Friday, June 21, 2013

Fathers Day Catfish At Lasalle Lake

As usual I was up before light and ready to go. Member Darkstar and I decided to go to Lasalle Lake for channel catfish and blue catfish.

Earlier in the week I bought a four-foot casting net for catching cat bait. I had some trouble learning to cast it right. I watched YouTube videos and got aggravated as this kid in this video made it look so easy!! I realized I was leading with the wrong arm. That made all the difference in the world. It really is not that hard. With and endless supply of shad in the ponds by me catching bait will never be an issue.

My partner’s johnboat is just big enough for this cooling lake. At the beginning of our trip a front was finishing going through and the waves were getting a little high so we tucked behind a shoreline were the wind just did not have enough room to produce big waves. We were in 13 feet of water. We did not see any blues here but we slowly built up a gigantic mass of small channel cats under us. In two hours we landed forty fish. We were using small pieces of chicken liver and the bite was fast and furious. It was a blast! I could not count to ten before I had a cat on. The chicken liver went as fast as our bite. We only had some scraps left and needed more bait. I had a very old package of cheese Magic Bait. We took the pre-made balls and washed them with the liver remains. It was disgusting but effective and added 20 fish to our day!

A funny thing happened in the mist of small channel cat madness. I set the hook and finally felt some decent weight on the line. We got excited and scrambled for the net. After a few exciting moments the fish was at the boat and with it a bit of shock. I had just caught a hybrid striper on chicken liver!!! The other weird part of this was the fish’s back appeared to be injured or deformed. To be honest if I had this fish’s issues, I would be eating whatever past in front of me as well.

The weather was finally stable and had left the lake almost like glass. Jason (Darkstar) wanted to search for blues, which we believed we could find in the deeper water. He watched his Lowrance intensely until we found a drop to 30 feet. We dropped two anchors preventing the boat from spinning or moving. We each had two rigs.  We had a modified wolf river rig on the bottom and we had slip float rigs set two feet of the bottom both loaded with the shad I caught earlier. The slip floats ended up being the hotter rig. I think better bait visibility and less drag or weight sensation improved our success.  We managed to score 7 blue catfish quickly, but all fairly small. The biggest was only about 17 inches. We were still looking for that big fish and the heat, hunger and fatigue after hours of fishing were starting to take it toll. Jason had his bottom rod in a holder when suddenly he got a drive by hit. His rod quickly bent then straightened back out. He set his float rod down grabbed his bottom rig and was waiting for a bite when suddenly we heard a short scream of drag, a loud bang, and a splash!!! His float rod got slammed while he was checking the other rod. The blue whale hit so hard that the rod slammed the side of the boat popped up in the air and flew into the abyss. It was so fast you could not even say “OH SH_T!”  We sat there stunned and could only imagine what was now towing his 100 dollar combo around the bottom of the lake. 

It was a long and fun Fathers day outing. We caught plenty of fish, had some great snacks the wife and kids packed, we had some great laughs, and now we have some great fish stories to pass on.

This weeks podcast has this story and more:

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