The ice went out on the Madison, WI chain of lakes about 2 weeks ago and the area has receive several inches of cold rain since then. Water temps were still in the low 40's, and visibility was limited in many areas because of heavy runoff.While those conditions can mean trouble for most species of fish ... for channel cats it means it's time to head to the shallows! After several hours to searching for the warmest water I could find I finally found a wind swept shoreline with 46 degree water this day ... and the cats were there and hungry!
This monster channel cat decided to eat a night crawler just before I was going to call it a day. While picking up my other rods I noticed my float was half under water. I tightened the circle hook and the hefty female set off in the opposite direction. After an intense battle in the very shallow water (less than 2') the fish eventually was caught, photo'd, and released. Measuring 33" and weighing 18 lbs she was the biggest of the season so far for me.
Species: Channel Catfish
Date Caught: 03/20/2013
Kept / Released: Released
Region of Catch: Region 1
Lure / Bait used: Bait | Night Crawler