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Month: October 2017

Tips on Lake Wylie Walleye Fishing and Where to Find Them

Tips on Lake Wylie Walleye Fishing and Where to Find Them

Folks wanting to go freshwater fishing in Charlotte, North Carolina usually head to Lake Norman, Lake Keowee, and Lake Gaston.  But 28 miles south of Queen City is Lake Wylie which is a gem of a fishery.  The lake sits on the North and South […]

7 Reasons to Take an Advanced Boating Course

7 Reasons to Take an Advanced Boating Course

You’ve taken a basic boating course and just passed your first boaters exam. Now you’re thinking about taking the next step by signing up for an advanced boating course. After all, the more you know, the safer and more prepared you’ll be for any unexpected […]

Learn Best Times to Fish for Catfish for Better Results

Learn Best Times to Fish for Catfish for Better Results

Traditionally, night is considered one of the best times to fish for catfish. These effective predators are equipped for low light surroundings with bait detecting barbels or “whiskers” and large vacuum-like mouths to compensate for their relatively small eyes.

When fishing for catfish in low, clear water conditions during the day, it may be easy to jump to the conclusion that there might not be any catfish here. However in that type of an environment, they will be resting in deeper holes, under cut banks, and in the shadowy ledges of large rocks. A patient, night angler may be pleasantly surprised by the catfish potential of many bodies of water.

But regionally, the best times to fish for catfish can depend somewhat on the body of water and the fish species. For example, blue catfish are often conditioned to start feeding when water is released below dams of large reservoirs. Baitfish, often gizzard or threadfin shad, can be stunned during the water release and these massive opportunistic predators grow quickly because they rarely pass up an easy meal.

Rising water from heavy rains can trigger aggressive channel catfish bites in rivers and lakes any time of day. Also, in all turbid, murky water, such as farm ponds where livestock constantly stir the stilt, there is less light penetration to the bottom. This results in darker conditions more like night and so feeding catfish and thus fishing for catfish, never needs to stop. And then there are bullheads. I have yet to discover any conditions where the bullhead bite was “off”.

Catfish fishing tips always recommend bait, usually strong, smelly stuff. Chicken liver (or beef liver which stays on the hook longer), hotdog pieces, cheese, and any one of the many “stink bait” products frankly all work extremely well. Of course, the closest “sure thing” to catch catfish is using live bait such as grasshoppers, nightcrawlers, shiners, or sunfish.

Another catfish fishing tip is that these fish can hit lures too. I frequently read about tournament bass anglers casting lures such as heavy jigs or crankbaits and think they have hooked a new record bass, only to see eventually the unmistakable shape of a large, dark catfish at the end of the line. My perception of these normally bottom dwelling fish has changed over the years. They are not always just the sluggish night feeders many believe. On several occasions, I’ve caught them on spoons and spinners while casting for white bass. One time I even watched a 1 ½ pound channel catfish leap completely out of the water to try to catch a dragon fly. 

Still, for the absolute best times to fish for catfish, the odds are more in your favor during evening hours. Grab a flashlight, a friend or two, plenty of bait, a few rods (check your state regulations), and a thermos of coffee if you need to. Screaming reels await. When do you like to go fishing for catfish and what’s your favorite bait?


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Easy-to-Tie A Red Drum Rig that Work & Put Fish on Sand

Easy-to-Tie A Red Drum Rig that Work & Put Fish on Sand

Call the fish species red drum, redfish, reds or spot-tailed bass, the important part is that they’re running now.  Here are a few red drum fishing rigs that are easy to tie and will put more fish on the sand. 1. Three Way Red Drum […]

5 Amazing Marine Conservation Areas & Why We Need Them

5 Amazing Marine Conservation Areas & Why We Need Them

Have you ever taken a ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park, or gone fishing for halibut off the coast of Alaska? If your answer is “yes,” chances are pretty good that you’ve been in one of our country’s marine conservation areas (also referred to as […]

What’s in Your Boat Safety Kit? Tips so You Get What You Need

What’s in Your Boat Safety Kit? Tips so You Get What You Need

Being on a boat can be relaxing, fun, or even a thrill, but water deserves a tremendous amount of respect.  A handy boat safety equipment kit along with confirming your boat safety checklist can help make sure you don’t have the wrong kind of excitement.

Boat safety kits vary by the size of the water craft and by the size of the body of water.  If you are just learning how to boat make sure you are familiar with the boat safety kit  requirements by each state. For example in Pennsylvania, even unpowered boats such as kayaks and canoes must carry a noise producing device. I always have a whistle in the bottom of my camera bag.

This brings up another good point.  An essential part of a good boat safety kit is knowing where to find it immediately. It is okay if you have to dig around your tacklebox for a few minutes to find the right fishing lure, but in an emergency you need to know where your boat safety equipment kit is located.

The larger the body of water and boat class, the greater the content of your boat safety gear. Traveling longer distances could mean longer time for help to arrive. In addition to a whistle or similar noise maker, a list of standard boat safety equipment would include life jackets, navigation lights, and for powered vessels, a fire extinguisher. TakeMeFishing™ blogger Debbie Hanson just ordered a small, waterproof boat safety kit for her new boat that contains preparedness items such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra rope, a multi-tool, and a knife. Larger boat safety gear might include spare motor parts, a tool kit, a flare gun, and emergency thermal blankets.

When setting out for a boat trip, make sure to let someone know your plans. Paul Murray, a volunteer with the Parker, PA fire department, goes on calls to rescue boaters on the Allegheny River and area lakes. “If you don’t return back to the launch and the family calls 911, we have to find you. We can’t find you if we can’t see you. Flashlights and/or flares have been very successful to finding people.” What else do you have in your boat safety kit?

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

6 Reasons to Fish in Lake Lanier in Georgia

6 Reasons to Fish in Lake Lanier in Georgia

Photo credit www.lakelanier.com Anglers talking about freshwater fishing in Georgia can’t help but mention Lake Lanier fishing.  The Buford Dam backs up the Chattahoochee River and forms a 38,000 acre lake with 540 miles of shoreline.  Depths average 50-60 feet, and the fact that it’s […]

10 Boating Skills You Need When Learning How to Boat

10 Boating Skills You Need When Learning How to Boat

When you have top-notch boating skills, a day on the water is safer and more relaxing for everyone on board. If you’re thinking of buying a boat or want to get more boating experience by renting a boat, these ten basic boating skills and seamanship […]

Catch more fish with these Fall Bass Fishing Lures Tips

Catch more fish with these Fall Bass Fishing Lures Tips

Cooler fall temperatures can be a great time to fish for bass as well as other fish species. In lakes and rivers that had reached their maximum summer temperatures, the fish may have been fussy and skittish. However with the shorter days, longer shadows, and decreasing temperatures, anglers begin to switch over to their traditional fall fishing lures.

Fall bass fishing lures usually exhibit at least one of three characteristics.  Bass fishing lures that imitate shad will become one of the top priorities. Shad are a heavy prey item all year but their seasonal movements up feeder creeks helps concentrate this food source for great fall fishing.   Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and swimbaits are just some of the fall bass fishing lures that can successfully mimic shad.

The second characteristic of fall ball fishing lures is that it is moving. The slow, bottom crawling soft plastic rigs used in warm water no longer attract the same attention. Bass in fall often roam greater distances in loose groups, looking to chase active lures resembling schools of bait.

Another fall fishing tip is to go big. Fish this time of year especially seem to want to conserve energy. In spring or early winter, any small lure may seem worth the effort but in fall, larger lures represent a big easy meal to help gain weight before for winter.

Even though the fall bass fishing lure patterns are likely to be shad-like, moving, or upsized, this is not always the case. A couple of years ago, I recall writing about the larger fall bass lure tip from bass fishing expert, Mark Zona. Shortly after publication he contacted me and laughingly shared that on a recent fall fishing trip they actually had to downsize to trigger smallmouth bass bites. That is part of the fun challenge of fishing. The only way to discover how to catch fish is to get your license, hit the water, and start casting.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Essential Deep Sea Fishing Gear You Can’t Go Without

Essential Deep Sea Fishing Gear You Can’t Go Without

There are lots of different types of fish to catch when you go deep sea fishing.  Fish living in depths over 100 feet deep can be big and fast just as they can be small and slow. So before you set up your deep sea […]