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I have done a few outings to the upper St.Louis River in the summer for some cats and had a blast! After recently reading the new main page post on icing cats i got very interested. I got the main jist of how to fish them, i personally have all the equipment needed (house, auger, vex, etc) to go out and fish them but, have nowhere to go??? I live right in duluth and was wondering if anyone could possibly name a lake within 20-30 miles or possibly want to go out fishing with me... Shoot me an email some time this week if interested, was thinking sunday the 19th (this sunday) for the outing. My email is [email protected] Again if you dont mind naming the lake thats awsome, or drop me an email about going fishing. Thankyou! grin.gif

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Hey kingkid:

No help on the lake, but if you're fishing the river for cats through ice, know that channel cats look for the deepest hole within a couple miles of where they hang out in summer. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of cats will gather in those few holes late in the fall and stay there all winter. Very few of them are active at any given time, but since there are so many congregated, there are always a few active enough to grab the bait. I have not tried this on the St. Louis. All my cattin' was done on the Red River near Grand Forks/EGF, but what was true of channels in that river will be true of channels in the St. Louis.

So get a good map and look for the deepest hole within a few miles upriver of the bay, and cats will congregate there. Might be close to the bay, might be far. And if the deepest area is in the bay itself, try there too.

Braided superlines are good thru ice for cats because they are narrower and offer less resistance against the current, so they get down there quicker and hold in current with less weight.

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Problem with the river and deepest water in the winter is the ice isnt safe in those areas. This year especially. Maybe some of the deep stretches above Walleye Alley and below water street would be ok. In all the years I have fished the river threw the ice I have never seen a cat caught threw the ice.

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Well, Northlander, I'm not surprised if you haven't seen a cat caught through the ice in the river. I don't know any walleye fishermen who look for the very deepest hole in a several-mile stretch of river and fish right against the bottom there with heavy jigs tipped with a big chunk of sucker or cisco. It's not the way to fish walleyes, but it's the way to fish winter river cats. There are some real bruisers in there, too.

As far as ice safety goes, a few fish simply aren't worth the risk.

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Steve for as many spots I have iced the river you would think I would have stumbled on a couple. Those Channel Cats will hit a jig n minnow just like a walleye. One of my favorite spots is right next to the deepest spot on the upper river and I get a lot of cats there in summer and fall but no luck in the winter. Maybe I need to get some Golden eye and try my luck? wink.gif

As far as big cats in the river my nephew got a monster last fall. Im guessing in the 15# class. Would have been one heck of a eye. grin.gif

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