Catfishing the Albemarle region
By Mike Sweeney
Saturday, July 21, 2018
There are a group of dedicated anglers who specialize in one fish and it is not bass fishing its catfish.
Yes that is right and not only are they good at fishing for this species they are bringing in giants that a lot of people didn’t even know live in our water ways.
The Northeastern North Carolina Anglers Club is one such a group and this weekend the club and other anglers participated in the Chowan Catfish Challenge out of Tunis Landing.
The object is to go out and catch cats only keeping the top three fish and bringing them back to the scales to see how much total weight they have.
In the summer when its really hot sometimes they just keep one to help keep the fish alive but the tourney brings out some of the best anglers using different techniques to bring in the big cats and this weekend just proved how good these catfish guys are.
Danny Taylor from Gates County and a member of the anglers club landed a cat weighing in at 82.2 pounds.
You heard me right 82 pounds and it was 56.5 inches long and 34 inches around. That is a huge fish that took the tournament to say the least.
A great bag of fish comes in at around 100 pounds for three fish but this one beat them all by far.
The techniques used by these top cat anglers vary from person to person with some using noodles while others anchor and bottom fish.
This particular fish was caught trolling cut bait on planer boards at various depths.
The rig looks a lot like a Carolina rig with a weight, swivel, leader and size 10 circle hooks with a small bobber just above the hook to keep the bait off the bottom.
You have to check with Tunis Landing for all the tournament rules but if you think you are a catfish expert then show up and let give them a challenger worthy of their ranks.
What’s biting, where...
The offshore guys have been pretty steady this week since the storm left and the mahi have been coming back to the docks in abundance.
Limits are arriving at almost every marina along with some scattered wahoo and even a few marlin flags are flying.
In the near shore the boats have been doing pretty good with tons of ribbon fish, Spanish and blues but the beach itself has slowed since the storm passed.
There are some reports of pompano around Buxton and some scattered mullet but it has been a slow week all around.
Here locally we are still on a good largemouth bite with the typical early morning top water action then switching to soft plastics after that.
Watch your water temps and if you can find water that is a little cooler like in a creek or the mouth of a creek concentrate on that area a little more.
Deeper water nearby is also a plus but what you will find is that moving down the bank you will get a lot of bites then nothing so pay attention to what that area looks like and the structure the fish are on then try to find other areas that look like that.
The white perch are still thick in the rivers and creeks also and people don’t seem to be having any trouble catching them.
Shrimp on bottom rigs, floating under bobbers or stuck on the end of a Beetle Spin all seem to work.
When you find one there will be more so look for them under docks, in the stump fields or on the first drop off away from the flat.
One pattern works in some places while others work in another just stick to the one that work best for you.
If anyone gets out this week make sure you send a report and a bragging picture to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike