It had been about year since I had caught my last channel catfish but when Travel Manitoba extended the invite to fish for a morning as part of their media event titled "Fish Tales" how could I refuse. I picked up publisher Kevin Stobbe at seven in the morning last week and we headed from Winnipeg to Selkirk Park were the guides had their boats ready to go.
We were teamed up with Brad Melnyk, who is know more for his smallmouth exploits.
He had caught plenty of catfish over the years and in no time flat he had us tucked in tight to shore to get out of the heavy current that was flowing in the mighty Red. Heavy rains have swelled the river, sending floating logs and trees down at a rapid clip.This hadn't discouraged the catfish though. Big fish were surfacing everywhere so it didn't take long for Kevin to get hooked up with the first fish of the day. Unfortunately he was given an outfit with the handle of the reel on the wrong side. Still, he managed to wrestle this 31 inch fish to the side of the boat.
Not five minutes later, after a equipment change, he was into a much bigger fish, a 34 incher that was Kevin's first master angler. A short time later it was my turn. The action continued pretty much non stop until 11:30 when we went back to exchange our stories over a hot walleye shore lunch provide my Danny of Dannys Whole Hog Barbeque fame. In the end Kevin had landed four master angler fish, the largest a 26 pound brute.
It was a fun day and thanks to Travel Manitoba and Brad Melnyk on reminding me how great channel catfish really are!