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Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14

2013/2/12 12:31
From Centralia
Posts: 29
I was out enjoying throwing Chernobyl Ants over Smallmouth the other night.

I was having fun with a 7.5' 6-lb leader (I've been getting used to 4' streamer leaders at 20-lbs.), throwing long casts with out worrying about back casts. Parts of the Conodoguinet are really wide…90-100 yards is not uncommon.

Had a blast with several fish going airborne on their takes. Spooked one big'en. I had been in the same spot recently and seen 5 bass 18-20-inches. So I was waiting for a tought fight on what I consider a light leader.

As I released a fish I noticed a group of fish had moved close to me (12-ft) in more than waste deep water. I ignored them and continued to cast over them. They continued to undulate on the bottom beside me. So they were not carp…not suckers…Channel Cats! Two-Footers and bigger!!!

Being in deeper water, I had already put a simple streamer on. So what the heck, I flipped the streamer up stream and let it swing over the horde. Wham…and off the the races and a prompt snap. Oooops.

I thought it was very odd behavior to see a group like that. They are not that common in the creek. You might encounter one a year. Breeding behavior…?!?

By the way, as a teen, I caught a channel cat in the same location that was 26-inches and was 13.5 lbs., with a beer gut on it. It looked like it had been eating many turtles.

Saw on several catches…up to 4 other bass followed along as the hooked fish fought…including fish twice the size that was hooked.

A good break from crawling around looking for weary browns on the Letort.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 0:05

Re: Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 439
Neat story. I've seen that a couple times on Connie, usually when the water is low in late summer. Groups of catties suddenly show up where you don't normally see 'em. I saw one cat last year that was probably the biggest I've seen in PA. I've not had a great deal of success hooking them on flies, probably because I was fishing on a sunny day. They can be aggressive in the evening. Local anglers are targeting them as I see forked sticks at some of my favorite pools.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 8:06

Re: Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14

2014/6/18 20:59
Posts: 1737
Mutzibaugh said he and his buddy took a 30 pound plus flathead in the Susky not long ago.

When the white fly is at it's peak, I can remember being out in the river until 1am on several occasions. You could use the lights of the homes to find the riser in the flat water. I had one take about 6' from my feet that I couldn't budge. When I finally broke his will, I saw the wide mouth of a giant cat. I think it would have measured 26-30". I wrapped the leader around my hand and snapped him off. Wasn't about to get stuck or a finger crushed in the dark. If you stalk the weed beds on the susky in the early mornings, you can find MASSIVE carp feeding. They are nearly impossible to get near though. I've hooked one on a Clouser crayfish. Decided it would be best to point the rod at him and snap the tippet before he broke my rod.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 12:14
Deadbeat Hero

Re: Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 439

Night_Stalker wrote:
Breeding behavior…?!?

Possible - although I had not considered this angle before.

Channel cats are cavity spawners, but can be active at spawning during the summer I believe.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 18:37

Re: Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14

2013/3/1 8:29
From West Chester
Posts: 75
On the susquehanna i've seen large schools of channel cats cruising around a scumline feeding on spinners and other junk. A lot of people think of channel cats as being sedentary bottom feeders, but often they can be aggressive predators.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 21:16

Re: Conodoguinet Encounter, Pod of Big Channel Cats, 2/19/14

2013/3/7 12:27
From Sintrul Pinnsiveenya
Posts: 160
Years ago, a buddy of mine hooked a 27" cattie on a Heddon tiny torpedo topwater. I've seen em aggressively herd baitfish too as bass do in the evening. Smallies follow hooked fish in hopes they'll throw up ingested food items like crayfish and or minnows. I've seen them from the bridges over the Susquehanna flank "mudding" carp in hopes of crayfish darting out of the cloud. If ther are feeding carp about, you can be sure hungry Smallies are close by.

Posted on: 2014/7/22 23:15
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