Catfishing newbie

Zakaster

New member
Hey guys, I want to go cat-fishing this FridaySaturdah, but I would love some help/advice:

First off, I’m new to this. I could use any tips y’all can give me from bait to technique. I’ve only gone once, and that was a few years back in Utah with my uncle. We went out in the middle of the night and just threw the poles into the lake from the back of a pickup and waited until we got a bite. I’ve heard that chicken liver is a great bait.

I planned using treble hooks (size 4-6, can’t remember), but I’m still open to advice.

2nd, I would really appreciate advice on spots where I can go. I heard Bond Butte Pond is good, but I went there Saturday and I fished off the two piers, and I had no luck. I live just south of Salem. So any pointers where to go, and when. (Im kinda hoping to try out some night fishing, but I dont know where to go).

And just any tips and advice y’all can give, I will greatly appreciate.
 

plumbertom

Active member
Bond Butte is said to be planted with channel catfish.
I've seen pictures of fish that were said to have came from there. I've never caught one though.
By the way the limit at Bond Butte is two channel cats.
If you really want a good chance of catching cats, you need to get below the falls on the Willamette or in the Columbia.
Up river some would increase your chances even more.
Best place I personally know of would be the John Day River between the Columbia and the narrows.
Close to the narrows is best. But it's hard to access without a boat.
There is BLM camping and river access on the west side that can be driven to but I'd suggest a truck because it is dirt roads. Not the best for low ground clearance vehicles.
You can launch your canoe at La Page park and paddle up river butI think it's about 5 miles or more to the narrows from there.
There is also Boat in only camping at Albert Philippi park. Nice park but they ask for a high donation to camp there.
Anyway your on the right track with the Chicken liver. Cut baits also work well. Fresher the better and oilier fish like sardines, bonita or mackerel will get more attention from catfish. I suggest using regular bait holder or octopus hooks instead of trebles but trebles are okay. Bait holder hooks size 2 or larger are what I use and I use magic thread to hold the liver or sardine fillets on the hook.
I prefer to use a Carolina rig for cats with about an 18'' leader. and weight matched to current.
 

TheKnigit

Active member
My experience with chasing catfish has always been with yellow bellies, not channels. I am also at the other end of the state fishing the Coquille and Coos Rivers. I have heard that chicken livers and really smelly/oily baits work well, but we have had great luck with just strait night crawlers on a long shanked worm hook. Typically have them set up with a slip weight so the fish can pick it up and move with it. Normally I am try to be set up and fishing right around dusk and fish as long as my eyeballs will stay open.
 

Zakaster

New member
yea, the John Day River and Coos Rivers are a bit too far for me.
Typically have them set up with a slip weight so the fish can pick it up and move with it. Normally I try to be set up and fishing right around dusk and fish as long as my eyeballs will stay open.
Slip weight. ok, thank you!
 

Zakaster

New member
I was reading a different post that said the Long Tom River and Fern Ridge Reservoir are good for catfishing. But that thread was a bit dated. does anyone have any newer information on them?
 

plumbertom

Active member
My experience with chasing catfish has always been with yellow bellies, not channels. I am also at the other end of the state fishing the Coquille and Coos Rivers. I have heard that chicken livers and really smelly/oily baits work well, but we have had great luck with just strait night crawlers on a long shanked worm hook. Typically have them set up with a slip weight so the fish can pick it up and move with it. Normally I am try to be set up and fishing right around dusk and fish as long as my eyeballs will stay open.
Yeah, Bullheads (yellow bellies) do love night crawlers.
If I were targeting them that would be my bait of choice.
But I don't intentionally fish for them and really don't think if them in the same reference as Channel, Blue, White, or Flathead catfish.
 

plumbertom

Active member
I was reading a different post that said the Long Tom River and Fern Ridge Reservoir are good for catfishing. But that thread was a bit dated. does anyone have any newer information on them?
Both of those waters are teaming with yellow bullheads. I think you can catch as many as you want to clean.
 

TheKnigit

Active member
Yellow's make some pretty darn good fish tacos. Some day I will make a point to head up north and try and hook into a channel cat.
 

Don Fischer

New member
Hey guys, I want to go cat-fishing this FridaySaturdah, but I would love some help/advice:

First off, I’m new to this. I could use any tips y’all can give me from bait to technique. I’ve only gone once, and that was a few years back in Utah with my uncle. We went out in the middle of the night and just threw the poles into the lake from the back of a pickup and waited until we got a bite. I’ve heard that chicken liver is a great bait.

I planned using treble hooks (size 4-6, can’t remember), but I’m still open to advice.

2nd, I would really appreciate advice on spots where I can go. I heard Bond Butte Pond is good, but I went there Saturday and I fished off the two piers, and I had no luck. I live just south of Salem. So any pointers where to go, and when. (Im kinda hoping to try out some night fishing, but I dont know where to go).

And just any tips and advice y’all can give, I will greatly appreciate.

If you threw your pole's into the lake, what did you fish with?
 

Don Fischer

New member
Hey guys, I want to go cat-fishing this FridaySaturdah, but I would love some help/advice:

First off, I’m new to this. I could use any tips y’all can give me from bait to technique. I’ve only gone once, and that was a few years back in Utah with my uncle. We went out in the middle of the night and just threw the poles into the lake from the back of a pickup and waited until we got a bite. I’ve heard that chicken liver is a great bait.

I planned using treble hooks (size 4-6, can’t remember), but I’m still open to advice.

2nd, I would really appreciate advice on spots where I can go. I heard Bond Butte Pond is good, but I went there Saturday and I fished off the two piers, and I had no luck. I live just south of Salem. So any pointers where to go, and when. (Im kinda hoping to try out some night fishing, but I dont know where to go).

And just any tips and advice y’all can give, I will greatly appreciate.

You throw enough poles in the water and it could get expensive! Through trial and error I found it much less expensive to cast the bait and sinker in the water and keep the pole with me! :)
 

nikita_pdx

Member
We once fished the john day river, but a bit closer to Portland is Vancouver Lake. Biggest catfish we caught was a channel from Vancouver, weighing in at 11lb. Caught on chunk of carp with 4/0 circle hook.

Heads up if you fish John Day, most fish are very parisitic. We inteded to harvest a lot of big bullheads and after filleting a few, we quickly realized we would be finding charred worms in our pan. The catfish did well for fertilizer.

For other places where bullheads are clean, I do not reccomend treble hooks. If they get those down deep they aren't coming out. As well, single point hooks should be razor sharp for there tough meaty mouths. Owner Mosquito hooks, size 2 with worms or shrimp as bait is perfect. I don't mess with liver, it falls off the hooks, even with egg loop knot, and using string is a hassle. Shrimp (raw) is straight up rubber and lasts multiple fish.

Make sure you are using 15-20 flouro leader. They can chaff up line pretty bad.
 

plumbertom

Active member
Yeah, about that Fluro leader.
There's a line you will find in most of my posts about rigging for catfish.
It that "catfish don't care".
Catfish are not line shy in the slightest, also there's no need to try and hide the hook in the bait, or worry about using too heavy of line, because, you guessed it, Catfish Don't Care.
Make sure you are using 15-20 fluro leader. They can chaff up line pretty bad.
 

nikita_pdx

Member
Yeah, about that Fluro leader.
There's a line you will find in most of my posts about rigging for catfish.
It that "catfish don't care".
Catfish are not line shy in the slightest, also there's no need to try and hide the hook in the bait, or worry about using too heavy of line, because, you guessed it, Catfish Don't Care.
👍
 
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