May 7, 2013

There’s quite a variety of good fishing going on out there now, but soon some of the best that will be occurring on the big lakes will be in the rocky shallows, as channel catfish move in for their spring spawning action. Spawning usually takes place in late May or early June when the water temperature reaches 75 degrees.

Hollow logs, overhanging underwater ledges or holes under mud banks are typical nesting places. Females lay about 10,000 eggs each. Males guard the nest against intruders, including females. Eggs hatch in 6 to 10 days determined by temperature. After hatching, the catfish fry are attended for a short time by the male as they feed in a dense school.

And it’s certainly not difficult to find a prime spot for this traditional early-summer catfish action on the big lakes. Every major lake has literally mile after mile of rocky riprap fill where a highway crosses the lake. Those are always hot spots for this fishing, and of course they can be accessed most effectively by a boat, as anglers move along the riprap, working them with a slip-cork rig and some type of good catfish bait. My favorite has always been cut bait.

But if you don’t have a boat, you can still pick a spot somewhere along the rocky banks and put out several rods/reels with corks to cover a good amount of water. Catfish can be caught anytime of day but they are most active at night. Be patient and you will catch your share of catfish.