Aaron Shirley & I just had the pleasure of doing a trophy channel catfish TV show with Tyler and Jason Howick on one of their favorite Lake Erie, ON tributaries. We started fishing late, around 11am, but that did not affect our success. We fished out of the 18′ Riverhawk boat equipped with the Minn Kota 80 lb. thrust, Terrova AP, the Humminbird 800 & 500 series sonar, and Talon anchoring system. We headed about a mile upstream and than worked all of the runs and pools on the way down with the use of our electronics.
We used all of our electronics to locate the channel catfish holding on the current breaks and near under-cut banks in water ranging in depth form 4-7′ deep. Water conditions were excellent, visibility was around 8″, which is perfect for channel catfish.
We fished Gamakatsu hooks ranging in size form #7/0 down to #2 with slip-bobber rigs and Sufix 832, 20 & 30 lb. test braided line & Sufix 20 lb. test fluorocarbon leaders. Our rods of choice where the Rapala Magnum spinning series matched with the Rapala Xi large capacity spinning reel and the Rapala North Coast 11′ baitcasting rod matched with a Rapala baitcasting reel.
Tyler & Jason supplied the bait which consisted of cut-chunks of white sucker, creek chub. I brought some cut-chunks of juvenile gizzard shad and Aaron brought some jumbo shrimp. They all worked well and we caught enough channel catfish to produce a couple of trophy TV shows.
If you have not targeted channel catfish in tributaries, it’s awesome, kind of like drifting for steelhead using the slip-bobber rigs!
Tyler and Jason did an excellent job putting us onto the fish and helping us catch a bunch!!