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Old 06-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
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Default Tired of catching catfish

Those darn catfish is all I can seem to hook into. So a couple questions from a newbie to saltwater fishing.

1.) do catfish and redfish and/or speckled trout live in the same areas? (Cuz if they don't I'm clearly in the wrong spot)
2.) I've used artificial minnows (tight lining) fake worms, jig heads, frozen shrimp and even tried an artificial salamander under a top popper and all I ever hook is catfish. Change lure? Which ones should I try?
3.) are there fishing forms/styles/techniques that would attract more redfish/trout instead of catfish? (i.e. fish closer to the surface, when you use a top popper pop quick instead if slow)

I am going out tonight. Gonna try to hit the shoreline on the east and south side of 3 mile bridge. Looks like there are some nice grass flats there. I'm sure someone here has fished over there any tips and hints are much appreciated!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaFG View Post
Those darn catfish is all I can seem to hook into. So a couple questions from a newbie to saltwater fishing.

1.) do catfish and redfish and/or speckled trout live in the same areas? (Cuz if they don't I'm clearly in the wrong spot)
2.) I've used artificial minnows (tight lining) fake worms, jig heads, frozen shrimp and even tried an artificial salamander under a top popper and all I ever hook is catfish. Change lure? Which ones should I try?
3.) are there fishing forms/styles/techniques that would attract more redfish/trout instead of catfish? (i.e. fish closer to the surface, when you use a top popper pop quick instead if slow)

I am going out tonight. Gonna try to hit the shoreline on the east and south side of 3 mile bridge. Looks like there are some nice grass flats there. I'm sure someone here has fished over there any tips and hints are much appreciated!
HMMMM.. that artificial salimander under a popping cork should do the trick...
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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Here is what I do...Just posted this on a different post and thought it might help:

I only fish on Saturday morning/afternoons for the most part and I usually have some luck with both Specks and Reds. Reds are a little harder to come by for me, but I can almost always find a few specks. I never fish with live shrimp because, for me, it has never paid to. I pretty much switch between a Mirrodine 17mr, Gulp shrimp and a chartreuse grub. I try to fish over grass flats or on edges and when the tide is moving.

That being said, I've had those days too...every fisherman does.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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If you use anything that smells like live/dead bait you're gonna run into the greedy ass catfish. The best I've done to stay away from them are the mirrodine for artificials, like the gentleman said above me here, and if I use bait it's alive and to damn big for a catfish to eat. We caught a pretty good red while shark fishing saturday on a HUGE pinfish 8-9" or bigger I don't know for sure but he was a hoss and the redfish that ate him was too. Sorry for the redacted picture, it's my buddy holding the fish and I didn't ask him first so just on the side of caution.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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The other night (Sat), I took the kayak out just to poke around... didn't feel like sitting at the house. Launched in Gulf Breeze and took a pole to keep me entertained. After the first 10 mins on the flats, I decided to put down the pole after seeing literally 50ish catfish. They were EVERYWHERE. No rays, no specs, nothing but catfish and pinfish. The last week or so for me has been hard catching... been very unproductive so you're not alone.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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As was said above, to avoid catfish with live bait, the bait usually needs to be too big to fit into the catfish's mouth, and a mobile bait helps too. A 6-10" croaker, pinfish, mullet, or sand trout should deter all but the largest of catfish. However, I did once catch a 6 lb gafftop on an 8" croaker, so reduced odds are no guarantee.

Another trick to reduce ( but not completely eliminate) catfish is to use whole, small crab (alive better, freshly dead ok). Anything bigger than a quarter should reduce your rate of catching catfish. Another technique is to use cracked crab on a big hook (6/0 to 7/0). The hardheads will pick apart the cracked crab, but you can leave the top shell on and cut a whole market crab in half to slow them down. We've also gone to a 10/0 hook for cut mullet as bait, which deters most of the catfish from hooking up.

We've also done well using crab claws as redfish bait, catching redfish, but very few catfish (the occasional large gafftop will manage it). Hooking the claws can be tricky. We set the claw on a firm backing (boat seat or ice chest) and tap on the claw with a phillips head screwdriver (the pointy part that drives the screw) to make a hole on each side of the claw. The holes should be close to lining up to get them in the hook. An adult crab claw is a good match for a 6/0 or so hook. Punching the holes before trying to hook it is much easier than trying to hook a completely intact crab claw. You'll catch black drum too.

Finally, we recently completed a study where rare earth magnets attached near the hook/bait reduced the catch rate of hardheads by more than 70% in moving water. Our study is not published yet, but our method was similar to O'Connell et al (http://fishbull.noaa.gov/1094/1094oconnell.pdf ). Note, rare earth magnets demonstrated no improvement in still water, presumably because water movement is needed to induce an electric field that is detected by the catfish.

Finally, consider taking a few catfish home to reduce the population. If everyone throws all their catfish back and takes home specks and reds, which population do you expect to grow. Gafftops are excellent table fare. Hardheads can be ok.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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enough of this catfish bashing. catfish need love too. LOL! on a serious note, i've had catfish(hardhead) soup, and it's good, they're hard to clean though. my friends wife makes a hardhead courtbullion(sp?) that's great.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:49 AM   #8
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when you're changing between those lures, do you have pre-tied leader on each of them? I've just been switching them at the hook latch tied to the swivel...then 3 or 4 feet of florocarbon tied to the hook.

it helps me change fast, but ma I not catching fish because of the set up?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:14 AM   #9
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For anyone who saw the post just edited it was one of my special friends

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Old 07-15-2013, 04:21 AM   #10
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One sure way is to get some live shrimp and go out at night. Find a good dock light and throw those live shrimp under it, either under a bobber or free-lined. You will catch reds and specs this way for sure. Just look for a light that looks greenish and is close to the surface or under the water, cruise by it slowly and see if anything is busting under it.
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