Night fishing for catfish
Night Monster Catfish fishing - Read Tips below
Some of the most enjoyable fishing I’ve done in the Inland Northwest has been the times spent night fishing for catfish on Sprague Lake.
One of the reasons that I wanted to do an article on catfish fishing on Sprague Lake is that I recently learned of proposed plans by the WDFW, (Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife), to rehabilitate the lake this fall. It seems that the fishing angler density has fallen off the past few years to one of the lowest in the state. WDFW surveys say that the lake attracts fewer than five anglers per acre a year.
While Catfish can be caught during the day at Sprague Lake, I’ve always had the best results and experience at night.
I, for one, would miss the magic of Catfish fishing at night on Sprague. My son and I usually head out with plans to be on the water prior to sundown. The best times for us are the hot nights of summer when the air temperature stays in the high 60’s and above after dark. Far enough from the city lights, the stars overhead shine brilliantly and the band of our Milky Way Galaxy can be clearly seen. The stars seem close enough to reach out and touch them.
Another part of the magic are the multitudes of bats, feeding on flying insects, swooping so close that they often tick your line as it leaves your rod tip to the water. Besides being harmless to humans, bats eat their weight in mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects nightly, which might otherwise be feeding off of you. Despite this benefit, I still recommend the use of a good spray or lotion repellant containing "deet". The best I’ve found is the Avon product called, "Skin-so-Soft". It is far and away the best smelling repellent I’ve used that was still highly effective.
Harper Island on the southwest end of the lake is an extremely active bird nesting site and even at night the sounds of gulls and other waterfowl fill the air. I have often wondered if the birds on the island ever sleep. If they do, you wouldn’t know it from the noises coming from there, even well after dark.
Since it is the nature of Catfish fishing to be a waiting game… a lot of that time is spent talking, telling stories of past fishing trips and anything else that comes to mind. We usually bring along a small propane barbecue and cook burgers and hotdogs. Good flashlights are essential, and one of the foam mounted headlights that can be hooked up to your 12 volt battery can be pretty handy for navigating to and from the boat launch, along the shoreline, and around Harper Island (see map above) on the southwest end of the lake. Usually one angler holds the light for the person fighting the fish or head-mounted lights can be great also. The east side of Harper Island has been our preferred spot for night cats, but I have heard from other people that the creek mouth, (Cow Creek), at the far southwest end of the lake is quite good also. Either spot is just a short distance from the public launch at that end of the lake.
Now let’s get down to the equipment you will need for these monsters.
Rods: First you will need a good stout rod. Any heavy to medium heavy rod in 6 to 7 foot length will probably suffice. Ugly sticks will do the job well enough.
Line: Line requirements too, are fairly simple, 15 to 25 pound monofilament or braid or heavy test fluorocarbon. If you’re fishing for trophy’s that get much bigger than 20 to 25 pounds you might want to up your line to 30 or even 35 pound test.
The Right Hook: The right hooks just may be the most important factor to consider. Since practically every bite you get your bait is swallowed, you want to make sure that when you set the hook that you don’t gut or throat hook your fish. A circle hook will slide back up the throat and then usually hook in the jaw.
In addition to setting without rod action, circle hooks are favored in commercial fisheries because they hook and retain fish, even on slack lines. They also tend to hook fish in the jaw, causing less mortality than standard J-hooks. Make sure to use a heavy-gauge hook. Cats have been known to straighten thin-wire hooks.
The Hook-set: Using circle hooks requires some attention to your hook-set. With reels with a clicker you would set your drag light and turn on your reel clicker. When the clicker starts to click, (indicating that the bait has been taken), tighten up your drag and slowly bring back your rod tip with a gentle sweep. Too early or too aggressive a hook-set can pop the bait out of the catfish’s mouth.
What Bait to Use? I have the best luck with a golf ball size chunk of fish on a 3/0, 4/0 or even a 5/0 size circle hook. Trout chunks work great, (but you didn’t hear it from me), and some people persist in using earthworm, chicken livers, stink baits and even cornflakes, oatmeal and flour concoctions. The truth is, just about anything edible with a strong scent is likely to attract and entice a catfish to bite.
Reels: Hands down, large bait-casting style reels have the cranking power to move these big fish. Spinning reels can and do work and many catfish fishermen swear by them. Just for fun, my 31 year old son hooked and played one large catfish with a child’s Scooby-Doo pole and even its inferior reel might have brought it boat side had the line not been broken off on the outboard motor.
Other tackle: Some people use weights to keep their baits on the bottom. With a large chunk of fish on your hook I haven’t found it necessary. Besides, the rocky bottom of Sprague can cause your weight to hang-up in the rocks. Some cats do like to roll when hooked, so a good ball-bearing swivel can be an advantage. Bobbers can be a good idea both from the standpoint of being a bite indicator, and, (if it is being slowly blown across the surface), it can drag your bait along with it presenting it to a larger area. I prefer to watch my line and rod tip. There isn’t usually much doubt when you have a catfish on. Last, but oh so important, a good large net is an essential item to boat these behemoths.
The Fight: I have heard some people say that catching a large catfish is like pulling in a large log, or some other such nonsense. These comments are usually made by someone who has never caught a large catfish. I can bear testimony that a Sprague Lake catfish of good size usually puts up one heck of a fight.
The town of Sprague is just 37 miles from Spokane, WA. After leaving I-90 go through the town to the South shore road following it to the public access road near the southwest end of the lake.
By David Wright
External RSS"HUGE" SHAKESPEARE ALPHA 070 -CATFISH "BIG GAME REEL SPOOLED READY TO FISK,L@@K!
2 Vintage USA PENN No 155 Saltwater Catfish Conventional Fishing Reels Surf Boat
2017 Abu Garcia CATFISH SPECIAL 6500 Reel + Oiler Pen FREE FAST SHIPPING
2017 Abu Garcia Catfish Special 7000 Reel + Oiler Pen FREE FAST SHIPPING
2PK OKUMA AVENGER BAITFEEDER ABF40B 7 BB SPINNING REEL SALTWATER CATFISH
2x Saltwater Surf Fishing Spinning Reel 10BB Offshore catfish Big Size 10000
2x YOSHIKAWA Surf Spinning Fishing Reels Baitfeeder Saltwater Crap Catfish 11BB
5 Ball Bearing Catfish Inshore Trolling Fishing Round Baitcasting Reel
6 NEW WHITE'S AUTO FISHER REEL YO YO SURVIVAL FISHING REELS DOCK Or LIMB LINE
ABU GARCIA 7000 C3 Catfish Special 4.1:1 Gear Ratio #1365393 (C3-7000CATSPC)
ABU GARCIA Catfish Special C3 7000 Round Reel (/ ) C3-7000CATSPC
Abu Garcia C3-6500 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Baitcast Fishing Reel
Abu Garcia 1365392 C3 Catfish Special Round Reel
Abu Garcia 1365393 C3 Catfish Special Round Reel
Abu Garcia 1365393 C3 Catfish Special Round Reel [7000, 4.1:1 Gear Ratio, 3
Abu Garcia 7000 C3 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Reel Right Hand 1365393
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3 Catfish Special baitcast reel new display model
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 Baitcast Rod + Baitcast Reel For CATFISH Fishing
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 6600 Baitcast CATFISH Fishing Reel / 4bb 6.3:1 Ratio
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 6600 Baitcast Fishing Reel + CATFISH Tackle Kit + Case
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur CS-7000 Pro Rocket Baitcast CATFISH RH Fishing Reel
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Baitcasting Reel C3-7000CATSPC,New, 2149
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Baitcasting Reel C3-6500CATSPC!
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Baitcasting Reel C3-7000CATSPC!
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Fishing Reel, New
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel 7000 4.1:1 Gear Ratio 3 Bearings 20 lb
Abu Garcia C3-6500 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Baitcast Fishing Reel
Abu Garcia C3-6500CATSPC Ambassadeut C3 Catfish Special
Abu Garcia C3-6500CATSPC Catfish Round Reel 6500 5.3:1 Ratio 15 lb Drag RH
Abu Garcia C3-7000 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Baitcast Fishing Reel NEW
Abu Garcia C3-7000CATSPC Ambassadeut C3 Catfish Special
Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Combo 1365465 Fishing Rod & Reel Combo
Abu Garcia ORRA WINCH Low Profile Catfish Fishing Reel Low Gear Ratio 5.4:1
Abu Garcia Orra S Right Left Hand Catfish Fishing Spinning Reel Gear Ratio 5.8:1
Abu Garcia Orra SX Low Profile Baitcasting Combo Fishing Rod Reel Bass Catfish
Abu Garcia REVO S Low Profile Baitcast Catfish Fishing Reel RH Gear Ratio 6.4:1
Abu Garcia RH Classic Baitcast Catfish Fishing Reel C3-5500 Gear Ratio 5.3:1
Abu Garcia Revo RV03 INS Low Profile Inshore CATFISH Fishing Reel / Ratio 7.1:1
Abu Garcia STX 5600 Ambassadeur Baitcast CATFISH Fishing Reel / 5bb Ratio 5.9:1
Abu Garcia STX 5600 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast Fishing Reel + CATFISH Tackle Kit
Ambassadeur Garcia Catfish Special Fishing Reel
Baitcaster Lot 1 Depth Master W/Depth Counter 1 Daiwa Sealine Trolling Catfish
Browning 3506 Graphite Stteelhead, Trout, Catfish Bass Fishing Reel Great Cond !
C3 Catfish Special Round Reel 6500, 5.3:1 Gear Ratio, 4 Bearings, 15 lb Max Drag
DR.FISH 6000 Spinning Reel Baitfeeder Saltwater Catfish Surf Fishing Spare Spool
Fishdrops OX Right Hand Bait casting Reel Bass Fishing Catfish Saltwater Proof
Hercules-II 4000 Fishing Reel Baitfeeder 2 Spool 11BB Freshwater Catfish
Lew's Right Hand Mach Speed Spool MCS CATFISH Casting Fishing Reel Ratio 6.8:1
Ming Yang Red CL60 Baitcasting Reel Fishing Reels 2+1 BB Right Handed Catfish
Mingyang MC600 Black Baitcasting Fishing Reel 6 BB Right Handed Catfish
Mingyang MC600 Red Baitcasting Fishing Reel 6 BB Right Handed Catfish
Mingyang Red CL60 Baitcasting Fishing Reels 2 BB Right handed Muskie Catfish
Mingyang Reel Black Right handed MC600 Bait casting Reel 6+1 BB 5.3:1 Catfish
Mingyang Reel Gold CL60 Right handed Bait casting Reel 2 BB Catfish Fishing
NEW Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Catfish Special Round Baitcast Reel C3-7000CATSPC
NEw Abu Garcia C3-6500CATSPC C3 Catfish Special 6500 3SS Bearing
OKUMA SAFINA PRO SPa-50 SPINNING REEL CATFISH SALTWATER
PENN 309 fishing Reel Level wind 309M baitcast catfish saltwater freshwater fish
Penn 160 fishing reel for Catfish (lot#11088)
Penn 209 Boat Trolling Surf Fishing Reel Catfish Made in USA
Penn Defiance DFN30 Baitcast Fishing Walleye Catfish Drag Live Bait Reel NEW
Penn Rod And Reel Combo Saltwater 8' Fishing Equipment Pole Combo Catfishing
Pure Fishing Berkley Glowstick Catfish Combo Rod And Reel Genuine Glowstik
Quantum Bill Dance Catfish Striper Trolling Reel BD20XLG
Ready 2 Fish Catfish Spin Rod and Reel Combo
Ready 2 Fish Catfish Spin Rod and Reel Combo ~ New ~ Free Shipping
Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel Sea Bass Catfish Fishing Pole Reel Tackle
Saltwater Fishing Spinning Reel Baitfeeder BL1000-7000 12BB Catfish Striper Bass
Shakespeare UCC50A Special Catfish Spinning Reel NEW
TICA CAIMAN CA 200 12 BEARING,BAIT CLICK,CATFISH;RED AND SEA TROUT,"BIG GAME"
SHIMANO TRITON FISHING REEL 200GT BAITCASTING DOWNRIGGER SALMON TROUT CATFISH
Saltwater Fishing Spinning Reel Baitfeeder 6000 5.5 11BB Catfish Striper Bass
Team Catfish Gold Ring 5000 Spinning Reel
YOSHIKAWA 11BB Surf Fishing Spinning Reel Bait-feeder Catfish Bass 4000 5.5:1
YOSHIKAWA BAITFEEDER Spinning Reel Saltwater Musky Catfish Fish 5000 5.5:1 11BB
YOSHIKAWA Bait feeder Spinning Reel 5000 5.5:1 Carp Pike Catfish Fishing
YOSHIKAWA Bait-feeder Fishing Spinning Reel Beach Saltwater Carp Catfish10+1BB
YOYO AUTOMATIC FISHING REEL, ONE BOX OF 12 YOYOS ( CRAPPIE, POLE, CATFISH )
Zebco / Quantum Accurist Right Hand Bait Cast CATFISH Fishing Reel 7.0:1 PT 6bb
abu garcia ambassadeur 6500 catfish special
mr catfish spinning reel fishing accessories with line included and installed
Note: All prices in US Dollars