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Tips For Catching Fall Catfish
Looking for a prime spot to catch some catfish this month? Then you probably should check out a stretch of riprap at your favorite lake or stream. ... [+] Full Article
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Texas Sportsman
Texas' Triangle Of Catfish

Farther downstream at Lake Whitney, the action seems to be even more diversified. The lower end of the lake from Cowan Park to the bluffs near Harbor Master Marina near the dam produces great catches of big yellow catfish during the heat of the summer. Lines set at the mouths of King Creek, Steele Creek and across the lake near the state park also have produced many big yellow cats.

For channel catfish, the riverside area along Steiner Valley, Plowman's Creek and the upper Brazos and Noland River channels are great places to bait out stumps along the edges of the channels with soured grain. Night-fishing under lanterns along the banks of the creeks at Plowman, Mesquite, Steele and at Big Rocky also are great choices for ways to beat the heat while having excellent chances of catching channel catfish.

If you like to fish with ultralight tackle, try the rocky shelves beneath the bluffs leading into the entrance of Big Rocky Creek with earthworms rigged on a small hook and split shot weight. You can bait out the ledges before fishing, but chances are someone else already has sweetened the area ahead of you. It's just that popular of an area, but it consistently produces good catches for light-tackle anglers.

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Lake Belton is another of my favorites, but mainly for trotlining. Belton has a great population of channel catfish ranging from 2 to 3 pounds, and that makes it a great lake for setting two to three short lines at night during the hot summer months.

Lines baited with blood bait and then spiced with a coffee can full of soured maize poured over the area will keep you and your buddies busy not only all night long removing the fish but also for an hour or two after daybreak cleaning your catch!

Many trotliners prefer longer lines. For some, it is a matter of what the law allows. I like short lines, especially for channel catfish, set along newly flooded vegetation when available, and along the edges of narrow creeks during drier times.

For vertical fishing, punch baits will outproduce many other baits in the long run. I think that's because many of the top punch baits, such as Stick-It and others, include in their ingredients not only natural foods and attractants that have been ground up, but also cattails and other fibers that help keep the bait on the hooks for a longer period of time.

I prefer a 4-ought treble hook baited with punch bait about a foot below a barrel weight -- a sort of Carolina rig setup that puts the bait either on the bottom with the baited hook rising about a foot off the bottom in a slack situation, or lifting the weight a foot off the bottom to achieve a similar hook placement but on a tight line.

For drift-fishing, frozen or thawed shrimp are the standard. With the ever-popular earthworms, you often catch other species of fish, such as largemouth bass, white bass and freshwater drum.

Juglining for big blue catfish has increased in popularity in recent years, especially on some of the larger reservoirs. During the summer months, many of the larger blue cats are caught on juglines baited with cut or live shad and positioned just off the bottom in deep water in or on the banks of submerged creek and river channels.

The methods available to you for catching summer catfish are many, as are your choices of lakes, creeks and rivers. A day beneath a shade tree on a creek bank, drifting at night in a boat, running trotlines, juglines and limblines, or experiencing something new like fly-fishing with grasshoppers all are awaiting you this month in the Texas Triangle.

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