Fishing Information

Monster Hunt: Ledge Lunker Blues Part I


Originally published in Procats Online Magazine

Summertime angling for trophy-sized blue cats on huge reservoirs can be tough. Peer across an expansive lake and the sheer vastness will seemingly swallow you whole. Where do you start? Do you just go out and look around with a good locator and hope to see some arches and begin fishing? Based on past experiences you know two things. Sometimes you have to drift. Other times you'll have to anchor. How do you know which to do first and what types of structure are you looking for that will hold big burly blue cats?

Procat pro-staffer Jeff Williams ardently targets big blues on Truman Reservoir and Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. A lifetime of big-lake catfishing has taught him a thing or two about catfish behavior in reservoirs, and according to Jeff you can put more fish into the boat if you learn a few keys to summertime blue cat location. Before we get into the fishing part let's look at the two lakes Jeff fishes.

Lake Ledges

Many lakes around the country have different bottom styles from sheer drops down into as much as 180 foot of water on canyon terrain reservoirs, to relatively shallow featureless bowls with subtle drops in depth. Not all lakes are built alike but trophy-sized blues behave in similar ways wherever they swim - especially when it comes to relating to the same types of cover and depth according to the season you are fishing.

Ledge Blues

While Jeff targets cats in a variety of situations during the summer period, he reports that during the warm-water post-spawn period, drift fishing is in his most productive pattern for most days on both lakes for numbers of fish.

He looks for areas where the bottom has subtle rises and drops going from just below and well above the thermocline. "During the hotter water period, the thermocline is everything." Jeff uses his locator to mark fish on gently sloping ledges with the right depth before he deploys his baits and begins a drift. "You can find fish holding on steep ledges in the summer but steep ledges are difficult to get the right drift to stay in contact with numbers of fish. I prefer gentle rises and drops in a long diverse bottom contour area. Once you catch a few fish, make a note at what depth you're catching them in. If you're catchin' fish in 16 foot of water around a 12 foot hump - you'd better find some more 16 foot of water to drift around in."

Why Drift During Summer

Jeff anchor fishes ledges, flats, trenches, wood cover, and steep drops during most of the year except during the hot-water post-spawn period. Big blues will hold on specific cover part of the time and roam around in tight areas looking for food before relocating during the cooler months which allows him to set up on a good number of fish. He still has to look for fish with his finder during the colder water periods but once he finds them, he can anchor up and fish a specific area. Jeff's theory about blue cat metabolism may hold the key to understanding why he does better while drift fishing during summer and the opposite during the cooler water period.

"I think as the water gets hotter, their metabolism rises with it and the blues need to roam around searching for food a lot more. It seems that I have to move around a lot more as well so I drift over areas targeting the active fish and don't worry about fish holding in one area. In hot water, when the fish are active - I can set up on them and by the time I've caught a few fish they've moved. When the fish are acting this way I feel like I've made the right choice by drifting."

The Controlled Drift

Jeff admits that drift fishing for blues isn't really targeting big fish specifically, but he is still targeting structure that holds big fish. He finds an area that is showing the right drift scenario according to his experience on his lakes. He looks for fish arches on his locator holding the right distance off the bottom according to the thermocline. He likes to see fish on the graph holding either really close to the bottom. "Somebody out there might have some success with these loosely suspended fish but I haven't done well trying to target them yet."

Make sure to read Part 2 of this article to learn more about catching monster ledge lunker blues!

Copyright 2004-2005 Jeff Williams and Procats

Feel free to include a link to the rest of this article above the copyright information: ozark-lodges-fishing-trips.com/ledge-lunker-blue-catfish.htm

You have permission to publish this article free of charge as long as you are not selling it and that you include the author bylines immediately visible with the article and, if published in an electronic medium such as on a web site, you provide a link back to www.ozark-lodges-fishing-trips.com in the author bylines, both where the web address is listed as well as well as with the text "Lake of the Ozarks Catfish Fishing Guide Service":

Jeff Williams runs a Truman Lake Hybrid Bass and Lake of the Ozarks Catfish Fishing Guide Service offering lodging and guided trips in Missouri. To book a trip, learn more tips, or find out how Capt. Jeff would fish your own local waters, call 1-866-HOOKSET or visit http://www.ozark-lodges-fishing-trips.com today!


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


The Pew Charitable Trusts (blog)

Fishing Subsidies Are Speeding the Decline of Ocean Health
The Pew Charitable Trusts (blog)
More than 1 billion people worldwide depend on seafood as a main source of protein, and about 100 million people rely directly on fishing for their income, yet according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 90 percent of ...



Chico Enterprise-Record

North state fishing report
Chico Enterprise-Record
FEATHER RIVER: Flows from Oroville Dam jumped to 5,000 cfs a few days before Monday's salmon opener, which could pull in fresh fish from the ocean. Striper fishing is slow again, with a few keepers and shakers being caught. Shad fishing is slow.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Striper fishing starting to improveGainesville Times
Oregon Fishing Forecast - July 19, 2018Portland Tribune
DNR Fishing Report: 07/19/2018Traverse City Record Eagle
UpperMichigansSource.com -Toledo Blade -AberdeenNews.com
all 21 news articles »


WDBJ7

Hometown Adventures: Fishing
WDBJ7
“I just been fishing all my life, my mother's dad, my pawpaw got me into fishing….I've been loving it ever since, and it's grown and grown all my life,” Patsell said. He took us to the old Strawberry Banks campground area because he had some luck ...



BGR

Man catches shark, shark gets eaten by an even bigger fish, man does not catch shark
BGR
Fishing in the ocean can be a pretty interesting experience, especially when you accidentally hook a shark. That's what happened to a fisherman aboard a charter fishing boat late last week, and all things considered he took it pretty well. The shark ...

and more »


Palm Beach Post

South Florida Weekly Fishing Report - July 19, 2018
Palm Beach Post
The snook fishing has also been good in the Jupiter area along the Intracoastal Waterway all the way to the inlet where they are spawning. Anglers working the dock lights and mangroves in the ICW are having good luck. Best baits have been live shrimp ...



Fishing report: Gray wins Gloucester Boys and Girls flounder tournament
Daily Press
The Gloucester Boys and Girls Club flounder tournament was won by Bradley Gray with a stringer weight of 12.26 pounds. Brian Hogge took second with 12.01 pounds. Hogge also won the award for the single heaviest flounder with a 5.84-pound fish.

and more »


Newsday

Island's mixed-bag fishing is good for kids
Newsday
None of that means there aren't any fish to catch. In fact, mixed-bag bottom fishing for less glamourous species including black sea bass, porgies, triggerfish and red hake at this time of year can offer steady action within a reasonable ride of most ...



The Patriot Ledger

Veterans hit the seas for the annual fishing trip
The Patriot Ledger
More than 150 local disabled veterans were treated to a three-hour fishing outing, lunch and entertainment at Quincy Yacht Club on Wednesday. QUINCY -- As Michael Dansereau leaned back in his chair, face to the sun as he breathed in some salt air, the ...

and more »


AL.com

Fish at Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo much bigger
AL.com
As anglers await the Friday morning cannon blast that will start the 2018 Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, one thing remains clear: If you want to catch the biggest fish in the Gulf, you've got to wet your line in Alabama. More on the big fish in a ...



Oakdale Leader

Fishing Report 07-18-18
Oakdale Leader
Depending on where I'm fishing and the species of fish that I'm catching, I might keep a few. Some anglers have become conditioned to letting the fish they catch go and have a hard time understanding why anyone would keep a fish. Most of those same ...
Alan Liere's fishing-hunting report for July 19The Spokesman-Review
Fishing reportMonroe News Star
Fishing report: Lake Jacomo tourney yields multiple 5-plus pound fishKansas City Star
Evening Observer -The Ledger
all 26 news articles »

Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006