Ron’s Fishing Tips and Stories: Add Some Variety to Your Fishing
This week, let’s look at a variety of fishing other than just bass fishing. Of course bass fishing is my favorite type of fishing but since I’ve had the opportunity to bass fish Mexico and its wonderful lakes over the past 37 years, I fish for different type of fish here in the states. I highly recommend to all fishermen that they change it up from time to time.
Currently, Ron Jr. and I are fishing for channel catfish on Cedar Creek Lake and Richland Chambers Lake which are close to where we live. We try and go 2 to 3 times a week this time of the year (daylight to 10 am) when it is cooler. Man, are we having a ton of fun and filling the freezers full of great eating fish for this winter to go with our backstraps, quail and dove.
Here is what we are doing…. We get up at 5 am and drive 6 miles to the power plant lake at Trinidad, Texas. Remember, that’s the Lake I told you about where the first Florida bass were stocked in 1972 before they were put in the public lakes of Texas. The first African Tilapia were also stocked in this lake so the Dept. of fisheries could study them before putting them in other lakes. We take our cast nets and about 6 am the threadfin shad start moving and in 15 minutes we have enough bait to fish that morning.
We then launch our 18 ft Xpress catfish boat at Star Harbor ramp and usually we have our first catfish in the boat within 15 to 20 minutes. We have 2 methods we use, but if there is a nice breeze we drift fish over the numerous humps out in the middle of the lake. In March and April we were fishing in 2 feet of water with corks along the sea walls but after the catfish spawned we had to move deeper. Currently we are catching our fish in 19 to 25 feet using the fresh threadfin shad. We rig up with 20 lb test P-line or Izor line rigged Carolina style with a 1oz egg weight and a brass swivel and a 6 inch leader. My favorite hook for these smaller type channels is a wide mouth #4 or #5 gamakatsu hook. If you drift fish most of your fish will run from 1 1/2 lb. to 2 lb. which is my favorite size fish to eat. We skin the fish and fry them whole in hot peanut oil (375 degrees). Take a fork and rake the meat away from the backbone and you will think you have died and gone to heaven. Don’t use catsup or you will miss the truly great flavor of one of the world’s best eating fish.
This coming Friday I will take my daughter Mary and we will get on one of the 20 foot humps and drop a weight to hold the boat. Then I will spread out some soured maize around the boat and then we will fish straight up and down. It is not unusual to catch a 2 person limit of 50 in 3 hours.
This kind of fishing is a great change up for bass guys and a ton of fun for those that are just learning about fishing. Since we catch sometimes a limit we may catch just as many that won’t measure, which means something is biting the hook all the time. That is great for kids but you will need to take the fish off for them as a stick from a catfish fin is no fun for anyone. Try it sometime as you may find it to be as much fun as I do!
Good luck with your fishing and wear that life jacket.