High, fast, dirty water along with some cold temperatures this past weekend might have scared some anglers away from the Red River, but it didn’t stop the mighty channel catfish to go on a feeding frenzy. Jeff and Nicolas Connelly had arrived in town Friday to go after these tremendous sportfish with me on Saturday and a little cold weather wasn’t going to spoil the party. Jeff had arranged the trip to celebrate Nicolas turning sixteen years of age and a day catfishing with me was one of the presents. Neither had caught a catfish before so this was to be a special day. As we arrived to launch the boat at Selkirk Park Conservation staff were there with one of the Zebra Mussel decontamination units. After a quick discussion we told them we looked forward to getting the boat sprayed down after our day on the water. Unfortunately when we got off the water at 4 p.m. they had already left for the day. Jeff, who is the President of the Swan Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement Group, and myself were both surprised and disappointed that they would have packed up and left when the majority of the anglers were still on the water. This will not help stop the spread of Zebra Mussels, who have been found under a dock in Selkirk.
As we headed upriver towards Lockport Jeff and Nicolas were impressed with the beautiful homes that dotted the shoreline. On our first two stops we caught one catfish, then headed up close to the locks themselves. After anchoring and checking out the action around us, Jeff and Nicolas both noticed a number of carp and catfish surfacing in one small area about one hundred yards away. That was the trigger for me to move the boat over and anchor just up from the main activity so we could get our baits back to these fish. As we anchored we noticed that the current speed was slower than any spot we had tried previous. As it turned out we were on the edge of the little back eddy, were two different streams of current came together behind us. Bingo, we had found the money hole. For the rest of the day we caught trophy catfish after trophy catfish all on pieces of cut up sucker meat. We had started with five ounces of weight and this particular area we could downsize to four ounces. We also could lengthen our snells a bit, from about 10 inches to 12 inches. We also did not lose one weight to snags, and I can’t remember the last time that happened.
As the day wore on the sun warmed the air and the catfish just continued to get more active. After it was all said and done, Nicolas and Jeff had a trip they won’t soon forget. So get out there, the catfish are biting!