The formula is simple: cooler temps = hot bite for fall cats! Catching catfish from a kayak in the fall can be one of the most rewarding types of fishing there is in South Carolina.
Due to the amazing saltwater action this time of year, cats are oftentimes overlooked
Their willingness to bite, ease of locating, and the potential for catching a true trophy size fish on any given cast all combine to make fall cat fishing an experience that once enjoyed, will never be forgotten.
Not to mention they are excellent on the table, so a day of fun catching these fish can feed family and friends with ease.
For us, it’s a family kayak fishing outing and something we’ve all come to enjoy getting good at!
Locating fall cats is not hard: look for fresh water…its that simple. Catfish are cruising the flats of the lakes and rivers this time of year gorging on the abundant baitfish that have spawned and grown into fingerlings throughout the spring and summer.
Our favorite bait for cats is a live 2-4” bream. My preference is to fish them on a simple Carolina rig with no more than 1/2 ounce of weight, allowing the bait to move with ease.
If you can find a large flat on the lake or a shallower side to the river, catfish will find your bait
My son loves catfishing almost as much as I (maybe more?). Joe’s preferred method is using fresh cut bait and ANY kind will do, even mullet/shrimp/pinfish caught in the saltwater or small freshwater non-game fish.
If you can find a large flat on the lake or a shallower side to the river, catfish will find your bait. The true giants of the lake tend to hang out in deep holes in the lakes and rivers.
If you want to fill a cooler full of fish fry size cats, work the flats and edges. If a trophy class fish is what you are looking for, think big bait and deeper water.
Big blues tend to hang in groups, so if you can find one-you might be in for multiple hookups in that same spot.
When a monster flathead is your target look for moving water and fish the eddies. Use a Santee rig paired with big live bait to tempt these fish.
The simple truth is that nearly any bait will work this time of year
Flatheads can’t resist live bluegill and, if you’ve never caught one, no bait is too big! The simple truth is that nearly any bait will work this time of year and catfish are relatively easy to find.
Don’t overthink your setup and gear. Use stout tackle and heavy lines/leaders with circle hooks 5/0 and bigger.
A large landing net is a must for getting these fish under control. You never know when a big cat will take your offering and give you an exciting ride in the kayak!
Tight lines and good luck in your pursuit of these giants as we close out the LKA Angler of the Year competition for 2018 with the heaviest of all our targets!
Chad and Joseph Quick
Lowcountry Kayak Anglers
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