Last year Aaron Shirley and I had a great time shooting a trophy channel catfish TV show with Tyler and Jason Howick. As everyone knows, in southern Ontario this year we have had a late-spring with unusual colder water conditions. In some cases this pushed back what was much earlier spring fishing. For example, on an average year channel catfish are already in the Lake Erie, ON tributaries in high numbers from the end of March to the end of May. This year though, it looks like the peak fishing time for them is right now!!
Tyler and Jason report. “Finally got the chance to get out a couple times this past week to fish Erie tributaries for some big channel catfish We were fishing from boat and shore. We caught a lot of cats using shrimp, cut-bait (chunks of shad, chub and white sucker), and live crawlers. We fished slip sinker and slip float rigs on 3/0 to 5/0 hooks with 30-50 lb braided line. Most of the fish were in the 6 -14 lb range, with the two biggest cats weighing in at 16 and 17 lb.!”
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the excellent channel catfish opportunities right now from the Grand River at Dunnville, ON, all they way to the Detroit River, Windsor and all tributaries in-between.
When it comes to gear, Gamakatsu makes excellent Circle and Octopus hooks that work great for channel catfish. Sufix 832 braid ranging form 30-50 lb. test is an ideal line to use, especially if you target larger channel catfish around submerged trees and other obstructions!