(No, this isn't a blog entry about a recipe for cooking catfish. Its about a technique I've used a couple of times now on a certain public pond I fly-fish where the catfish have developed a taste for bread, thanks to a host of folks who visit the pond to feed the ducks.)
Headed to a different local pond tonight than the one posted previously (about the big catfish I caught on the Jumpin' Catfish Nymph).
Arrived at the pond fairly late...like 7:15pm or so. This is the pond Ben and I had used bread to chum up some catfish, which we then enticed to hit bread flies. I hoped to do something similar tonight.
I had fished the pond a couple times since fishing with Ben, but kept forgetting to bring some bread along. So, all I caught on those trips were bluegills and crappies. Tonight, I brought some hot dog buns!
Waiting for another angler to clear out, I tied on a white kiptail streamer that I had tied on a #6 hook. I had hits and follows from bluegills, but no takers. Also while waiting, a young family came down on the opposite side of the pond to toss bread to the ducks. No wonder the catfish here have such a fondness for bread!
When the time was right, I tossed out some hot dog bun chunks. Bluegills started attacking it immediately, like a swarm of pirhanas! It was only a few minutes before the BIG swirls showed up. I brought my streamer through the activity a half dozen times before THE HIT. I had a nice fish on, and since I didn't see the take, I was once again HOPING it was a grass carp. The fish went on some nice runs, and before I knew it, I was into my backing! How awesome is that?!?!
I will say I've caught a fair number of catfish from the pond on a variety of fly patterns over the past several years. Everything from bass-sized poppers to small nymphs and streamers when fishing for crappies and bluegills. Tossing bread out seems a bit like "cheating" to me. I admit I feel a little "weird" about doing it. But its exciting to see these big fish swirling right in front of you. I'm not using bread as bait, but as chum. I'm not feeding fish, I'm still fooling them. I'm stacking the odds in my favor, by bringing the fish to me and getting them in the feeding mood.
I've read an article or two recently about guys doing something similar when fly-fishing for sharks in saltwater....they'll chum the water to bring the sharks to them, then use giant bright-colored hackle-flies
to toss out. The sharks will then attack the flies. Its efficient.
If you have public ponds near you where folks have taken to tossing bread to the ducks/geese...you might want to give this technique a try! It can work on carp and catfish...and it should work on grass carp too. But those grassies seem ultra-wary of humans!