Posted on January 16, 2014 | Permalink
Cold Water Blues
Location: Lower Potomac
Since hunting season is over for me, I decided to try the Blue Catfish fishery in the lower Potomac on a warm day in mid January. I am glad I did. The big boys were still on the bite in the cold water. I fished with my buddies Pat the Cat Baseler and Mark Smith. Mark caught the pool winner which was over 40 lbs. We caught 17 more between 5 and 30 lbs. The Blue Catfish really prefer fresh cut bait, which is pretty hard to come by this time of the year. Back in November I vacuum packed some bait and it worked well. We are looking forward to some more warm days this winter to try for a bigger one.
Posted on December 2, 2013 | Permalink
Location: Potomac River
Outdoor enthusiasts should take a bit of time in November before Goose and Deer season to try the phenomenal blue cat fishery on the tidal Potomac. We have fished for the big cats twice in November. The first week we fished an ebbing tide and filled two 100 quart coolers with 44 fish. Last Friday on a flood tide, it only took 30 fish to fill the coolers with 5 over 30 lbs. We use 7/0 circle hooks on 60 lb flouro shock leaders tied to 30 lb braid on baitrunner reels. It sure is fun to hear the line peal out before setting the break on them. It is important to fish a moving tide and use fresh cut bait. We used Bluegills but other fresh cut fish will work such as alewives, White Perch and shad.
A question for DNR: We catch an occasional Channel or White Catfish while pursuing the invasive blues. The channels are much thinner than the channel cats I catch on the upper Potomac. Do you think it is the environment differences they live in or are they being out competed by the invasive specie.
DNR Response: Channel Catfish in tidal waters often do face harsher conditions than those that are found in nontidal waters. The constant current, change in tide and competition with other predators makes for a harsh environment. I have had more than one catfish angler say that they do find Blue Catfish in areas where they used to find Channel Catfish but the effects of Blue Catfish on resident species is not fully understood at this time.