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Guest

It seems as though the people that think they know about cats arn't sharing what it is they think they know. WASSUP?------------mallard

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Toad

Mallard,<P>Ask and you shall receive . . .<P>-a friend called Toad

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Guest

HEY TOAD,-------mallard here. how are you rigging up? I'm sure it must be different for flats than channels.Someday I am going to have to give flatheads a try!Sure wish it would warm up a bit and give these fish a jump start.Any info would be appreciated!Anyone else have any ideas,it would be a pleasure to hear back.---------mallard

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captkev

Mallard, The few flatheads I've cought neer the "Jay Cook Park" on hwy 23 (St. Louis R.) were small. But true FLATHEADS grin.gif we were fishing with crawlers and smelt. use just enough weight so your line stays on bottom, I prefer a slip or egg weight. small barrel swivel and about 2-3 ft. of mono leader, and a #4-6 bait hook. I prefer a circle hook. The first time we fished there we were trying to catch Suckers for smokeing. we cought lots of "Ruffie" , Walleyes,Northerns, small Muskies,Bass, crappie, channel cats, sturgen, and even a few small salmon. I have'nt cought enough salmon to know what kind they were, so we just let them go. We had no idea if they were in season or not. it was about this time last year. but it was a more mild spring also. Wish I was there now. when you got a bite, you had no idea what you might see next. wink.gif Good luck this weekend.

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Toad

Hi Fellas,<P>For flatheads I've always done real well with big wild suckers, 8 to 14-inches long. Yellow bullheads and big creek chubs work well also. <P>Go with an 8/0 to 12/0 Eagle Claw 84-- it's perhaps the best all-around catfish hook out there. If you're after the big boys, go with muskie gear and 30 to 80 lb. line, depending upon cover density. Simply slide 3 to 8oz. of walking or bell sinkers down the line. Most cases, flatheads don't mind if the sinker runs all the way against the hook, either. Better to keep the leader short to prevent your baitfish from swimming into snags.<P>For channel cats, the same principle rigging applies, though, obviously, with smaller baits. And as I mentioned earlier, cut baitfish (suckers, chubs, shiners), filleted into 1x2-inch strips work excellent most of the season. With channels cats, sometimes it doesn't hurt to leave a short leader between hook (#1 to 2/0 for cutbait) and sinker (weight depends on river current).<P>------<BR>As far as our blue cat discussion, seems I was wrong-- at least in part. The DNR did try stocking blues in a very limited quantity in one MN lake back in 1977. Apparently, though, only one authenticated blue cat has ever been seen since . . .<P>I will be talking with a few DNR fellas soon, so I'll get back to you. Take care.<P>-a friend called Toad

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Toad

Just a quick follow up about blue cats. Apparently, about 7000 blue catfish were stocked into Lake St. Croix in 1977. The only known authenticated blue came from Lake Pepin in 1979. <P>The DNR had initially planned to stock blues more extensively in Minnesota, but for reasons unknown, the stocking program was suspended before it ever really got off the ground. Blues were reportedly abundant in the Upper Mississippi River during the 1800s, prior to the construction of dams. Today, however, blues have perhaps been prevented from making further upstream migrations by manmade dams. Also possible are other habitat factors in the Minnesota stretches of the river, which proved ultimately unsuitable to blue catfish.<P>-a friend called Toad

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Guest

I fish the MN river around Chaska.The fish that you think might be blues are male channels.Only the males take on a bluish grey tint to them.I have never seen a bluish channel exceed 8 lbs,and most are around 3 to 5 lbs.<P>My favorite baits depend on the time of year,what size,and species I'm after.<BR>Prepared baits I have not had much luck with,only very small cats seem to like this in my river<BR>Chicken liver works great for Channels to 5lbs in the spring and summer,wind it onto a #5 kahle hook<BR>cut sucker and chubs will catch much larger channels and a few small flats.best time for these are again in the spring and summer.<BR>Live suckers and chubs are my favorite for night and in the fall for both channels and flats.Many people say for flats you should us very large ones.I disagree,The reason is with a large sucker the fish seem to run with it longer and end up droping it more often.I have tried setting the hook sooner and have never had much luck.I use suckers in the 6 to 10" range for flats,You can set the hook on the run and if they are in the mood to take long runs they don't drop it.Big channels like the 4 to 6" suckers and chubs.<BR>One more thing that I have found that has increased my catch ratio and decreased my snag ratio is use a shot leader,no more than 12" in slow current and 3" in swift.Use the smallest weight to get the rig to the bottom.When you lift your rod tip and reel in the wight should no longer be able to touch bottom.When your reeling in and your sinker is draging your asking for it.I normally use 3/4 to 1 ounce and rarely use more than 3 ounces of lead.<p>[This message has been edited by fishhead (edited 04-03-2001).]

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Guest

Thanks for the info guys!!!!!! Hey fishhead,you say that you use live bait for channels?We usually catch fish in the 4 to 7 pound range(and as large as 14) would these fish take a 6 inch sucker?Maybe a little smaller would do it?With such a short leader doesn't it spook the fish,or am I being to cautious for some reason?One last thing before I sign off,this is for you,Toad or anyone with an opinion---Why is it that the male channels have a mouth that is wider across than the females?Hope to hear back!!!-----------mallard

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Guest

You usually get larger channels when you fish with live bait,so 4 to 6" suckers are fine.If you don't believe there are any larger fish then use 4",but I don't believe that you should use anything smaller.When I have fished the Miss around Monticello I have caugth smallies on 4 to 6" suckers and chubs.Remember that live bait works best at night and in the fall.In the spring your best bet is cut bait.As far as spooking a cat,I have never had any problem.I don't beleive that they don't spook easily.I use some pretty stought gear and always seem to do OK.<BR>I have heard from old timers, don't know for sure,that the reason that a males mouth is thicker and wider than a females is because the male burrow the nest for the female to lay eggs into.

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Guest

Thanks for the reply fishhead! going to give live bait a try this year.Hope it quits raining so the river will go down. It seems as the most logical reason for the mouth difference that I have heard so far. Any other opinions?Thanx------------mallard

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