Why do Catfisherman Cast Out so Far?

Why do Catfisherman Cast Out so Far? No one knows.

catfisherman cast out too far

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Secrets to Catching Biggest Walleye

Secrets to Catching Walleye over 27″ is that many times they show up in places where you don’t want to go back to. Like if you get ready to leave an area and you catch a big one way off the structure, a place you won’t fish again. Or you get to a spot and drop a jig in way ahead of the spot and you drop it right into a big fish’s mouth, and you won’t go back to fish that again because there was nothing there. Or you’re making a pass and get off course or extend the pass and just as you turn around you catch a big one. Or you fish around some wood, catch a big one and then can’t fish it again without getting snagged. I see these things happen over and over. I have seen the DNR radio track big fish and find them on flats between wingdams where no one fishes. They may show up really shallow, or really deep. They may be in slack water or in raging current.

The hardest thing for me is to extend my passes, you end up wasting a lot of time, but then one day a big walleye will reward your efforts. Some of my biggest fish at lake erie have been accidents, I run into a quick rise in depth and before I can get the lines reeled in I catch a big walleye, sometimes on every rod! Try to kep on this and you will be losing a lot of lures for nothing. When I troll lake erie I keep one line in about 6′, another half way down and one close to the bottom,,which may be 3′, and big fish show up at any depth. It can be a mistake to key in on a few fish, because the biggest fish don’t follow crowds, they go out on their own and that’s how they get big without being caught.

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Mississippi River Still High

I don’t like fishing the tailwaters but with this high water there isn’t much else this time of year. Now we got more rain so it may rise again or slow the receding levels. The flow is at 70,000 fps at fulton, it should be about 35,000. Wingdams are possible but you’d have to run a kicker motor and use heavy weights. Not my type of fishing. So I have been hitting the rock quite a bit for something to do. Fishing hasn’t been good, they really need to stock that lower pool, but it’s something to do. I heard they are biting at dixon dam but expect crowds. It’s been a terrible Fall for photos and fishing. I may have to do some ice fishing this year to make up for the lost Fall fishing.

Here is some rock river photos from this week:

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Best Walleye fishing Rock River

They do stock some pools on the Rock River, like the pool below Dixon, and pools above it. Contrary to fish stories put out by some unreliable sources, the best fishing on the pool below Sterling is around Phrophetsown. That’s where the best Flathead fishing is as well. The further down river you go, the better the fishing for Crappie, Bass and Walleye. Some Walleye to migrate to the dam in the spring but most get caught and kept so they don’t spawn or return the next year.

The best Bass fishing is also around P-town. Here is what the DNR says:

“Walleye are stocked each year into the Rock River to provide a quality sport fishery for this species. Fishing is generally good below the dams and at the mouths of the tributaries. Walleye ranging in size up to and over the state record weight have been caught in recent years in the upper Rock River and the Pecatonica River, a tributary of the Rock near Rockford. A survey conducted in the fall of 2014 near Dixon found a catch rate of 1 fish/ minute with a total of 101 fish of all sizes collected in one hour, well over the target rate for stocking success. The largest collected was just over 3 pounds. Anglers regularly report catching memorable-size walleye from Sterling up through Rockford. Best fishing for walleye is in the upper Rock River, north of Rockford, however anglers sometimes report good fishing near Dixon and at Prophetstown State Park. Regulation: Walleye, Sauger, or Hybrid Walleye – Wisconsin state line downstream to the Sears and Steel dams at Milan: 6 either singly or in combination; 14” minimum length limit. Walleye, Sauger, or Hybrid Walleye — Sears and Steel dams downstream to confluence with Mississippi River, State of Illinois (Rock Island County): 6 fish daily creel with no more than 1 walleye greater than 27” in total length; 15” minimum length limit with a 20-27” protected Slot Length Limit.”

“Smallmouth bass are common and abundant in the Rock River. A survey conducted in the summer of 2014 found very large numbers of young fish, indicating an excellent spawn. The catch rate was low for the larger fish though, (> 7”) with a rate of 0.6 fish/minute, but the catch rate of 1.2 fish/minute for all sizes was within the target rate. The overall number of adult fish (>11”) collected was a little low, with only 28% of the population in this size range, but this rate has increased slightly as compared to the survey of 2013. Prophetstown had the best number of larger fish with 44% of the adult smallmouth collected in this area > 11”! With the strong year classes produced in 2012, 2013, and again in 2014, the number of larger fish should improve significantly in the near future. Best fishing areas are in South Beloit, below the dam in Dixon, and downstream of Prophetstown State Park. Regulation: 6 black bass, singly or in combination, with no more than 3 smallmouth bass in the daily creel; 14” minimum length limit for smallmouths. Note: There is a closed season on smallmouth bass. All smallmouth bass caught between April 1 and June 15 must be immediately released alive and in good condition back into the waters from which they came.”

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Fishing Tournament Weigh-ins are Misleading

When guys hear about someone weighing weighing in a heavy stringer or fish, they think they must have a great spot full of big fish and everyone tries to figure out where that spot is. It can be maddening, I know, it’s happened to me and I did good in a lot of tournaments and knew better. You picture 2 guys going to a spot and pulling in big fish all day, but 99% of the time that isn’t the case. Instead you have 2 guys standing up working hard all day waiting for 6 bites, and most times that’s all it takes, 6 bites, 6 fish and win the tournament. Of course it’s usually more than that, but they just need the 6 good bites to win. Most times they don’t get them in one spot, no, they catch a fish here and there. When 2 guys are working hard all day it would be hard not to catch 6 fish. But things happen, muddy high water, fishing pressure, tournament pressure, fish moving, people fishing your best spots, a lot of things can go wrong.

People think that since I used to fish tournaments and do well, and guided out, that I always catch fish and know where the fish are, but I don’t. If I catch a couple, I’m fine with that, I just enjoy getting out. I don’t chase the hot bite like so many others do. The fish do a lot of moving and it is hard work to keep up with them. I don’t want to work, I want to have fun, get away from it all and watch and enjoy nature.

I like looking around. If I see boats, I go the other way. That is why I get so angry when they follow me. I am not catching a lot of fish, I am trying to get away from people. I like looking around for new spots, spots where no one else fishes. There isn’t fish in those places, but if they look promising I keep going back and checking on them. I do have go to spots where I can catch a couple to make it worth my while, and yes I get angry when people spy on me and try to clean those spots out. But then it isn’t worth going back and I will just go somewhere else and look around. Then when people follow me there too, it isn’t any easier to take.

The guys who chase fish stories are sitting on fish and just not catching any, so they worry about everyone else. well most times the fish just aren’t biting. If fish were always biting there wouldn’t be any more fish. I would recommend people not be so greedy, and be happy to catch a couple. If you want a lot of fish, stick with bluegill or catfish.

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