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Old 02-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
fishingallgamefish
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Default john day catfishing?

hello fellow ifishers. i have been hearing from some people that come through my work and they have been telling there are some good catfishing on the john day and you can get some big ones.

my grandpa came up here about a week ago and he was telling me when he worked for fish and wildlife he was checking sturgeon anglers below the john day dam and he said they were catching big catfishing off live sandshrimp.

im just wondering if you guys could let me know a good time of the year to go out there and get some nice cats and if you guys could tell me what some good baits to use at that certain time of the year.

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Old 02-17-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
Cliff D.
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

This will be a very generic reply, but here goes. Go when it warms up enough to be comfortable to you, while fishing. Stop when it's too hot to stay out past noon. Bring all the usual baits and anything else you can think of or anything you've seen others use. Had days where Herring was 5-1 better than anything and the next day liver/shrimp/worms/etc. would be the bait of choice for Mr. Whiskers.
No one thing is set in stone. Start here and find what works for you, kinda' like Gators.
Good luck and have fun !!
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:05 AM   #3
Stalmass
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishingallgamefish View Post
hello fellow ifishers. i have been hearing from some people that come through my work and they have been telling there are some good catfishing on the john day and you can get some big ones.

my grandpa came up here about a week ago and he was telling me when he worked for fish and wildlife he was checking sturgeon anglers below the john day dam and he said they were catching big catfishing off live sandshrimp.

im just wondering if you guys could let me know a good time of the year to go out there and get some nice cats and if you guys could tell me what some good baits to use at that certain time of the year.
I would look for water temps to get up over 50 though they can be caught when it is colder. Late April and May is usually best for bigger fish. As for bait....there are a lot of Crawdads up in the neck of the woods.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

The upper John Day arm has wonderful opportunities late spring, early summer. Water temps can get in the 70's without a problem in the summer.........noodling time . Up near the Fox Canyon area is generally easier access unless you have a boat.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
SteelhdNut
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

We have caught a few incidental Channel Cats while fishing for steelhead. And pretty nice fish; in fact nice enough to make it to the table !
Never targeted the whisker fish specifically on The Day but I would be inclined to say the opportunity is as fair to good as any where on the mid-stretch of the CR.
The fish I caught were aggressive enough to take a prawn suspended at 8-10 feet; and in water with depths of up to 60 feet !
Cold water channel cats are pretty good eating I might add.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
Capin' Dan
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

I love this fishery. Feel free to giv eme acallif you wna tmore info. Best to fish the canyon in June gotta have a boat for it. Nice cats though and can get a lot if the time is right. the right bait is a must in this area.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
Lou
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

PM Rufusdan, his bait shop is in Rufus. The Arm is most likely frozen over,
but catfishing is done above and below the dam.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:50 AM   #8
Salmon Mike
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

This is a great fishery!!!! Hope you like bass too!
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
jimpnl
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

I grew up in Georgia. Fishing for catfish was not just a hoby it was a right of passage for a young man. Catching my first cat and learning how to hold it without getting speared is a memory that I still hold dear. My dad would start the learning process with the bait. We would go to the store and buy chicken liver at least a week before the trip. He would take the liver and put in a plastic bag and then in a bucket, set it out in the sun and let it get just putridly rotten. This stuff stunk so bad I would gag when I would go out to check on it and make sure it was not getting dried out or drug off by a critter. The "smell" my dad said would have them coming from miles away and we would have more fish than we would know what to do with. He was always right on that one. We would take some of that rotten stuff and put it in a small burlap sack weight it down with rocks and put it out the night before we were going to fish. The next morning there would be so many cats around that sack that we could just catch fish untill we decided we had enough for a big fish fry. The stinkier the bait the more fish you will catch. We would also go sometime to the butchers and get cows blood. We would take sour dough balls and stick them in a bucket with the cows blood that again would be sitting in the hot sun and let them soak up that rotting blood. We would take cheese cloth and tie up the dough balls to keep it together while fishing. We always caught fish. We would get home and then nail there heads to a series of 2x12 boards he had set up for skinning them. Nailing them to the boards would keep them from moving while you pulled on the skin. I can tell you this it is the only way to skin a cat. Hope this helps, and thanx for sparking up some fond old memmories of me and my dad on the bank of the lake on a cool sunday morning catching catfish till my arm was sorel
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
builder
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Default Re: john day catfishing?

I love fishing for channel cats and that's probably the closest place to Portland that's really worth targeting them. Any of your typical catfish baits will work, I had an amazing night a couple years ago using chunks of shad. I usually fish it the middle of may when the water warms but is still high enough for me to take my boat (20' w/prop) up river but I'm sure fishing is probably pretty good from about April - October.
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