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LPCrowRiverFisherman

Hutchinson Area Catfish

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LPCrowRiverFisherman

I've been wondering if anybody else in this area fishes for Catfish, and if so, what are your favorite lakes in the area? Yes, the river does have many catfish but that is common knowledge, they are much easier to pinpoint in the river. What about those lake Catfish.

I started my Catfishing addiction on the river, but it led me to look for different lakes that had fishable populations. Lakes that I focus on are Swan and Winsted. Each lake has its own characteristics and the fish are located in the different areas because of these differences. The catfish seem to focus on current areas, rocks, and windblown shorelines. Fish tend to be located closer to shore after heavy rains looking for food washed in, and in mid-summer I have noticed the catfish like to hold tight to the steepest mid-lake drops.

Are there any other lakes in the area that you have fished and caught some nice catfish, if so what kind of structures or situations have you found to hold high amounts of catfish?

I will periodically report what is going on with the catfish situation througout the summer and see how my reports compare to others.

Right now, with this strange spring/summer so far, patterns have been hard to put together. So far if you can fish current or windblown shores, they have been most productive to me. The catfish don't seem to have yet reached there summer patterns yet.

Here's a picture I'd like to share, I think the picture is more impressive than the fish, but it's still a nice 9 or so pound fish. This fish was caught off a bit of a sandbar, that tops out at 3' and drops to about 6', caught on a chunk of rotten pheasant.

8935795189_5ef7deb628_z.jpg

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workin4bait

Zero replies?

Well if it swims I fish for it,so I have targeted catfish a few times,but have caught many more fishing for other fish.

I hope I do not give somebodies double secert lake away,but here is what I know to be true.

Winsted lake has some decent fish in it and according to the D.N.R.high numbers too.

Ann lake was stocked in the 1980's and I used to hear reports of catfish being caught,but not since the big flood 10-12 years ago.

Dog lake was stocked in the 80's also,I have talked to people who were fishing catfish out there,they say,"they do not catch much",but they must get some because they are still trying. A couple of years back somebody found a large cat floating just after iceout,that news made the local paper.

Waverly[big and little];there was a picture in the local paper 2 winters ago of a catfish caught through the ice on big waverly and a co-work told me he and some of his buddies fish for cats on little waverly often.

Howard lake;I have caught 2 and one of my daughters have also caught 1 out on Howard lake.They ranged from about 3 to 9 pounds,was quite surprised when I pulled the first one up.

Cokato lake:I have not caught any on Cokato,but know people who know people who hit it pretty hard.

Collinwood lake is quite possibly the lake I have caught the most catfish on.I know it was the first lake that I caught catfish on crankbaits.

Big Swan lake;I just started fishing Big Swan about 4 years ago. I have caught a few on crankbaits here also and seen others targeting catfish.

Swan lake;it has to be one of the most known lakes for catfish,and the only lake I have actually targeted cats on.

Hope this gives you other places to try.

workin'

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jmg

If I remember correctly, The DNR stocked many of the area lakes with Channel Catfish back in the early 80's to help control the Bullhead populations, which seems to have worked pretty well. We have caught quite a few "Kitties" of good size in Marion, Collinwood and Big Swan. 2 years ago, the largest we had out of Marion was over 8 lbs. and my wife caught a 4lber. out of Collinwood 2 yrs. ago, but my brother and I saw one come out of Collinwood a few yrs. ago that was over 15lbs. on the scale. Have caught several out of Big Swan in late fall fishing for walleyes with jigs and minnows. They sure feel nice and solid when you set the hook into one of the bigger ones. great fighting fish.

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clayton08

I usually just fish the minnesota nothing like catching a 40 lb flathead or bigger. If you wanna catfish mine as well go big. Went out friday got a 30lber and a 8 lber. Channels are fun but the big ones are better.

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perry p

Channel cats are one of my favorite species! the season never closes either. Big Swan and Cokato lakes are good. Any lake connected to the Crow river will hold catfish.

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Brad B

Perry's right any lake that is hooked to a river system will most likely have a channel catfish population. look at the Horseshoe Chain(sauk river) by Cold Springs & Richmond. It was stocked years back and is now a premier catfish fishery. cat fishing in the summer is all fun and stuff but it is even more of a rush when you ice fish for channel cats. it is hard to get them to start up the hole sometimes and that makes it more challenging.

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LPCrowRiverFisherman

When fishing is tough take what is given. The heavy rain we had about a week ago made the river rise causing certain areas to flood. The last couple days I have been fishing a flooded area with a culvert. The area is connected to a creek in a way and therefore the water level rises and falls with the creek and river. The area I have been fishing has a culvert that goes beneath a road and as the water level falls current is pushed back towards the main flooded area and the catfish are feeding on baitfish in the current. Cutbait has by far been the best bite producer. Also got a nice Channel Cat on a swimbait while checking for Pike. It amazes me how aggressive they are. I have caught them on inline spinners, spinnerbaits, and now swimbaits.

Swimbait Cat

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Cutbait Cat

9089026149_3e6ef93633_z.jpg

View from the culvert

9089026061_16b3efc5c0_z.jpg

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clKiekhafer

LP,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. You have a nice way of writing your story.

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perry p

Great post LP! I always say that Catfish, particularly channel cats, are the most underated fish in Minnesota. My son thinks the fish in the second picture is a blue catfish, unless it's just a different color phase. Keep on keepin' on!

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EBass

Way cool LP - nice lil spot you have there. Add crankbaits to channel cats diet. Also, don't forget to try leechs. Ya I know I thought that was dumb to, until a kid that was the only person catching them gave me one. Sure enough I got bit.

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Rick G

Some nice fish you been catching smile and some first class info you are providing.

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LPCrowRiverFisherman

Catfish are on fire in the river. Been fishing at night lately, 8:30pm-9:30pm and 12am-2am have been best. Fishing log jams with deep pools. Tonight I got 8 from 8:30-9:30 and only 1 after that until 11:00pm. Missed as many as I caught. Size was anywhere from 2-9 pounds, all on cut creek chub. The pool is about 50 yards long and 3-6 feet deep with a few log jams scattered about. Quite the spot considering most of the Crow is less than 3 feet deep.

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workin4bait

That sounds like a real good time. I fished the river a couple of times this week,but I was fishing for those rough fish with the shiny eyes and white tipped tails[found a few too],but I do not want to hijack this thread,so enough about that.

Reading about the cats kinda makes me regret working nightshift[or working at all]!

workin'

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LPCrowRiverFisherman

I know what you mean, I worked my fair share of night shifts this summer, but it's time to go back to school soon, so I have some time now to do night fishing. By the way I also got a few of those shiny-eyed toothy fish too this week on cut bait.

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workin4bait

I gave it a try this morning and caught my first decent sized cat out of the Crow.The thing ate a jig and twister tail. I don't know how much it wieghed,but it was just over 27 inches and fat. That fish pretty much owned me,fishing with a walleye rod and 8 pound test.

workin'

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JeremyCampbell

I gave it a try this morning and caught my first decent sized cat out of the Crow.The thing ate a jig and twister tail. I don't know how much it wieghed,but it was just over 27 inches and fat. That fish pretty much owned me,fishing with a walleye rod and 8 pound test.

workin'

I know the feeling.I was useing 8lb too early this yr.I for some reason took the wrong rod with me that day.Anyways ,its intense when you have them hooked on when you have a smaller set up.

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clayton08

You ever get the chance drive a couple miles to the mn the flats are on fire and it is very fun Ill be out every night this weekend hopefully get that magical 50lb.

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workin4bait

Today I caught 3 cats: 1 on a Rattle Rap and the other 2 came on a white spinnerbait. To say I was surprised would be putting mildly. These fish were all 19 inchers.

workin,

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Avid Angler

You guys want to catch nice channels. Fish Swan lake by Silver lake.

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LPCrowRiverFisherman

You mean baby channels?

workin' you mind saying which lake you were on?

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Avid Angler

A friend of mine has caught some 20 plus inch fish out there using leeches.

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workin4bait

I was on Swan lake[the one by Silver Lake].

I saw a strange site while out there; loveseats float

Somebody dumped 2 loveseats into the lake and they floated to the other side.

Why do people think lake are dumps?????????????

workin'

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Jetdriver28

Good afternoon,

 

Ive been in the west metro area for about three years now as I moved up from Texas. I'm used to catfishing in Texas lakes, and am looking for some tips on how to find catfish in lakes here in the spring. I read that Big Swan is supposed to have a decent channel cat population. Are there any others in the area I might check out? Any help is appreciated, and I'll see ya on the lake! 

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Avid Angler

Swan by Silver Lake would be a good bet.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • jkrash
      I heard the guides are on to the walleye bite on the west end, finally the fish have returned and it appears there's a few good year classes.
    • Wanderer
      @Tom Sawyer Its not supposed to be that way.  Is it??  It stinks when everything else gets in the way of spending some time on the water. 😒
    • osok
      I couldn't agree more Jarrid,  modifying the possession/ catch limits would probably help preserve and enhance the fishery. Several years ago when I was still living in the St. Cloud area, there was a lake outside of Albany that a  couple of year classes of Croppies came into their own. After  the increased pressure of both one hard and the following open water season  that lake saw, it was like  the Dead Sea after that.  Personally, if I find an active school, I won't keep my limit, just enough for a meal with the family.   
    • Tom Sawyer
      To call this summer "busy", would be the understatement of the year for me.....
    • Wanderer
      Been out of town for most of my fishing as well.  Looking forward to being in the boat around home in the coming weeks.  It’s just never for the amount of hours I get on board for the out of town trips.  More like 2-4, maybe 6 hours at best here.  Never the marathon 12-15 hour days I’ve been blessed to have a few times this season so far. I did just walk down to the river to make a few casts for my evening fix and picked up a 17.5 smallie on a Pop R.  That’ll have to do for today. 😉
    • toddrun
      Was up on the big V for the last week with the family.  First time for all of us on the lake.  And for a newbie, it was really tough fishing all week long.  We did better than every group we talked to in our resort, but that is not saying much.  Because of weather and other things, we fished for on 5 days, and managed just about 5 limits of Walleye total.  Was a great week to be on the lake though, what a beautiful lake, and everything else was awesome.  Just need better information for next visit.
    • Borch
      Thanks for the compliment.  I've been up in the Cass Lake area the past few weeks.  Did very well on eyes but really struggled to find the crappies and I wasn't alone.   
    • osok
      This surprises me Borch.  5-6 years ago when I was  living in the St. Cloud area, if you looked up "Mr. Consistency"  in the dictionary, your mugshot would come up.  Things must be all whacked out. 
    • jmuff24
      I am a catfish guy, but until now, i was unaware that i can legally use small bullheads for bait. However, I have never actually targeted them before, so i am just wondering if anyone knows of any "hotspots" for bullheads (if there is such a thing)
    • Borch
      Pretty quiet in here.  I've been fishing out of town the past 2 weeks.  Hope to fish the area lakes this week.  Heard reports of a good day crank bite on the chain but not much else.  With the full moon coming up this week may try some evening trolling.  Anyone else having any luck?