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Mack and I switched up our plans today and decided to try some new and big water down south. With rumors of monster blue catfish, I mounted an abu 6500 with a power handle and 17lb mono onto a 6'6" MH bass rod last night. It's big and heavy, but I don't have a functional 5000 series abu and my 4600s have lighter line. I'm glad I brought the big gear.

We launched this morning about 30 min after daybreak. The water was cool and the river was peaceful. As the sun rose over the trees from river left, we scooted past a few parties catfishing the flatwater in john boats. I snapped this photo.



I started with a buzzbait and spinnerbait. Neither were getting any love. As we got into the rapids, I anchored up in a pool behind some swift water to wait for Mack. I was slow rolling my white booyah spinnerbait when it got hammered and the drag started zinning. A few minutes later, I hauled in my first catch of the day ... 8 lb channel cat.



A few casts later in the same pool, the spinnerbait got hammered again, this time it was a 18-20lb blue cat. I only had boga knockoffs (no net) and couldn't get them in the mouth before this fish destroyed my spinnerbait and broke the wire in half! :eek:

Mack caught up and we began to see schools of big fish trashing in the shallows. We anchored up near one of these "pods" and I tossed in my replacement wallyworld chartreuse spinnerbait. After a few casts, I got hammered again. After a short fight, I got the fish near the boat and discovered it was a nice 5lb striper!



As I fiddled with the striper, Mack hooks up with something huge on a lipless crank with a medium action spinning rod and 10lb line. He asks for help and jumps out of the boat into waist deep water. A 20+lb carp wasn't what either of us expected, but it sure was exciting. He's halfway smiling ...



We continue downstream through the various shoals and rocks, seeing pod after pod of big fish swirling and running, but none would take our offerrings. In one area, we parked the boats on a rocky shoal to cast to the pools below the fast water. As Mack is videoing the area on his point and shoot, I hook into another striper on the chartruese spinnerbait. This one was a little smaller.



That would be the last fish landed today. I lost another striper on a weightless fluke and Mack got blasted near the surface by a huge fish on his spinnerbait, but it missed the lure.

The most surprising thing is that we caught no bream and no largemouth bass. In fact, neither of us saw a bream or a bass in the 7 miles of water we covered. We also didn't see any shad or minnows. Water clarity was ~2-3' with a green hue, flow was ~1800 cfs.

All fish were caught in swift water areas. The last few miles of flatwater was like the dead sea.

We were out of the river around 2 pm and home around 4:30 pm. Great trip.
 

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You guys are on it! What a great day of fishing. Major props to Mac for jumping out in waist deep water to wrangle the mystery fish. That's dedication!

Thanks for sharing the pics.
 

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He is pretty old ...

Mack, post the video and photos if you can. Of the fish! Not the poop.
Ok guys, don't Hate the Player- Hate the Game



I had to jump in cause I was not anchored(current was taking me down) and this fish was screaming drag. I didn't want to put down drag chain and risk fish making a run where it went into anchor line so I jumped out and got FW to catch my canoe. ND would of lost this fish.:p can anyone see barbels on this fish??? I am thinking Robust Redhorse?? Cordell spot caught this fish and it was hooked in the mouth.
 

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I think that is a Buffalo .
I usually consider myself pretty good at identifying fish but this happened so fast we took pictures and released it. this morning as I am looking at the picture something keeps telling me it may be different. robust redhorse don't have red when they get big, but I think they max out at 16 lbs. I am really only half joking when I say Robust redhorse but buff seems likely. Not complaining with carp but would like my first of a buff. I will send the pic to my Auburn biologist friend and we will see what he says....I hope he says buff and not carp as a buff would be a first for me.
Mack
 
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