Learning the Secret to Catching Big Catfish on Jugs

Catching Catfish Only 2 Feet Deep in 100 Degree...

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Missing Shellcrackers and Crappie and Enduring a Cold Spring Night to Catch Catfish

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Editor’s Note: The last Friday in April, 2018, I received unbelievable pictures from my friend, fishing guide Tony Adams in Eufaula, Alabama. Tony sent me pictures of giant shellcrackers (redear sunfish), crappie that were longer than a 5-gallon bucket, and catfish that weighed from 10 to 30 pounds. “This is it!” I told Adams when I called him. “Now’s the chance to catch the Lake Eufaula trifecta of delicious-eating fish – shellcrackers, crappie and cats. I’ll leave on Monday, and we’ll slay them.” But I forgot what a good friend of mine once told me many years ago. “A fishing report is history and  tells you what’s happened yesterday. But it in no way influences what will be happening tomorrow or next week.”

When our shellcracker adventure was over, on late Monday afternoon, and we’d only caught one shellcracker that wasn’t exactly impressive, we decided to go check our catfish jugs that we’d put out before we started chasing shellcracker. By Monday night the temperature had dropped to below 50 degrees, and Tony Adams and I were both somewhat chilly, since the daytime temperature had been about 70 degrees. Although we did catch about four or five catfish that would weigh from 1-2 pounds, the weather change had apparently given the catfish lockjaw.

However, we did find one jug that was necked-down and bottom up with only a portion of the reflective tape on the bottom of the jug showing. As we approached the jug with the boat, the jug dove deeper into the water – so deep we couldn’t see the reflective tape as the jug went out of sight. The jug stayed down for 2 minutes or more, before it finally broke the surface. As we eased up to the jug in the boat, the jug sunk again. Finally, the third time the jug went under, Adams was able to get his hands on that orange jug. He quickly said, “This is a really-big catfish.” Those last words barely had come out of Adams’ mouth when the big catfish made a strong charge for the bottom, and the line snapped. By then, we’d checked all our jugs, and the weather was really getting cold.

We’d planned to crappie fish that first night, too, so Adams returned to the boat launch, made a quick trip to his house and picked up two warm jackets. I stayed with the boat, putting on my Gore-Tex rain suit to help keep the chill off while I waited for Adams to return. After eating a quick supper in the boat, we went into the darkness again to find one of Adams’ best crappie spots that he’d built. We fished until 1:00 am and didn’t get a bite. Adams finally said, “My Humminbird (www.humminbird.com) Helix depth finder is showing the structure. I can see every limb on every tree, and every reef I’ve sunk, but I don’t spot a single crappie holding there. We can check another place, but I believe this cold weather has shut the crappie down.” I agreed, and we made the decision to call it a night and return to fish for crappie the next morning.

You can contact Tony Adams at 334-688-7505, or [email protected]. He also has Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tony.adams.5477.

While in Eufaula, I stayed at Lakepoint Resort in the Alabama State Park (http://www.alapark.com/lakepoint-state-park), where the rooms have views of the lake, and the food is delicious. Contact the sales director, Sone Kornegay, at 334-687-8011 to learn more. Email [email protected] to learn more about Alabama Black Belt Adventures which cover fishing at Lake Eufaula.

To learn more about fishing for catfish, go to http://amzn.to/W900eu and for crappie, https://johninthewild.com/books/#crappie. For free copies of “The Catfish Catcher’s Cookbook” and “The Crappie Catcher’s Cookbook,” visit https://johninthewild.com/free-books.

Tomorrow: Enjoying an Awesome Spring Day of Fishing for Crappie and Catfish

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