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
#159c HT MAX FORCE PRO 5.2:1 ONE WAY CLUTCH CAT FISH FISHING REEL BAIT CASTER
12 LED Green Lite Bright Cave Hike Bobber Glow Stick Catfish Noodle Jug Paylake
18 Ball Bearing Carp Fishing Cat Fish Casting Reel Bass Fishing Right Hand BC150
2PK OKUMA AVENGER BAITFEEDER ABF40B 7 BB SPINNING REEL SALTWATER CATFISH
2017 Abu Garcia CATFISH SPECIAL 6500 Reel + Oiler Pen FREE FAST SHIPPING
2017 Abu Garcia Catfish Special 7000 Reel + Oiler Pen FREE FAST SHIPPING
2x Saltwater Surf Fishing Spinning Reel 10BB Offshore catfish Big Size 10000
2pk Avenger Baitfeeder Abf40b 7 Bb Spinning Reel Saltwater Catfish
2x YOSHIKAWA Surf Spinning Fishing Reels Baitfeeder Saltwater Crap Catfish 11BB
5 Ball Bearing Catfish Inshore Trolling Fishing Round Baitcasting Reel
ABU GARCIA 6500 C3 CATFISH SPECIAL BAITCAST REEL
ABU GARCIA 7000 C3 CATFISH SPECIAL BAITCAST REEL
ABU GARCIA Catfish Special C3 6500 Round Reel C3-6500CATSPC
ABU GARCIA Catfish Special C3 7000 Round Reel C3-7000CATSPC
Abu 1365393 C3-7000CATSPC Catfish Special 3BB Ambassadeur Bait Cast Reel 20940
Abu Garcia 6500 C3 Catfish Special Round Reel
Abu Garcia 6500C3 Catfish Special Round Baitcasting Reel
Abu Garcia 7000 C3 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Reel Right Hand 1365393
Abu Garcia Alphamar LC Syncro Right Hand CATFISH Fishing Reel 4.7:1 Gear Ratio
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 4600 Round Baitcast CATFISH Fishing Reel Ratio 6.3:1
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 6600 Baitcast CATFISH Round Fishing Reel Ratio 6.3:1
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round
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 Ambassadeur 5000 5500 Casting Reel Dimple Foot Catfish Look@myothr
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel 1365392
Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel 6500. 5.3:1 Gear Ratio RH1365392
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 C3-7000CATSPC Ambassadeut C3 Catfish Special
Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Rod & Reel Combo, 7'/Medium Heavy
Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast C3-6500 Right Hand CATFISH Fishing Reel Gear 5.3:1
Abu Garcia Orra S Right Left Hand Catfish Fishing Spinning Reel Gear Ratio 5.8:1
Abu Garcia Orra SX30-C Catfish Fishing Right Left Hand AntiReverse Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia RH Classic Baitcast Catfish Fishing Reel C3-5500 Gear Ratio 5.3:1
Abu Garcia STX 5600 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast CATFISH Fishing Reel Ratio 5.9:1
Abu Garcia catfish special 6500c3 reels. 4 total. New in box!!!
Ambassadeur Garcia Catfish Special Fishing Reel
BCS762H Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Rods 7 Ft 6 Inch Heavy 2 Piece Spin
CAT HUNTER PRO DX FAST 5.2:1 GEAR RATIO,CAT FISH :BIG GAME" L@@K!!
DAIWA SEALINE SLW60H LEVEL WIND OFFSHORE FISHING TROLLING CATFISHING REEL NIB !!
Fishdrops OX Right Hand Bait casting Reel Bass Fishing Catfish Saltwater Proof
Fishing Reels Showater Surf Fishing Spinning Reel Offshore catfish Big Size 9000
Fishing Rod And Reel Combos Catfishing Equipment Sensitivity Switch Bite Alert
H.T. Enterprises Ole' Yeller Catfish Spinning Reels OY60
KastKing Fishing Reels Saltwater Big Game Reel Spinning for Catfish
KastKing Fishing Reels,Saltwater Big Game Fishing Reel,Spinning Reel for Catfish
KastKing Sharky 3000-6000 Bait Feeder Reels Spinning Fishing Reels Catfish Reels
MEAT HUNTER 9' Heavy Spinning Rod & Reel Combo -CATFISH, STRIPER, BIG FISH -NEW
Mingyang Red CL60 Baitcasting Fishing Reels 2 BB Right handed Muskie 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
OKUMA SAFINA PRO SPa-50 SPINNING REEL CATFISH SALTWATER
Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Rods 10 Ft Heavy 2 Piece Spin BCS1002H
Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rods 2 Piece 10 Feet Heavy
PENN 209 fishing Reel Level wind 209M baitcast catfish salt fresh water catfi
PENN 309 fishing Reel Level wind 309M baitcast catfish saltwater freshwater fish
PENN Peer 109 Levelwind- Just Serviced Ocean Surf Catfish Excellent Condition
Penn Battle II 2500 Catfish Fishing Anti-Reverse Spinning Reel Gear Ratio 6.2:1
Penn Clash CLA3000 Ambidextrous Spinning Reel For CATFISH Fishing 6.2:1 #1366180
Penn Clash CLA5000 Clash CATFISH Fishing Ambidextrous Spinning Reel #136618
Penn Conflict 2500 Anti Reverse Right Left Hand CATFISH Fishing Spinning Reel
Penn Spinfisher V Left / Right Hand CATFISH Fishing Spinning Reel 4.2:1 SSV10500
Penn Spinfisher V Right or Left Hand Bail-less Catfish Fishing Spinning Reel
Penn Spinfisher V SSV6500LL Ambidextrous CATFISH Fishing Spinning Reel / 1259877
Penn Spinfisher V SSV7500 Left Right Hand CATFISH Fishing Spinning Reel 1259878
Ready 2 Fish Catfish Spin Rod and Reel Combo
SECRETS OF THE CATFISH PROS Hardcover Book Fishing Rod Reel Hooks Bait NEW
Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel Sea Bass Catfish Fishing Pole Reel Tackle
Saltwater Fishing Spinning Reel Baitfeeder 6000 5.5 11BB Catfish Striper Bass
Shakespeare 1366956 Ugly Stik Catfish Round Combo, 7' 2pc Rod, Medium/heavy,
Shakespeare Catch More Fish Catfish 7' Spinning Rod & Reel Combo, CMF CATFISH
Shakespeare Tidewater 30L Conventional Reel, Catfish or Saltwater
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning 7' Rod,& Reel Fishing Pole Combo MH
Shimano Triton 200GT Baitcast Reel Trolling Pier Catfish Musky Look At My Others
Ugly Stick Catfish fishing rod glow in dark guides Shakespeare/ reel (lot#9306)
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
ht 7005b catfish spinning reel
spinning reel surf rod fishing tackle casting large reel catfish saltwater mono
Note: All prices in US Dollars