Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Catfish

Small River Catfish

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I am new to icefishing for catfish and went down to a local hole in a small river in NW Iowa with my camera to see what was there.  What I found was hundreds of catfish of various sizes.  I went down there today and threw everything at them but didn't have much luck.  The only fish that was interested was a big catfish, mabye 6-8lb that nudged a chub with its tail cut off then inhaled it for a split second before spitting it out.  Every other fish completely ignored the bait.  What are some tips for enticing these fish to bite?

first, try different baits. i've caught a good number of cats with a jigging spoon crammed full of waxworms. another option would be to try chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or the dough baits they sell in stores.

other than that, i'd start experimenting with their temperament, they may be in a non-feeding mood, so you'll have to coax and persuade every fish. i'd recommend a small jigging spoon with a glow jig about a foot above. you might also try setting up your limit of rods in a big spread, bait with cutbait and hope for a bite.

Try a smaller piece of bait. During the winter they don't need much food so they generally eat smaller pieces. I usually do best for channels when I use cut up bullhead. I catch the bullheads on worms. The hardest thing about winter catfishing is finding them. You've done that so now it is just a matter of time to find out what they want to eat.

Bacon is a great bait also

Here's proof I have a good cat fishing hole on the river.  Still have not caught one though...


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