Fly Fishing for Channel Catfish

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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:08 pm
Location: Sarasota

Fly Fishing for Channel Catfish

Post by Gibby3474 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:52 am

The difference between freshwater channel cats and saltwater catfish is night and day. Most saltwater hacks detest catfish. They're beloved in fresh water. In fact, there are guides throughout the southeastern United States who specialize is leading client to cats.

We're fortunate enough here to have two bodies of water that just might be the best for fly fishing channel cats. You can launch at Lake Manatee or the Manatee River and actually target channel cats of fly.

These fish are tough, fast and brutally strong. The largest I've landed on fly weighed 7 pounds, but I've hooked (and lost) a few significantly larger.

My fly of choice is my Myakka Minnow. I've also hooked them on nymphs and popping bugs.

Most often, you'll find them around shoreline vegetation in the lake. In the river, concentrate around fallen trees in the deeper outside bends.

If you're serious about this, you'll want to use a minimum of a 6-weight fly rod, floating line, and 7 1/2-9-foot fluorocarbon leader with minimum of 8-pound tippet.

At the lake, I launch at the ramp just off S.R. 64 at Lake Manatee Fish Camp. I launch at Ray's Canoe Hideaway on the river.

I've landed as many as 18 channel cats in a day.

You'll also encounter largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker, stumpknocker, speckled perch and tilapia.



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