Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Early Season Catfish Plan

I love it when a plan actually works like I hope it will.
Its been a couple weeks since the ice finally melted off the local ponds/lakes.  We've had a few warm days over the past week, finally.  Last night and this morning, we got our first decent RAIN of the season.  The rainstorms didn't last long, but the rain came down hard when it did.
I thought...hey, the runoff should bring some much needed water into the local ponds.  One fish that really likes water flowing into a pond is Channel Catfish.
So...my hope was to try and catch some catfish on flies during my lunch hour today.  I had the pond and the spot picked out in my mind.
Admittedly, the deck was somewhat stacked against me...There USED to be some large catfish in this pond, but I had not even SEEN a catfish in this particular pond during the past 3 years.  And...catfish LOVE warm water, and the local ponds are still pretty cold.  Add to that this storm front is bringing cold weather back.  They've even put possible SNOW in the forecast two days from now!
Sometimes, catfish can be extremely picky about what they will strike.  Sometimes they'll hit anything.

Today...well...Although I was dreaming of catching a catfish, I was flyfishing for crappies and bluegills like I usually would.  The area of the pond I had decided to target did have a trickle of water running in, was very muddy, and the water in the pond was high enough to cause some current from its outflow.

I used a chartreuse microjig @ 18" below an indicator.
I missed some lazy strikes.  The first solid hookup with a fish turned out to be...a Channel Catfish!!!  Hooray!!  At 14"-15" range, it was probably the smallest catfish I've ever caught in this pond.  But it looked very healthy.

I was hoping I was onto something...but it could VERY easily have been a fluke.  Maybe a dozen casts later, the indicator sank again.  Fish on!  And...  Another catfish!!!
It was roughly the same size as the first...so I'm guessing they are the same year-class of fish...and may have either been spawned in the pond, or stocked by the City or other interested parties.  Regardless, I was VERY happy to find some catfish in this pond again, and catch them on my fly rod.

Well...that was it for catfish, in the short time I had available.  I did miss a few more strikes, and landed two more fish.
One was this nice 11" Crappie:

And the other was this NICE 8" Green Sunfish...which had just a HUGE belly on it:
All things considered, I was pretty excited about today's lunchtime flyfishing excursion.  :)


  1. Look at that fat hybrid! And wowza on the catfish. Can you do me a favor and send me a pic of your microjig?

  2. Ha ha! Not a Hybrid Sunfish...it is actually a pure-strain Green Sunfish. :)
    Anthony...I can't find your email address. There is a picture of the chartreuse microjigs in my blog from February...the link is this (you may have to cut & paste into your browser);

    You can vary the materials...My main colors are the chartreuse, and also a metallic gold chenille body with natural grizzly marabou, and a silver metallic chenille body with natural grizzly marabou, and an all black. I like using red or orange thread for the collar.