The nights and evenings of summer peak are wondrous to behold. Moderate temperatures, brilliant sunsets, hushed breezes. All perfect accompanments to the catfish phenomonon that is sweeping through the state for a few weeks or more now.
We are, however, going to talk about cattin with a different slant than the usually lackadaisical lawn chair and cooler of brew of soda. Yes indeed boys and girls,we are going to talk safari here.
We are talking bruiser tackle, bigger fish and strikes so vicious your arm will feel like its been ripped from its socket.
Its all in the presentation and bait my friends, and there is no better time than the present to head to your nearest cat hole and find out for yourself.
Take along some crawlers or trout flies. They are going to be necessary to catch about a dozen panfish for cutbait. A cutting board is a necessity as well as a bait knife. No need to have anything fancy, just as long as its sharp.
Once you have the panfish, try to keep them alive as long as possible. Fresh cutbait is absolutely tops and even bait dead an hour or two is not as effective.
Any bottom rig is fine for cutbait presentations. Simply rig the necessary components up on your rod and then take one panfish, slice off the head, and cut the rest of the fish, fins and all, into strips one inch wide.. I use the heads of the fish to chum the waters so to speak and start calling the cats into the hole
I also use a Euro set rig which involves two "y" shaped pole holders stuck into the ground to keep the line and rod as close to the water as possible. I do this most often when the possibility of smaller cats is evident. But with cutbait, the smaller cats are still usually much bigger than conventional size cats caught with other forms of bait.
Lead weight sizes range from 3/8 to 1 1/2 oz. depends on the situation you are faced with. Cats aren't adverse to weight. Bigger cats don't care if you have a a weight the size of a car battery slung from your line. When they want something, they just take it and heavier weights just make them angrier.
Important thing to remember when using deadbait is to keep the drag set a little lighter than normal to allow the catfish some extra leniency when they take the bait. A big cat takes whatever he wants and when he wants and the light drag allows some forgiveness and alerts you immediately when one takes the bait.
There really isn't much to the tactic. Experience will be more productive than anything else I can tell you. The main thing for everyone who attempts this technique is patience. Big cats don't just happen. You have to work for them. But sooner or later, with cut bait, you will nail a real whopper.
Until next time
keep those lines wet
re: Cutbait Cats
I am a huge believer of cutbait no matter what season it is. I just wanted to let those trying this technique out know that if you're fishing a weedbed at dawn or later or if its just a really weedy lake, dont use any weight at all. just a chunk of meat has worked just fine for me. I have never caught any less than 14 catfish this year in any given night giving at least 3 hours of fishing time. By the way, carp chucks through the ice works great as well. good luck to all.
re: Cutbait Cats
you can cut the damaged eleeyt off the rod you have and replace it with another for about 12 bucks. go to the pro shop in your area and they should be able to line you out with a new eleeyt, epoxy and thread. just take your time and be careful removing the damaged eleeyt. you dont want to nick the rod with the razor blade. they do make left handed baitcasters ( thats what you call the ones that crank with your left hand.) they are less common, but most models are made in a left handed variation. you will most likely have to buy new to find one.penfishingrods.com/