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John's Journal... Entry 247, Day 4


After The Spawn

Editor's Note: Although you can catch channel catfish around rock walls, riprap, rocky bluffs and almost anywhere you find rock cover in shallow water, from now until the end of June, the channel cats will be spawning in many areas of the South. Phil King, of Corinth, Mississippi, one of the nation's top competitive catfishermen, has a string of catfish-tournament wins that will embarrass a show pony. Before King fished in catfish tournaments, he was a commercial catfisherman, feeding his family with his knowledge of where, when and how to find and catch cats. This week, King tells us where and how to catch cats on the rocks with Strike King's new Catfish Dynamite, Catfish Dip Bait, Catfish Bites and Catfish Dynamite Dough.

Question: Phil, why are the channel cats in the rocks and on the rocks when there's no current coming through a dam, and the weather is extremely hot?
King: Because channel cats like to feed shallower than blue cats, you'll consistently locate them in zero to 17 feet of water throughout most of the year below almost any dam you want to fish. Riprap below the dam at Pickwick will produce channel catfish at almost any time of the year, but the fishing for these catfish is best when there's no current, and the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold.

Question: Phil, how did you figure out where and how to find channel cats on the rocks from April through the end of June?
King: My fishing partner, Stacy Thompson, showed me how to use a fly rod and cast to the rocks to catch the channel cats many years ago. Because the spinning reel is much easier to learn to fish and cast, I just took the knowledge that I gained from fishing with a fly rod with Stacy and converted it to fish spinning-reel tactics. Besides, when I guide a party of two or three, and you count me, which makes four people in the boat trying to fish all at the same time, you can't fish that many people in a boat if you fish with fly-fishing tackle.

Question: What is the best time of the day to catch the cats on the rocks?
King: What many people don't understand about catfish is that they react to sunlight just like bass and crappie do. Early in the mornings, you'll find the cats in that 1- to 2-1/2-foot water, but as the sun gets higher in the sky, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., you need to pull out into water that's 8- to 10-foot deep and fish the same areas that you've fished at daylight. Although you can still catch cats in 8 to 10 feet of water, you'll catch more cats before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. in the shallow water than you will if you fish in the deep water.

If you'd like more information about Phil King, how he fishes, where he fishes, how he can clean a catfish in 11 seconds, and some great recipes for catfish, call (662) 286-8644 or go to www.h2ow.com/catfish/. To learn more about fishing below the dam at Pickwick, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at info@tourhardincounty.org, call 731-925-8181 or 800-552-3866, or visit www.tourhardincounty.org. Pickwick Landing State Park offers fishing, boating, hiking, camping, swimming and golf. Lodging includes the lakeside inn with over 100 rooms, cabins that sleep eight and a campground that contains 48 sites with grill and electric/water hookup at each site. A restaurant at the park offers delicious southern cuisine. Call 731-689-3135 or 800-250-8615 to learn more.




Check back each day this week for more about CATS ON THE ROCKS ...

Day 1 - Cats On The Rocks
Day 2 - How To Rig To Catch Cats On The Rocks
Day 3 - Don't Anchor Down When Fishing For Cats On The Rocks
Day 4 - After The Spawn
Day 5 - Dynamite And Cats

John's Journal