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Old 01-28-2011, 08:51 AM
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Default channel cat

A dual purpose thread -
Trying to figure out how to post a pic, and seeking information on how to fish for these little scrappers.

Caught this little one on my 3wt while fishing for anything that would eat a nymph last year, and it got my attention! It sure didn't give up easily, and I knew I had something other than a crappie or bluegill hooked.
Not a big one, but for it's size it put up a battle. I'd sure enjoy hooking a few more of these.

Caught it in a deep hole (old stone quarry pit) where the outflow (concrete spillway) from our local public lake empties. It was raining lightly and the water flow was picking up, but still managable to fish. Dropped a PT nymph in a small eddy and it was a hard hit and a good fight!

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: channel cat

Knowing the bend that a little gill or sunnie can put into a 3 wt, I can imagine the algebraic curve that guy made in your 3 wt! Nice!

As far as finding others-- I can only offer this-- Anything that you'd throw to LM bass will take the cats as well--- you just have to slow your retrieve waaaaaayyyyy down.

(I am not joking about this-- EVERY time I have fished a clouser this last season, I caught a cat.... Don't know what it is-- but, literally, every time.... You might try a clouser. )

///edit/// I have never set out to catch cats-- just posting 'observations' about when I accidentally catch them. I've caught a few on nymph patterns as well as buggers.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: channel cat

Many folks don't consider cats as the predators they are, thinking them to be more of a scavenger. I've had success using wooley buggers, Clouser minnows, matukas, intruders, and various nymphs (for the smaller fish). My best channel cat to date was one caught on an intruder many years ago, of which my mom still has a photograph. Seems like it was 30" in length but I can't remember the weight.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: channel cat

I haven't caught more than a couple of channel cats on a fly, but got a nice one a couple years ago on a 4wt (size 13 boots ):


Click the image to open in full size.

I was fishing for bluegill, but that beast took a Green Weenie, and made several long runs. I was testing the local stream to see if the bluegill were biting, and it was late March. After catching it, I looked at the PA Fish Commission's website regarding channel cats. I can't find the info right now, but they basically said that channel cats prefer the same type of water as trout, and the same types of nymphs. The stream I caught the above cat in is loaded with some really large channel cats, and in huge numbers. I often stumble upon them while wading, and they aren't easily spooked. While wading, I've been able to get close enough to nearly touch some really large channel cats with my boot, and they're usually holding very close to a large rock. That doesn't mean they'll take a fly dangled in front of them, although
I usually back off and try.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: channel cat

Fishing at night at the mouths of large creeks where they flowed into the west branch of the Susquehanna River I caught a bunch of channel cats. When you get into a 20 - 24" specimen I had compared their response to being hooked to a very large brown trout or to some steelhead I've caught. They don't tend toward jumping but bore to the bottom and produce some substantial runs before you can drag them ashore.

After discovering them as a nighttime quarry I began to use sink tip lines and target them. If a trout was lurking about they were a bonus but the cats were more plentiful. For flies I found that you didn't need to be fancy, I got most fish using an all black woolly bugger on size 2 salmon hooks. If I still lived there I would be using black or brown bunny fur strip leach patterns close to the bottom.

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Old 01-28-2011, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: channel cat

I caught a 30 pound blue on spin tackle last year. Let me say that it would have taken at least a 10 weight to get him in had I had a fly rod. Amazing fighting fish they are.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: channel cat

We have a couple of guys here on the forum that have pretty well mastered the Cat on a fly. Darkcahill and Didgerido. I think they are both from the Winnepeg Manitoba area and fish the Red River. The first photo is of Darkcahill, and the second of Didgeridoo. I'd say that if you want get the best advice, PM these two guys. I know that Darkcahill uses smaller black leech patterns, not sure about Didgeridoo.

OK, I found where Didgeridoo said what he is using;

The cats seem to key in on size 2-4 wooly buggers, conehead marabou streamers or leeches, and pretty much anything buggy or leechy. In murky/muddy waters I found that bright colours worked best. I actually used a purple marabou fly with an orange conehead that just dominated the one night!

Another pattern that worked great had dumbbell eyes, a deerhair body with a palmered hackle (like a Bomber for atlantic salmon) and a marabou or hackle tail. I tied this up on a worm hook for fishing bass and it was virtually snagless.

nick

And what Darkcahill is using;

I usually use streamers. The Cats can be taken on WB in black and in olive, just about any color of Clouser will work but my go to fly to catch a lot of Cats and big ones is a brown DDH Leech. This fly has out produced every other fly I have used. I did do an article for American Angler called the Un-Trout and in it I did mention that you could use dries when a hatch is going on. A lot of anglers think that Cats are bottom feeders but they aren't. I have taken them during hatches with dries, pre hatch with nymphs and with the streamers.


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Last edited by Guest1; 01-28-2011 at 03:02 PM. Reason: add on
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: channel cat

i catch them on the ranch on leech/slumbuster-ish type flies
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: channel cat

I've caught most of mine on bottom, and a black version of this fly has done the best- http://www.grandrivertroutfitters.co...d/Redneck2.pdf

But I caught one this summer on a dry damsel. Pretty decent fish too-

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Downstream slack line presentation, he sucked it right down.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: channel cat

Jbbfly just sent me a PM that had a photo I feel fits here. Our catfish are well, bait next to what they have there. These are big enough to eat your baby....and your Dingo! Just when your Poodle thought it was safe to go back in the water.
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