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Mankato Beginer cat fishing


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I moved to mankato a couple years ago. I want to fish for catfish the big ones and i have never fished for the big ones before. So I am looking for some advice on where to try and tactics. Help would be greatly appriciated.

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Now that the river is dropping give it a go. I like where the blue earth and MN river pour together. Get a fairly heavy rod and reel and a 2-4 oz sinker and a 7-10" bullhead and see what happens. I suggest maybe a campfire and a sixer incase nothing bites. smile If you don't have heavier gear maybe try some cutbait and see if some channels will bite.

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Is that right at the park where they sled down the hill in the winter?

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Yes, works in a pinch (I say pinch because most guys use them for live bait and won't cut them up unless they are small).

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can you only catch big cats after dark? would they bite on stink bait or dead bait?

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If your could sled down that hill and right into the river you'd land in good fish territory. I don't fish there(I try to find less pressured areas), but i always launch the boat and cruise downstream to the confluence. I see a lot of people fishing in the blue earth just before it enters the MN river, but they really should move down stream 100 yds. My side imaging lights up with fish in that stretch of river. There are 3 wing dams which start where the trees end and are spread out about 50yds or so.

Live bait or cut bait...SOmething will tug.

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thanks truth any advice is welcomed. use to fishing for eyes and panfish so river fishing is new to me. i want to catch and release a big one and have fun.

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If you can't find bullheads try using suckers. I have had good luck on dead suckers this year. Most are caught just right on the bottom but caught a 25 pounder on sunday using a dead sucker suspended about 3-4 ft. Was actually fishing for pike but managed to land one heck of a fighting fish. I have caught some nice gar on suspended dead suckers as well. For some reason i can't catch anything on live bait but after that sucker is dead they love it. Hint: Try finding whirlpools or where two currents meet thats been landing some nice 10-15 lbers continuously for me.

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Rather than re-post tons of information, I'll just link to a couple threads in the catfish forum on this site that you can read through. There is a TON of information there.

There's a catfish for beginners thread that Chris Hanson put together a few years back with a TON of general information on how to start.

http://www.hotspotoutdoors.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1348927/Catfishing_For_Beginners

There's a tip and tricks section too that can be very useful too:

http://www.hotspotoutdoors.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1846430/Catfishing_Tricks_Tips_Pics_Se

Good luck.

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There are no cats in the Mn...you have to go to pool 2 of the miss.

That is just the meaniest looking flat! (avatar) Rushing.

Looks awesome!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So far the past two outings I've caught a couple 20 inch flat heads and one 30 inch channel cat. I've used large bull heads and had so many short runs then they drop it didn't know if the bait was too big for the fish there, or if just to big period. Had better luck the second outing using chubs and shinners the smaller ones. any advice?

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Sounds like your doing it right now its justa matter of time. I personally like creekchubs after the spawn over bullies but I will use them.

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Not every bite/run is a flathead and never worry about having too big of bait within legal limits of course.

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Sounds like you're doing things right. During spawn, small flatheads are the norm. Later this month and into August, more bigger fish will come out to play. Creek chubs and suckers (live) and even cutbait all work well later in the year.

Short runs that don't end up with a hookset could easily be gar or turtles messing with your bait.

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Not every bite/run is a flathead and never worry about having too big of bait within legal limits of course.

+1

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I keep trying to find better places to fish from shore. Fished a down tree last weekend and next i think will be a bridge if i can find easy access. Is rapid dam any good? fond some nice fishing spots but their in parks that are closed sunset to sunrise bummer.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Luckily we don't have large open areas of ice that break away, such as on Red Lake.   Stay safe and warm.
    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
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