Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Catfish

Where to look?

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I am wanting to try to catch some catfish this year but I'm a newbie to the cats through ice. Where is the best place to try in North Idaho? What has been working for you? (How deep of water, what baits, etc) Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Depends. What kid of cats you guys have up there and how big are the lakes?

We have channel cats and bullheads. The lakes range in size some are tiny and others are huge but most of them have cats in them.

The channels will be more consistant for you. Pick a medium sized lake that you can get  the depth map for. Target the deepest hole(s) with dead bait. They tend to pile up there, just a few feet from bottom.
 You want to size the bait to the fish. Bite size so they get it in the mouth all at once. Most are very lite bites. Yes, a few are rippers that can spool a trap but I think people would be surprised at how slow they can be to take it. Many times they are swimming around kissing it and setting off flags before they want to take it. Your gonna think it's sunfish.  Half my cats come from empty flags that I hold the line and start jigging the bait. Many, many times they swing back in for the kill.
 I don't have any pics, but I built some catfish riggs out of dry fitted pvc pipe (easy takedown and setups).  A horseshoe shaped stand, center riser, bungee loaded pivot pipe that holds the jig rods butts at the top about 16" above the ice at a 45 degree angle. Built some larger ones that hold full size 6' rods too.  When a cat tastes the bait on those you can see the whole rod bobbing up and down real slow as they taste and drop, taste and drop. Simple matter of walking over and setting the hook by hand. If you miss, drop it- he will be right back. If you feel the hook set, pick the pole out of the holder and hang on!
 Don't know whats legal out your way but I swear by dead finger mullet (bought frozen in N.C.), or raw medium shrimp. I could turn $7 a pound raw shrimp into $300 of catfish fillets in just a few outings.
 Hope that gets your blood going! :tipup:

Thanks for the help! Any tips on where to find a depth map? Would fish and game have them?


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