Over the last few weeks we have been trying to learn as much as we can about fishing for blue cat fishing with rod and reel in both KS and MO. Eric and I have made a few trips to Truman and Adam has made a few trips to Lake of the Ozarks. Catching a blue cat on rod and reel is not hard but it really doesn’t seem as productive as some of days the float line fisherman have had. Normally when we blue cat fish we float the flats and breaks using either a three-way swivel with a drop weight and hook or an in-line egg sinker with a 3 to 4 ft leader to a bobber with a #4 hook. These two methods have produced some solid results of 10 to 15 fish on a good afternoon of fishing.
I ever was able to get my dad out for father’s day a few weeks ago. We didn’t have stellar results that day but dad did catch the most fish and biggest best.
As the weekend approached we all realized we where free so a weekend trip was put into place. Earlier this week one of the guys on a local cat fishing forum pointed out that they have been doing really good on catch fish on their jug lines but couldn’t get any good results on rod and reel. Then at our recent DU shoot Adam and I got to talking this exact thing and Adam pointed out why don’t we just use some bobber and suspend them off the bottom behind the boat just like a jug… wow, could it really be that easy. So this weekend we had a guys weekend where Adam, Jeff, Thomas (Jeff’s son), Eric, Kale (Eric’s son) and I headed down to Adams At LOZ to put our new founds brain fart/trust into affect. I have to say, the over all results where solid.
We started out bye taking a regular bobber stop and moving it up our line to about 20 ft. Then we added the needed bead to keep our foot long bobber from getting stuck on the bobber stop. (Now quick side note, I can’t lie. I have spent my entire life walking past these over sized bobber looking at them in the fishing isle going who in the world would waist their money on those… Yep, I am now that guy) Below the bobber we would add sliding egg sinkers of different weight. The actual amount of weight over the weekend was always changing depending on the wind, sometimes one ounce was needed if the wind was blowing and less once it stopped. The weight was tied off above a normal barrel swivel with a regular dropper to 2 -4 ft of mono to a number 4 or 5 circle hook.
So the plan was to have as many shad as we could float through the water column as we drifted. By adding the bopper’s where able to stagger depths and distance behind the boat just by letting line out. So on top of our usual array of bottom bouncing rigs we where able to add as many floating rigs as we wanted, which in MO are a lot.
The truth is it really didn’t take long to get results. As would happen over and over this weekend the bobber what the first to produce fish. I had three nice blue cats in the boat and short order all on a bobber floating in the current about 25 ft down.
Over the rest of the weekend it was solid mix of bottom and suspended fish over and over again. We would go a while and the bottom bouncers would produce most of the fish, then if would flip and bobbers where the hot action. When the wind died and we just sat there we could cast around and get closer to the breaks or cast out into the channel. You also had to change depths on the floats as fish changed or that bobber would go cold. In addition, one thing we noticed where the bites themselves where a little harder to connect on with the bobber then a bottom bouncer. At time the fish where short striking it and you had to let them run a little longer with it, other times you had to be on them quick or they would spit the hook. My best producing rod was always the one I kept 15 to 20 ft down from the boat. I think the short line distance and quick hook set really helped hook the fish on a more consistent basis.
Again, this was our first time trying to use big bobber for Blue’s so we have a lot to learn and a lot to refine but the production was there and consistence all weekend. We even had a few channel cats’ fall to the bait.
We also came up with a great way to net shad. Have you ever driven around standing on the front of your boat with you buddy looking at the depth finder at the back of the boat going “there they are!!!” Well, why not drive around in reverse and then net them as the front of the boat goes buy… Ya, we just figured that one out as well.
So… to answer our original question yes… Bobber fishing for Blue/Channel Cat was that easy.