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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's cold, and fishing cold is totally new to me. We also just recently purchased a fishing boat which is also new to me. I've taken my son twice now with no luck on anything. If anyone has any tips that can help me put him on a catfish would be very much appreciated. I'm trying to keep him excited about being able to fish in the cold, and I know the first time he gets one he'll be hooked. (no pun intended) :D

When my wife and I used to fish off the dock at our local lake, we would use chicken livers to catch small channel cats. Would that work from the boat up at Kerr? I've tried cut menhaden sp*, some packaged baby shad etc. I haven't yet honed in my cast net skills or the skills to find baitfish so I'm stuck with bought bait at the moment. For some reason as soon as I stepped on a boat the whole game changed. Now I can't even find a bream to use for bait lol.

Thanks in advance everyone! Also if anyone could show me some of these tips I'll gladly take them out on boat to fish, and I'll cover all expenses.
 

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Red X Angler
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if you have a depth finder find submerged points near channels and edges of channels. Also fish rockpiles like under bridges as they drop into the channels. Liver, dough baits super stinky baits are good in cold water because scent does not travel well. Buy minnows and use 2 hook bottom rigs or Carolina rigs and you have a chance of crappie, cats, bass , most anything.. Cut cheap hotdogs that have been sitting in garlic powder a few days work well also for pan sized cats.
 
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Without a cast net, finding fresh bait for cats can be tough at times in the winter. Crappie are a good possibility and white perch can be plentiful at times. Sometimes in the cold weather, collecting bait can be as big a challenge as the actual fishing. Perch can be used as cut bait, but legally you have to keep the crappie intact (whole), at least by the Virginia law.
Someone else mentioned using large minnows and I've used chicken breast at times and have been pleasantly surprised.

Good luck, and be assured that gathering bait will get alot easier as the water warms and the sunnies move shallow. Those you can use whole or cut and will produce the catfish.
 

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Most of the local stores around the lake have frozen shad. Just soak them in a bucket of water to thaw them out. Live minnows in what would be called bass minnows size can also be purchase. The striped bass are still biting in Nutbush Creek. (around P buoy). They are holding near the bottom in 24ft of water and deeper near the old creek channel. Fish slow and then slow down even more. The boat ramp on the northside of Nutbush would be and easy access to the fishing area. A relative caught them there on Sunday afternoon. If you prefer artificial lures, a large Silver Buddy fished slowly just off the bottom will work. Good luck and good fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips and locations everyone! We will definitely try them out. I knew after a lot of reading, that it was going to be hard to get the ideal bait this time of year. The first day we were out on the lake, it became very apparent that it was as hard to find bait as it was to find fish lol. Once it's warmer, and I'm out of this cast on my leg, I'll start to learn the art of using a cast net.
 

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we've been doin best on the Blue Cats around the mouth of Grassy an the first couple coves rite upstream from there, in 30-35fow. the secret this time of yr is to not set up til ya find constant bait on the bottom. we double anchor an get yur anchor lines very tite! we fish on the bottom with Carolina rigs usin 2 oz flat 'no roll ' sinker, a swivel, bead an 9/0 hook. we use cut up chicken, cut crappie, shad, whole an cut, or any kinda cut bait you can find. I've caught them on cut up cats, suckers, chubs, bream, perch, pickeral...they will eat bout any meat! I guide there for cats an furnish all bait an tackle. Please feel free to call with any questiuons or to book a trip! PM me for details an my number. Hope this helps!
 

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I typically troll artificials between Butchers Creek and Clarksville for stripers. If you are primarily fishing with bait, back in October I had some really good luck with 3-10 pound blue cats (good eaters) near Island Creek near the channel edges in about 20 feet of water. I soaked some raw chicken strips in garlic powder overnight and the action was fairly steady. My daughter bad a blast.
Sky Water Cloud Boat Vertebrate
 

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Careful when first exposing young kids to fishing if the conditions are difficult and chances of success are slim; they bore easily and may lose interest in the sport if it's uncomfortable. It's great that you are doing the research and getting advice, but if the results are not immediate, it might be best to go with someone with experience rather than going on your own. It takes a while to get it right, and this is the worst time of year to do it.
 

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drjon is rite on bout the kids. When I'm gonna take kids fishin, I've already found a good spot thats loaded. one of my best deals is a brim bed in the Spring. all I do is put on crickets an take off fish, that will get kids hooked faster than anything I've tried! Findin a large school of crappie on a brush can be just a good, then I'm just puttin on minnows an takin off crappie!
 

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A lot of people seem to do pretty decent with chicken breast marinated in garlic powder. The world record 143 pound blue caught out of Kerr, says that it was caught on "chicken". I would say it is a safe bet it was chicken breast marinated in garlic powder. Easiest to cut the chicken in bait size pieces before marinating.

Also, cut bait works great for blues. White perch, crappie, bream, carp, etc. Once it warms up, live bream, perch, etc. works great for flatheads.

Like some stated, best setup would be larger 7/0 - 9/0 circle hooks, carolina rigged with a 2oz. no roll sinker. You can get the hooks, weights, and most anything you need at Bobcats Bait and Tackle of hwy 15. I was there Saturday and they said they have a sale coming up where almost all of their tackle is up to 50% off.

Good luck and let us know how you do.
 
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