Editor’s Note: Sure, fishing is fun – being out on the water, relaxing and enjoying your surroundings. But catching something is even better. Here’s a rundown of summertime fish to fish for and the techniques for catching them. Fishing is more fun when your pole is bent. When I go fishing, I like to catch something. Of course, I enjoy a sunrise, birds singing and beholding the beauty of God’s creations. However, I don’t have to get up at 4:00 am, drive 50 miles and get sunburned to do that. When I put a bait in the water, it is with the firm resolve that at any instant I will be waging war with some kind of fish. I’m not an angling purist. I prefer a bent rod to smelling the roses or taking only one species of fish. Even when I go bass fishing. I often will take along a few jugs for cats, a bucket of minnows for crappie, some worms for bream and a fly rod with a popping bug that will catch anything that swims and an ultralight rod rig with a jig to be ready if I see a school of white bass surfacing. This week we’re looking at ways to put fish in your ice chest.
If God ever created a fish that needed to be eaten, it’s the catfish – one of the tastiest mouthfuls that swims. One thing I enjoy about catfishing is that I can capture catfish while doing something else. Many states permit jug-fishing for cats, limb-lining for cats, set-poling for cats, and/or trotlining for cats. Any and all of these methods will and can produce catfish. Then, once you have your catfish lines out, you can do some other kind of fishing to help fill-up your cooler. But before you try any of these catfishing techniques, check with your state’s Wildlife Agency for special regulations pertaining to trotlines, limb-lines, set hooks, etc.
Personally I prefer to set-out jugs, using small quart or even pint bottles, 6-18 feet of line (depending at what depth the cats are feeding), a lead shot, and a No 1 Eagle Claw pattern 84 catfish hook. For bait, I like crawfish, minnows, shad, chicken hearts, beef kidneys and/or cut bait liquid soaked in catfish scents. The catfish will follow its nose to the bait. When the jug stands up, I know there’s a fish on the line.
To learn more about fishing for catfish, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Catfish Like a Pro,” available in Kindle and print at https://amzn.to/2LNt0dK. You may have to cut and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of this book for free and hear 10% for free).