CATFISH

d. n  English

Thought this was interesting
From Game and Fish website
HATCHIE RIVER

From the Mississippi state line, where the Hatchie River enters Tennessee, all the way to the river’s junction with the Mighty Mississippi, the Hatchie River looks much like it would have a century or two ago. Unlike most other major rivers in the western part of the state, which have been channelized and robbed of their original character, the Hatchie twists and turns endlessly throughout its course, winding through the broad backwaters of Hatchie Bottom and breaking into various side channels and oxbows.

The Hatchie River supports an outstanding catfish population, according to Tim Broadbent, Region I fisheries biologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Channel cats clearly dominate the population and make up the bulk of most anglers’ catches; however, big flatheads lurk in timber-tangled holes — awaiting those anglers who want to target them. In addition, some blues move up into the lower river from the Mississippi

Broadbent said that catfish anglers should focus on the lower half of the Hatchie, noting that the river is narrow and somewhat swift upstream of Brownsville. Anglers who do want to fish the upper river can float it in a canoe. Broadbent also said that fishing is generally best when the river is fairly clear, which tends to be the case during midsummer.

There are boat ramps beside several bridges, including the crossings of U.S. Highway 70/79, state Highway 54 and U.S. Highway 51. In between the ramps and downstream of Highway 51 are long stretches of twisting river that get extremely light fishing pressure.

Finding catfish along the Hatchie should not be a difficult task for fishermen. Virtually every bend, of which there are hundreds, offers the combination of current, current breaks, cover and depth that channel catfish favor. Armed with chicken livers, shrimp or stink bait, anglers can anchor at the head of a hole, cast a few bottom rigs downstream and find out pretty quickly whether fish are home and willing to bite in any given hole. If the rods don’t jiggle in 15 or 20 minutes, there’s no reason to hang around. The next hole downstream may be loaded with active cats.

Flathead fishermen must be more discerning about locations and more careful about approaches. Flatheads favor the deepest holes and the thickest cover available, and they lie in the hardest places to get baits into (and to get the big cats out of when they do bite!). Flatheads eat mostly live fish, so a live bluegill or other palm-sized fish is tough to beat as bait. Flatheads also are the most nocturnal of the catfish clan, so anglers who are serious about these big cats often venture out under the stars.

Arguably, the best way to fish the lower Hatchie, where flatheads are most apt to show up, is to carefully place a couple of live baits on heavy outfits into likely flathead lairs but also put a couple stinky offerings on the bottom for channel cats. The channels virtually guarantee action, while the flatheads provide a big-fish opportunity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s