Monday, August 24, 2009

To the River!

I decided last night to take a break from all the packing and moving. I absolutely hate moving, and I've found myself doing it two times a year for the past 6 years. My friend Justin was back in town, so we decided to do a little catfishing on the river for a relaxing way to end the evening.

When we got to the river, we found the water to be extremely low. There were exposed sandbars in the river that I haven't seen for years. The channel itself was maybe 6-7 feet at best. There was also very little current in the river. This made it nice for us because we didn't need a lot of weight to hit the bottom of the river and keep our bait stationary, but I would like a little current in the water to attract fish downstream to my bait. Despite the conditions, we decided to fish anyway.

Our bites were few and far between, but I did manage to snag into a decent channel cat after dark. This cat weighed in at 6 pounds. It is a little hard to see in the picture, but this fish was freakishly thin. The head and mouth on this fish was huge! In my opinion, this fish should have been topping out at close to ten pounds. Its length and head size tells me it was an older fish that should have weighed much more than it did. I'm not sure exactly what is causing this fish to be so thin. I think it could be the water level of the river. When the water begins drying up, fish cannot freely swim up and down stream. It is like they become stuck in a puddle. Pretty soon, the food supply begins running out and the fish starve. Hopefully we get some rain soon to put more water back in the rivers and free some of these larger fish.

Poor Justin! The only fish he caught all night was a small drum off a nightcrawler.

I'm using an interesting bluegill rig for my catfishing. I believe I'm heading back out to the river this evening to try my luck again. I'll make a new post tomorrow on the rig and my luck from tonight.

I hope everyone is taking advantage of the late Summer weather. Take some time off and enjoy a sunny evening of fishing! (And don't forget your camera at home!! It is a great time of year to get beautiful outdoor photos!!)


  1. Paul, nice job with Mr. Whiskers there! Interesting comments you made on the condition of the fish. I am curious also. If you come up with something else let me know.

  2. I think you're probably right about the condition of the fish. It definitely looks like the water levels are affecting his food supply. If you find out something different, let us know, because we're all curious.

  3. The thin condition of this fish could also be due to a late spawn for the catfish. During the spawning process, the fish tend to not eat for long periods of time while they guard their nests. A late spawn, mixed with the low water conditions, could easily be starving this fish. I did release it back to the water, and I hope it can find some form of sustenance soon.