Closely-Guarded Pennsylvania Catfish Fishing Secrets

March 13, 2010

While the state may not be the first destination that comes to mind for a successful excursion to the lake with your rod and reel, Pennsylvania catfish fishing is actually quite fulfilling in many area lakes and rivers.
Flatheads, bullheads, and channel cats can be found in abundance, and a trip to the nearest fishing hole can be a great family outing. Especially in recent years, with flatheads having appeared in the local waters from their native homes in the Ohio River and Lake Erie drainages in the western part of the state, Pennsylvania catfish fishing has grown in popularity.
In the middle Allegheny River, between Tionesta in the north and East Brady in the south, you’ll find a number of great flatheads and channel cats. This is due mostly to the location of a large warm-water fishery in the area, which spawns catfish as well as other warm-water dwelling species of fish.
In this area, the catfish will congregate upriver in the biggest, deepest pools they can find. There are several dredge holes in the area that make excellent gathering points for catfish. Pennsylvania catfish fishing in this area of the river can produce results both from the shore and from a boat, with inviting shore locations at Oil City, Tionesta, and Reno, where there are a large number of dredge holes (also known as eddies).
If you choose to boat this area, keep in mind that the middle Allegheny River is shallow and free-flowing, and you’ll probably want to opt for a jet-drive outboard or a non-powered boat like a kayak or canoe.
Pennsylvania catfish fishing is also popular in the lower Allegheny River, which consists of the area between East Brady to the north and Pittsburgh to the south.
This portion of the river is impounded by eight lock and dam systems and is 70 miles in length. Like the middle Allegheny, this section of water is home to both channel and flathead cats, though fishing here almost exclusively requires great knowledge and navigation, especially if you plan to fish from the shoreline.
Because shore fishing varies from one dam to the next, you would do best to stick to the tailrace areas below the dams to count on a good catch. Also check out the slack water areas on the lock sides of the dams, especially at the Rimer, Clinton, Freeport, and Mosgrove areas, where there are hydroelectric facilities on the opposite side that provide excellent low-level waters in August, fostering good fishing conditions.

Little-Known Missouri Catfish Fishing Spots and Techniques

March 3, 2010

When fishing the waters of Missouri, catfish fishing will produce any number of the three largest freshwater catfish in the country – blues, channels, and flatheads. You’ll find them in all sizes and in several different locations in the state.
Unfortunately, because of a number of environmental concerns (start with soil erosion and add pollution, gravel mining, and reservoir construction) have affected the bullhead catfish population, so while you can find a few bullheads large enough to consider in some of the prairie streams, you should not overly concern yourself with this species in this state.
However, Missouri catfish fishing can be found in almost any area of the state, especially if you are searching for small channel cats. In fact, most people who desire a quite catfishing excursion don’t even have to leave town to find a good catch. Light tackle angling is extremely popular because there are a lot of urban lakes that are stocked with channel catfish that are sizeable enough for harvest several times a year.
Most individuals living in the state are within a bus trip, bike ride, or even walk of a great Missouri catfish fishing locale. Ponds provide some of the best locations to catch small channel cats, with several impoundments provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation, including Binder Lake (Jefferson County), Crane Lake (Iron County), Blue Springs Lake (near Kansas City), and many more.
You should also check out warm water rivers for small channel cats, including the Elk River downstream from Noel, portions of the Mississippi River especially near St. Louis, and Big River in St. Francis County.
For larger channel cats in Missouri, catfish fishing is abundant mainly in the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. While the state record for pole and line channel cat fishing is nearly 35 pounds, you can regularly reel in 10- and 20-pounders in these areas. However, trophy-sized channel cats are minimal and rarely found within the state.
For the best chance of finding one of the larger specimens, fish the lower areas of the tributaries flowing into the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in May and June. You could also pay a visit to either Lake Jacomo or Nodaway County Community Lake, which are renowned for containing a greater number of large channel catfish than other areas of the state.
If you are searching for blues in Missouri, catfish fishing should concentrate on the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, or the Osage River, since the Missouri Department of Conservation doesn’t stock blue catfish outside of its native habitat any longer.
Find a slow or moderate current with shallow water that is preferably less than ten feet deep, and use river worms or bits of shad to attract the fish. For larger blue cats, target the deepest current-washed holes, using only shad or river herring to attract the trophy-sized catch.