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Finding the Catfish Hotspot

July 6, 2016
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My friend John (Pictured Above) recently purchased a home on a 350 acre natural, glacial lake in northern Illinois.  Both of us are primarily bass fisherman, but we wanted to hit the water in the evening to try to catch some Channel Catfish to fry up.  Since he has moved in, we have fished 4 times from 9pm to 1am each time in a different location.  The first 3 trips rewarded us with one channel cat in total and countless bullhead.  The areas that we were targeting on the first three trips were grass lines on the outside of bays where the deep water of the main lake was close.   We were able to find those spots easily with Lowrances Structure Scan (side imaging), and were surprised at the lack of action.  We were targeting Channel Cats, fishing with chicken liver, in a warm northern Illinois grass lake and yet we weren’t crushing the cats like both of us had so many times before on different, but very similar bodies of water.

On our fourth trip out we headed deeper into one of the several bays on the lake and anchored on a point, just outside a small channel that current was flowing out of.  Again with the help of Lowrances Structure Scan we were able to locate an area in about 4 feet of water where the weeds broke and there was a flat that looked very promising.  We set up our 4 rods and immediately started hitting the cats.  We ended up with probably a half dozen in the few hours we fished and lost a few more.  Just goes to show that you have to search and do your due diligence to find the spots that they relate to.  I am sure there are several other prime spots on the lake as well.  The picture above was our biggest.  He weighed in at just under 10 pounds, a very solid Channel for northern Illinois.   We still have the spot with the sunken boat in our back pocket for next time!

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sethr522

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