Many catfish anglers frequent pay lakes for the opportunity to catch a trophy catfish. Many time these anglers do not have boats or the fishing savvy to hunt for the big catfish in the wild. But many of these anglers never catch a trophy cat because they don’t position themselves correctly to catch these large catfish at these pay lake pounds.
Catch trophy blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish at pay lakes there’s a few tips and techniques you need to know to be successful. Many times if a pay to fish area has multiple ponds, the pond with the trophy catfish will be separate from the other ponds. Also if there are multiple ponds. chances are one will be stocked with channel catfish in the 1 ½ to 3 lb range specifically for table fare or for the novice fisherman.
Just like in the wild blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish will relate to structure that is located in the pond. If any where in the pond there is are known submerged debris or tree trunks the big catfish will be close by. Also, if you do not want to compete with other fisherman fish your local pay lakes at night. Get to your local pay lake before dark so you can pick the right spot to catch your trophy catfish. If you can find a submerged stump close to shore that is great because big flathead catfish, channel catfish, and blue catfish cruise the shore lines at night.
There are questions you need to ask the pay lake proprietor before spending your money. First ask to see a list of the types of fish and their weights that are stocked in the ponds. Next if there are multiple ponds get specifics on which pond or ponds hold the trophy catfish. Next ask how deep the ponds are Just a note, the deeper the pond the better. If the pond has a deep hole ask specifically where it is located. Also ask where known submerged structure is located.
The ideal spot to set up for your bait fishing catfish trip in a paylake is 6 to 8ft deep flats near to the deep water. Also find areas with submerged rock and wood cover that are adjacent to the shallower flats and ledges.. Normally the big catfish in pay lakes will be close to lots of cover and the deep water.
The best catfish baits for pay lakes are natural bait fish such as goldfish, creek chubs, and shiners. The ideal size for these baits are 3 to 4 inches in length. If you are targeting large catfish such as blue catfish, channel catfish or flathead catfish in pay lakes you need to have heavy tackle too match your prey. A surf rod 7 to 8ft in length, medium power and either a bait casting or open face reel designed to be spooled with 25lb to 50lb test line. My preference in line type is a fireline.
A catfish fishing rig for a pay lake is a good hardy large slip bobber rig. To make a slip bobber rig slide the bobber stop up the line firs. Next slide your 6″ to 8″ long slip bobber up the line first. If you are night fishing I recommend you get one with a small battery powered led light on top. This will help see your bobber at night. Next tie on a two way ball bearing swivel to the line. And last tie a 6 to 8″ leader with a 6/0 to 7/0 hook. The large hooks are important. Next either fish your catfish bait live by hooking right through or just behind the dorsal fin. Or if you are fishing dead cut bait, cut your bait fish into large chunks and put them on your hook. Make sure the barb of the hook is exposed.
Well folks that concludes my article about bait fishing for catfish at pay lakes. May your next fishing trip be a success! Have a great day!