Trophy Catfish Information

The trophy catfish season starts around mid November and ends around late February. This is a great time to tangle with a trophy fish on rod and reel. It’s common, on a winter day to catch a trophy blue cat that weighs 30, 40, 50, or 60 lbs or more. On average, in the winter months, I catch fish that weigh in the mid 30s to high 40s. Over the years, I have gathered enough knowledge to be consistent catching these big cats on rod and reel which allows my customers to catch their own trophy fish. It is priceless to experience the fight of a giant cat striping line off your reel when all you can do is hold on to the rod and reel. It’s an absolute blast to catch one of these monster cats on rod and reel. I have people ask a lot of questions about catching these big cats such as:

Why is the winter time the best time of year to catch these fish?

In the winter, the vast majority of the baitfish that are gizzard and threadfin shad head out to primarily the deepest water in the lake and suspend and group up towards the bottom. These big cats roam the open water some what like cattle. When the catfish locate these large schools of bait they begin to feed on them. Also, when the water temperature gets really cold it shocks a lot of the larger shad in the lake, they sink to the bottom and then the cats will go on feeding frenzies eating these larger shad. These blue cats are roaming in the open lake water using the underwater channels like we do highways in search of their next meal. These cats will mainly feed on the tops of humps, drop offs and flats in the deepest parts of the lake. Blue cats are always on the run. They follow schools of larger shad in the lake in order to get their next meal and maintain their massive body size.

In order to target these fish, I use my graph to find these large schools of bait because this is where the larger fish are. During each fishing trip in the winter, I will cover a large portion of the lake each day in order to locate the largest and most active fish that will be guaranteed to hammer the bait. In the winter, when fishing for these trophy cats, I only run four rods for several reasons. The first reason is I don’t want to the complication of becoming tangled. The second reason, is it’s more than likely to have two or three fish on a line at the same time and that can get really crazy if they are all over 30 pounds. On occasion, in the winter, we will do combo trips where we fish Hybrid stripers at the same time as the cats. sometimes the hybrids will be suspended above the cats feeding on shad while the trophy cats are below getting an easy meal.