Game & Fish
You Are Here:  Game & Fish >> Texas >> Fishing >>Catfish Fishing
Jug Your Way To North Texas Catfish
One sure way to catch catfish this month doesn't require a lot of finesse. Listen up as the pros tell how it's done. ... [+] Full Article
>> 10 Tips for Taking July Catfish
>> Run A River For Catfish
>> Going for Big Texas Cats
>> Texas' Best Catfishin'
>> Texas Sportsman Home
photo of the week
This Week's Photo:
Look who bagged a 160-pound black bear during a hunt near Kokadjo, Maine, near Moosehead Lake...
[+] Enlarge Photo

Get A Grip On Frog-Lure Fishing!

[+] MORE
>> Top Fishing Lures For 2008
>> 5 Great Catfish Baits
>> Power Tactics For Papermouths
>> Flashers & Flies Fit For Kings
North American Whitetail
North American Whitetail
A magazine designed for the serious trophy-deer hunter. [+] See It
>> Petersen's Hunting
>> Petersen's Bowhunting
>> Wildfowl
>> Gun Dog
Shallow Water Angler
Shallow Water Angler
The nation's only publication dedicated to inshore fishing, covering waters from Texas to Maine. [+] See It
>> In-Fisherman
>> Florida Sportsman
>> Fly Fisherman
>> Game & Fish
>> Walleye In-sider
Guns & Ammo
Guns & Ammo
The preeminent firearms magazine: Hunting, shooting, cowboy action, reviews, technical material and more. [+] See It
>> Shooting Times
>> RifleShooter
>> Handguns
>> Shotgun News
Texas Sportsman
Cash In On Summer Cats

Tawakoni cats will on average run much lighter than those you'll catch at Fork -- usually by about a pound. But the lake does surrender a brute every now and then. In January, in fact, a new lake-record rod-and-reel blue cat, a fat fish just over 70 pounds, was harvested there.

Ed Snelson -- (936) 876-4324 -- has never landed a 60-pound catfish on a rod and reel, but he and his trotlines have caught a fair share of rotund cats. At one time Snelson held the record for flatheads at Sam Rayburn with an 82-pounder he hauled out of the Angelina River north of the Highway 147 bridge.

During the summer, Snelson guides rod-and-reel catfish trips at Lake Sam Rayburn. In July, he likes to fish over baited holes in water 18 to 25 feet deep, spending most of his time in relation to underwater sloughs and the Angelina River channel.

continue article

The guide offers group trotlining trips to Toledo Bend -- a priceless opportunity for the inexperienced trotliner, because if ever there was a master linesman, Snelson's one. Bring along a big cooler if you make the trip, because when Ed shows up at Bill's Landing, the fish cleaners run for cover. And with good reason: On Snelson's best trip last summer, his 12 heaviest cats weighed 482 pounds! Last year, one of his clients booked four three-day trips -- and the least successful of those outings resulted in 600 pounds of cats!

"It's really a neat deal for people who like to eat fish, or have never run trotlines before," Snelson said. "I'll give them some instruction on how to make sets and how to run the lines. Once they see how it is done, I run the engine and let them run the lines. They always have a ball."

On Snelson's best trip last summer, his 12 heaviest cats weighed 482 pounds!

Snelson's trotline trips are for two nights minimum for up to three people. Fish cleaning is available for a nominal fee.

Rod-and-reelers shouldn't expect to load the boat with 40-pounders at T-Bend at any time of the year, but according to Charlie Shively, owner of Bill's Landing in Strong, limits of frying-sized channel cats and blues weighing upwards of 10 pounds each show up in angler creels frequently.

Shively says that hand-liners can opt for a couple of approaches. To take small channel cats, he suggests, fish vertically over baited holes along the edges of the Sabine River with stink bait or cut shad.

Most of the larger blue cats at T-Bend are caught by drifting cut shad or perch over shell ridges in 8 to 15 feet of water. Shively likes to fish his baits Carolina-style in combination with 20-pound line and a stout hook. He'll sometimes add a small piece of Styrofoam to the line just above his bait, providing the bait with lift while helping to keep it suspended off the bottom and away from snags.

East Texas is home to a number of other notable catfish lakes -- among them Cedar Creek, Palestine, Livingston, Richland-Chambers, Monticello, Lake O' The Pines and Wright Patman -- and at these, just about any of the aforementioned tactics will work. Additionally, a number of rivers are well worth your checking them out. The Sabine, Trinity, Angelina and Neches yield outstanding catches during the summer months. The best bite usually occurs when low water levels push the fish into the deeper holes usually found in sharp outside bends.

Catfishing buffs can test their skills against others who share the passion at the 2nd Annual Lake Fork Big Catfish Splash; taking place July 16-17 this year, it's presented by Sealy Outdoors and Lake Fork area merchants. Tournament headquarters is the Minnow Bucket Marina.

The tournament will follow a format similar to that used for the McDonald's Big Bass Splash events, except that catfish will be the target species. The event's strictly a rod-and-reel affair -- no trotlining or jugging.

This year's tournament will pay $48,000 in cash and prizes, including boats for the two heaviest cats of the event. There also will be five cash prizes paid out each hour for five heaviest fish. The top prize each hour is $500; fifth place gets $100.

The entry fee for the tournament is $60 per person for one day, $100 for both days. For more information, contact the Minnow Bucket Marina at (903) 878-2500 or Sealy Outdoors, 1-888-698-2591.

page: 1 | 2

[Featured Title]
Shallow Water Angler  
Shallow Water Angler
The nation's only publication devoted to inshore fishing, covering waters from Texas to Maine.
 *See the Site
*Subscribe to the magazine
[Features From Shallow Water Angler]
>> Complete the Illusion
>> Make It a Mondo Mullet
>> Solitude & Shallows - Chandeleur Island
>> South Carolina Creates Second Inshore Reef
* Subscribe to the Shallow Water Angler
[All Titles]