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:
The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Fishing  Outside

Fishing may seem complicated to first-time anglers, but that doesn't have to be the case. With just a bit of gear, a fishing license, and the information in this guide, ...


The Fishing Beat (April 24, 2019)  Buffalo News

The ice boom removal began Monday. How fast the ice chunks will dissipate will be up to Mother Nature based on wind direction, temperatures and precipitation ...


Fishing Forecast: The beat of these drum have anglers dancing  Daily Press

Putting red drum, also known as a channel bass, into a restriction category called a slot limit likely saved the species from being obliterated from the seas.


Cutting back on fishing could help orcas. But would it hurt charter fishing fleets?  KUOW News and Information

Pacific Northwesterners are undeniably fond of their endangered resident killer whales. Many locals are also fans of salmon fishing, a hobby that sustains ...


Fishing report: Spring! Morels are popping, turkeys are gobbling, crappie are biting  Kansas City Star

Here is the fishing report for the Kansas City area and lakes and wildlife areas in Kansas and Missouri for the week of April 24, 2019.


Board approves temporary fishing ban at an Elk Grove lake  KCRA Sacramento

For the first time, a temporary fishing ban is coming to the lake at Elk Grove Regional Park. The Cosumnes Community Services District Board voted to ...


Bays reach the magic 70 degree mark for fishing  Bay City Daily Tribune

My favorite bait in the world to catch a speckled trout is a topwater, namely MirrOlure She Pups, She Dogs, Top Dogs and Top Pups.


Flesh-eating bacteria infects Florida man fishing off coast of Palm Harbor in Gulf of Mexico  ABC Action News

A Florida man has been hospitalized at a Tampa hospital after contracting a life-threatening flesh-eating bacteria while fishing out in the Gulf of Mexico.


Free fishing for kids Sunday at the Alton Baker Canoe Canal  The Register-Guard

Kids interested in fishing will have a chance to test the waters Sunday in Eugene.The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Outdoors Program will host the ...


Virginia cancels striped bass fishing season amid concerns over population decline  Washington Post

In a 7-0 vote, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission suspended striped bass fishing for the spring season.


NJ history: historic photos of striped bass fishing in N.J.  Asbury Park Press

Here's a look back at striped bass fishing in three different centuries.


'Do’s' and 'Don’ts' for Booking a Fishing Guide  WTVC

What time does your boat go out today? ”As a fishing guide, that is a question that always makes me smile. I immediately know the only time this person has ever ...


Kayak fishing tourney raises money for Tristan Foundation  Finger Lakes Times

WATERLOO — Most people may not think kayak fishing and philanthropy go hand in hand.


Fin City Fly Fishing offers homegrown rods, time-tested knowledge  Ravalli Republic

Fin City Fly Shop and guide *service* is in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley with upgrades, additions, consistent hours and the retail interest of Osprey Outfitters that ...


A bad day at the lake: Fish turn up dead for fishing rodeo  Minneapolis Star Tribune

A children's fishing rodeo went mostly belly-up in northeast Mississippi after a contractor stocked the lake with diseased and dying catfish.


ODFW Family Fishing Event this Saturday at Devils Lake  The News Guard

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will host a Family Fishing Event Saturday, April 27 at Devils Lake in Lincoln City.


Montana fishing report: Rainbows cruising shorelines attracting anglers' attention  Billings Gazette

A yearly ritual is taking place as rainbow trout are cruising the shorelines of many lakes and reservoirs.


Cage fishing in Uganda  Deutsche Welle

Lake Victoria's fish stocks have declined in the last two decades, and fishing communities have suffered. In Africa's Great Lakes Region, fishermen have turned ...


Nevada fishing report, April 24, 2019  Las Vegas Review-Journal

Shore fishermen are catching striped bass and catfish with anchovies in Laughlin.


New Rocky Point Fishing Pier Set for December Completion  ecoRI news

WARWICK, R.I. — Construction of a new timber fishing pier will soon begin at Rocky Point State Park and is expected to be completed by December.


Get ready to fish several season openers Saturday  Petoskey News-Review

It's time to put that new fishing license to good use. Saturday, April 27 is the statewide trout opener, as well as the start of the Lower Peninsula inland walleye.


Fishing Report 4/24/19  Oakdale Leader

I've pretty much had to repair everything from the trailer coupler to the boat's engine. In doing that, I've learned more about bass boats than I originally intended ...


Will limits on fishing free up salmon for starving orcas?  Crosscut

The organization that sets limits for commercial, recreational and tribal salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest wrapped up their work Tuesday at a meeting in ...


Committee advances hunting, fishing fee bill  thelens.news

Two bill increasing recreational hunting and fishing license fees have advanced, though there are numerous differences in the proposals.


CSD board approves fishing moratorium at Elk Grove Park  Elk Grove Citizen

The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board on April 17 approved a six-month moratorium on fishing at Elk Grove Regional Park's lake.


Spring chinook fishing extended again on lower Columbia River  OregonLive

Oregon and Washington biologists met by telephone Wednesday afternoon and approved more sport fishing for springers Saturday and Sunday.


Happening now -- Devils Lake shoreline fishing underway  Grand Forks Herald

DEVILS LAKE—Shoreline fishing in the Devils Lake area is heating up, and anglers are reporting good action for walleyes and northern pike in current areas ...


Coho, trout, crappie, all things spring: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report  Chicago Sun-Times

Crappie, coho, walleye and, well, all kinds of fish are being caught as spring truly settles in, finally, around Chicago fishing for this sprawling raw-file Midwest ...


Fishing lure company owner pleads guilty to leaving investors on the hook  WBAY

On April 22, Andrew J. Reyment of Cecil pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.


Photos: A New Guide to Fishing Bay County Without a Boat  The News Herald

Sure, boats are flashier, but there's plenty of fishing spots, and fish, you can get to just fine without one in Bay County. Hurricane Michael changed a few options ...


Snook fishing is hot from docks, bridges and causeways in Stuart, Jensen Beach, Sandsprit Park  TCPalm

The fishing's good from these docks, bridges and causeways in Stuart, Jensen Beach and Sandsprit Park.


Owl rescued from fishing line set to be released back into the wild  OzarksFirst.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- An owl that was rescued from a fishing line just a few weeks ago has recovered and will be released on Friday.


Backlash with Jordan Osborne  Fishing League Worldwide (FLW, LLC)

FLW Tour pro Jordan Osborne discusses life in Texas, the business of running a pawnshop and how, as a self-taught bass angler, he's leaned on his ...


Pirates Attack Two Fishing Boats off Somalia  The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, two fishing vessels were attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The attempted boar...


Man rescues seal caught in fishing net on Martha's Vineyard  Boston 25 News

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. - Amazing video shows a man coming to the rescue of a seal caught in fishing net, the hero using a knife to cut the animal free.


No fish tale: Nearly 760-pound swordfish is Florida record  Sun Sentinel

A fishing trip in the Florida Keys turned into a record reel-in for a Cape Coral couple when a boat run by Captain Nick Stanczyk landed a swordfish weighing ...


2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview  Fishing League Worldwide (FLW, LLC)

Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee is a big-bass playground where anglers regularly catch trophy fish that surpass 10 pounds. In early May, it'll host the FLW ...


Non-profit takes wounded veterans from Grand Villas fishing  yoursun.com

Seven wounded veterans living in Grand Villas of Englewood gathered at a Punta Gorda pier near Peace River Bridge, on a fishing trip organized by Fish'n for ...


Sight Fishing Tricks for Bass Fishing in the Spring  Wired2Fish

Tips on fishing for visible bass in the spring around the spawn.


Satellites are checking if boats in remote places are fishing legally  New Scientist

The Indonesian government is using tiny internet-providing satellites to check if boats in the middle of the ocean are fishing legally.


Vote- Best Fishing Tour Nominees: 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards  USA Today 10Best

Voting for the Best Fishing Tour is open! Cast your vote daily to help pick the 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Award for Best Fishing Tour.


Fake Fishing Lure Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges  Wired2Fish

File this under the "what the heck file" of weird fishing stories.


Go fish: Springtime around DC means world-class fishing  WTOP

Springtime in D.C. is known for it's beloved Cherry Blossoms. But to anglers, the Washington area is also known as a world-class fishing destination, and the ...


Jared Golden asks feds to delay fishing restrictions that aim to protect whales  Bangor Daily News

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said North Atlantic right whales were spotted in or near shipping lanes in the area, and it's asking ...


Why aren’t more Pennsylvania kids fishing? Maybe because they can’t stand still.  Allentown Morning Call

Pennsylvania fishing license sales are down, and the state is trying to improve participation by focusing on water quality and nontraditional fishermen such as ...


Dworshak Hatchery to host kid's Fishing Day this Friday  Clearwater Tribune

The annual Kids' Fishing Day, sponsored by Dworshak Fisheries Complex and Nez Perce Tribe, will be held on Friday, April 26, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Nez ...


Big money on line in fishing tournament for Special Olympics  Gaston Gazette

If you want the chance to win money catching fish, the Gaston County Sheriff's Office would like to hear from you.The winning two-person team at next month's ...


Chris Kolbert: Morning on trout stream is about more than fish  PostBulletin.com

A quick jolt transferred through my fishing rod to my arm as I drifted a nightcrawler along a deep riffle in a crystal-clear trout stream. The hit was followed by.


On the Water: Late week front cools down fishing  Pine Island Eagle

Good news over the past week was strong full moon tides moving a lot of waters is always a plus for fishing. And the bad was another late season front dropped ...


Get ready for another spectacular fishing year on Lake Erie  Buffalo News

The Lake Erie fishing forecast for 2019 calls for more of the same as last year – plenty of fish and superb fishing. That was the message that was handed out at…


Schoolroom fishing tourney kicks off in Pocket Camp today  Nintendo Wire

Chip is back and he's here to teach all us campers a lesson! Okay, that might not be completely accurate, but the “teaching” theme is definitely at play here.


Fishing fundraiser held to help young accident victim  Herald-Mail Media

Keedysville resident Harry Troxler was seriously injured in a fishing accident this month.


Fishermen may get better access to Atlantic City Inlet fishing jetties  Press of Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — Fish love to hang out by rock jetties.


State hopes to complete Rocky Point fishing pier this year  The Providence Journal

WARWICK — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management hopes the construction of a $1.8-million fishing pier at Rocky Point State Park will ...


New Orleans Big Game Fishing Club excited about 2019 season  Louisiana Sportsman

The New Orleans Big Game Fishing Club expects 2019 to be another great year for their anglers and activities.


Staten Island family fishing trip yields big results  SILive.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Martinellis have gone fishing together for years, but on Easter Sunday their bait was done, when they bass-ically made their most ...


Fishing Report | News, Sports, Jobs  Jamestown Post Journal

Ethan Bronschidle is pictured with his catch. Submitted photo CHAUTAUQUA LAKE The crappie bite in the canals went cold earlier this week, likely a result o.


Triple fishing set for weekend - The Star  The Star of Grand Coulee

Anglers can tackle a unique challenge this weekend on Banks Lake int the chamber of commerce's Triple Fish Challenge tournament. In its seventh.


UK's biggest fishing trawler sails up Thames in Brexit warning  The Guardian

The biggest whitefish trawler in the UK fleet sailed up the Thames on Tuesday to highlight the threats facing the fishing industry if Brexit negotiations fail to ...


39th annual fishing derby brings out young people with a passion for fishing  WTAP-TV

A local fishing tradition took place Saturday morning in Parkersburg that helped young people gain an appreciation for the outdoors.


Fish Tales: Weekend forecast is good for anglers  Tampa Bay Newspapers

The late season cold front that came through last weekend brought the overnight temperatures down into the 50s for a few days. The front has brought our water ...


Want to fish minnows without a bait bucket? Use streamers!  The Logan Banner

Everyone who has used minnows for bait knows that. They also know that live minnows must be purchased or captured before each fishing trip.


Local News Ice boom blamed for costing the local fishing industry money Ed Reilly 5:19  WKBW-TV

Lake Erie charter boat captains are not happy that the ice boom is stil in.


Duggar Family Slammed For Letting Kids Go Fishing: ‘God Doesn’t Appreciate You Killing His Creatures’  Hollywood Life

The Duggars posted a pic of Jackson and Tyler fishing, which caused fans to slam the family in response.


Angler Catches 170-Pound Prehistoric Fish With Alligator-Looking Snout From Oklahoma Lake  The Epoch Times

Fishing is more fun than you think, especially when you reel in a big catch after all that anticipation. It's even more so when you catch a fish that is as tall as a ...


Springfield Elks Lodge slates fishing derby at Forest Park  MassLive.com

The annual Springfield fishing derby, April 27, is provided free of charge to children up to 12 years old, and is now in its 66th year.


Santa Ynez Fish Derby benefiting The Neal Taylor Nature Center to award $5K in cash prizes  Lompoc Record

Rain or shine, the 24th annual Fish Derby will kick off at Cachuma Lake in the Santa Ynez Valley on Saturday, April 27 and run through noon Sunday, April 28.


Friday fishing report: What's biting around the state?  AL.com

Captain Brian Barton (R) guided Ryan Tyler of Florence to this 49-pound blue catfish on Lake Pickwick this week. 0. By Frank Sargeant, The Huntsville Times.


Striped bass fishing season could be canceled in Virginia as population declines  Washington Post

Virginia officials are weighing whether to cancel this year's fishing season for large rockfish in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay out of concern for its ...


Fisherman reels in 102-pound catfish with rod 'not suited for this fish'  Fox News

A fisherman from Oxfordshire, England, reeled in a 102-pound catfish from the Rock Lakes in central France earlier this week, but he claims he was only ...


Scenic City Fishing Charters Expands To 6 Guides  The Chattanoogan

Clockwise from top left - Capt. Richard Simms, Capt. Sam Simons, Capt. Joe Jellison, Capt. Ty Konkle, Capt. Ben Hayes and Capt. Chris Peters. - photo by ...


The Fishing Beat (April 17)  Buffalo News

The ice boom is still in place, tributary fishing had been good until the streams were blown out with rain and Lake Ontario proper is slowly turning up the acti…


How much can you win fishing for shad? 'I wouldn't rule $25,000 out,' contest organizer says  lehighvalleylive.com

The Bi-State Shad Fishing Contest returns Thursday for its ninth year.


Take Me Fishing  6 On Your Side

Fish and Game's Take Me Fishing trailers provide equipment and expertise.


Carp Attack: Fight Against Invasive Fish Heads South  The Wall Street Journal

For years, Midwestern states and the U.S. government have spent millions of dollars to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Now southern states are also ...


Florida fishing boat captain reels in 757-pound swordfish  UPI News

A Florida fishing boat captain shared video of his latest catch: a 757-pound swordfish that could be a new state record.


A Fish-and-Chips/Taco Fun House with a Secret Bar  TheStranger.com

Pretty much everybody knows about Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers. The restaurant, which began as a festival booth in 1987 and took over the old ...


The impact of poor salmon returns to Haines and the fishing industry  KTUU.com

HAINES, Alaska (KTUU) - Salmon fishing is an economic driver in Southeast Alaska, but unpredictable returns have made life difficult for those who rely on ...


Fishing Report: Great opening day at Olney Pond for Central Falls man  The Providence Journal

Opening Day of the Rhode Island trout and freshwater season had a wet start and a wild end on Saturday for Jose Lopez Jr. of Central Falls. Only a few anglers ...


'Emergency fish salvage' calls on anglers to catch as many fish as they want at Crystal Creek Reservoir  KKTV 11 News

rather than letting the fish die, CPW has ordered an emergency fish salvage operation at the reservoir effective May 1.


Coho, trout, crappie, winter yoyoing: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report  Chicago Sun-Times

Even with winter/spring yoyoing, coho, crappie and even bass are going around Chicago fishing for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.


Game Wardens recover illegal fishing gear inside State waters  KGBT-TV

Texas Game Wardens in Cameron and Hidalgo County located miles of illegal fishing gear on Friday night in state waters. Numerous species of game fish were ...


Fishing boat captain reels in 757-pound swordfish in the Florida Keys  Fox 35 Orlando

A Florida fishing boat captain has earned major bragging rights after snagging a 757-pound swordfish--a catch that could be the new state record!


Fishing report: Crappie are getting better but not quite in spawn mode in most areas  Kansas City Star

Here is the fishing report for the Kansas City area and lakes and wildlife areas in Kansas and Missouri for the week of April 17, 2019.


Variable weekend weather could boost spring walleye, trout: Lake Erie Fishing Report April 9:  cleveland.com

Look for cleaner offshore water for walleye this weekend, and hope the rain doesn't hamper the steelhead trout fishing in the Northeast Ohio rivers and streams.


Fly fishing and flying in 'down east' Maine  AOPA Pilot

April 11, 2019 By Thomas B Haines. The bald eagle had been eyeing us for several minutes from atop a tall tree on the Canadian side of the St. Croix River ...


Fishing and hunting seasons set by Oregon Fish and Wildlife  OregonLive

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met in St. Helens and locked down seasons on a predicted bountiful coho salmon run.


Fremont Weir: Salmon rot next to $6.3 million fish restoration project  San Luis Obispo Tribune

Dozens of dead fish, including endangered salmon, died this week along the Fremont Weir, raising questions about the viability of a $6.3 million fish restoration ...


Officials: No Sardine Fishing Off California This Year Due to Steep Population Decline  KQED

West coast regulators have voted unanimously to ban commercial sardine fishing for the fifth straight year after a recent evaluation of the northern Pacific stock ...


Former Concordia quarterback being released from hospital after ice fishing house explosion  INFORUM

ST. PAUL — Michael Herzog, a former Concordia College football quarterback, is being released from Regions Hospital this week, according to an update on ...


Let's Go Fishing seeks volunteers as it readies for new seas...  West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — In Duluth, they wait for the arrival of the first saltie in the harbor to know that spring has come. On Green Lake in Spicer, watch for the launch of the ...


Fishing boat captain facing federal charges for dumping waste in SE Alaska  KTUU.com

The Captain of a fishing vessel has been indicted on federal charges of discharging 16000 pounds of a pollutant into Sumner Strait, according to the U.S. ...


The Right Way to Kill a Fish  The Atlantic

When, in 2016, the F/V Blue North ventured into the Bering Sea on her maiden voyage, onlookers in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, could have been forgiven for ...


Low numbers lead to fishing restrictions on chinook salmon  KIRO Seattle

Low numbers of chinook salmon are leading state agencies to cut back on fisheries and the fishing season.


Oklahoma man catches 13-pound-plus whitefish on first ice fishing trip  Star Tribune

Billy King is an Oklahoma catfish noodler, not an ice fisherman. But he made good with his hands Saturday on his first-ever visit to a frozen lake. Reaching into ...


FISH FACTOR: Salmon permit values rise on optimism; halibut shares sinking  Alaskajournal.com

Nearly all Alaska salmon permits have gone up in value since last fall and buying/selling/trading action is brisk.


Johnstown fisherman snags role on new Animal Planet series 'Fish or Die'  Greeley Tribune

Jay Johnson of Johnstown will have a recurring role on the new series.


McClellanville working to preserve local fishing industry  Live 5 News WCSC

On Wednesday, the community is hosting a meeting with engineers to come up with the best plan of action.


Woman Organizes Cleanup Of Ogdensburg Fishing Spot  WWNY TV 7

A popular fishing spot was trashed and an idea was born. Volunteers will try to make Ogdensburg a little cleaner this weekend.


Utah lakes bloom with fish; Where do experts recommend casting lines this spring?  KSL.com

Whether you\u2019re looking to boat fish or cast lines from the shore, spring marks a prime time for lake and reservoir fishing as populations bloom.


home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006