Author Topic: Anyone got any ideas on how to catch cats on the mississippi river trough ice?  (Read 3908 times)

Offline meier247

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Wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to catch these on the Mississippi river through the ice. Like wheres the best spots to look for them. Also backwaters is the safest to be as out on the main channel and sloughs I don't know how well they ice up in the winter I have never ventured out there and never will as I don't want to fall through the ice again lol. But was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what type of bait to use and has anyone ever caught them in the backwaters through the ice? I have caught them in the summer in backwaters before just looking for a little help thanks.

Offline meier247

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Anyone? LOL. Anyone got anything that would work for bait at least?

Offline panfishman13

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i can't really help you as far as fishing the mississipi river backwaters, but i can definitely give some pointers on bait-

cutbait is fantastic; the fresher it is, the better. i like to catch a pile of 4" bluegills and fillet them out into 1" strips. the most common forage fish is probably the best baitfish to use.

chicken livers work, but they're fragile and don't last long. you get one hookset per liver, then you'll have to put a new one on. that said, chicken livers are incredibly effective and will catch cats if there are any in the area.

waxworms are good, pack as many as you can onto a jigging spoon or large teardrop jig, but be sure to leave the hook point exposed or you'll miss fish.

nightcrawlers will work as well, pinch off about 2" of crawler and thread it on the hook, maybe leaving a tip to squirm and wriggle.

live minnow could work, as long as they're legal to use. i have no experience since it's illegal to use them where i'm from.

you could also try dough baits, stink baits, and other catfish-specific packaged baits.

if you're jigging, you might be able to get some on plastics or bare spoons, but you'd better be in just the right place for it, and the fish would have to be a bit more aggressive.

always make sure there's plenty of hook point showing, and choose your hook according to the size of bait and the size of the fish you hope to catch.

that's pretty much all i've got. be sure to let us know how you do!

Offline meier247

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I'll give it a shot! Thanks! Cats are not usually found in the backwaters up here but can be but again I don't know what cats do in the winter or where to they migrate to but anythings possible!

Offline slipperybob

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I typically fish the St Croix and the cats are usually found in the main river channel suspended over 35 fow. They can be anywhere from 10' to the bottom.  They can come in single fish or in a school.  A crappie minnow or just half or even just the minnow head works great.  I like using buckshot spoons or Rattling flyer spoons, both in the 1/8 oz weight to 1/4 oz.
For more information read my MN nice journal


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