Material from Fishing & Hunting News On the Colorado, knowledge is more than half the battle. One of the biggest is that they are simply intimidated. The fish was 53.5 inches long and had a 36-inch girth. Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use... As bass retreat from summer's warm weather it's time for 'football season.'. "These allow the hook to pierce the inside of the fish's mouth and get set. If at all possible, don't venture onto the river alone. Rotary Park in Bullhead City is a prime spot to access the Colorado River. "They are big enough to go through the bait and still leave the hook exposed," Smothers says. Anglers may keep 10 catfish per day. The cats sit in the tules and ambush prey. With mono line, chances are you aren't going to be able to horse the fish out of the weeds and tules. Mittry Lake - Has a variety fo bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish. Keep the anchovies frozen by using wrapped dry ice on top of them. Remote Tributaries including Tapeats Creek - If camping near the Colorado River, throw remains into the Colorado River. Smothers says that he pierces the hook between the dorsal fin and the tail. Photo: Simon Foot. Let’s tackle the most obvious Grand Junction fishing spot first. It also features several fishing jetties including one that claims to be barrier free for handicapped. There's 50-pound flatheads out there and no one is fishing for them.". Flathead catfish aren't going to be found in fast moving water. Sutherland, Irvine Lake, San Vicente, Casitas, Jennings lakes and most Southern California reservoirs kick out only small channel cats during the summer. It's not safe to run the river at night. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has signed lease agreements with property owners to improve fishing access to rivers and streams. This is important because that eliminates most of the river. "I had a huge one on last time. They are definitely the biggest in Southern California, but we don't do any surveys on them. In fact, a Colorado River catch-and-release record channel catfish was caught in Lake Havasu. Every time you put a bait out there you may only catch a 2-pound flathead, but you can also catch a 50," Smothers says. To Catmando, chasing after flathead catfish is new, but it's a skill that he's learned by tapping into a few locals. Hook and Line Methods and Bait. The Colorado River below Lake Havasu, located on the California-Arizona border, does. "Don't worry," he said. Summer months are good. Catfish anglers can find channel and flathead catfish throughout the reservoir. Click on any name for more detailed information. Anglers must be more selective in location due … But then I saw the eyes. Gronk did what? For Smothers and other catfish hunters, summertime fits their schedule well. It's recommended that you use a jet boat. AT a GLANCE Only in the Colorado River District can anglers legally use live or dead golden shiners, fathead minnows, red shiner, mosquitofish, longjaw mudsuckers, bluegills, tilapia, threadfin shad, goldfish, sunfish, mollies or dead carp for bait. However, the best fishing is concentrated between Parker Dam and downriver past the city of Blythe. Fishing the Colorado River is a change in tune for most catfish anglers in California. They are pretty strong,". Smothers said that at night, the river is a different world. Live bait fishing with minnows is also productive, and usually catches crappie simultaneously. When fishing for catfish in fast-moving rivers like the Colorado River, the key to success lies in knowing where to cast your bait. When darkness arrived the temperature gauge still hovered near 100 as California catfish legend Ronson "Catmando" Smothers grabbed a towel, wiped the sweat off his forehead, snatched a bluegill out of the livewell, pushed a 10/0 hook through its back and sent it and the 40-pound monofilament line into the Colorado River. Then as night falls, the bluegills become bait. Usually in the city you know what's around, but out there you don't know what might come out. The goldfish seem to last much longer. In 2003, Blythe resident Billy Joe Potter set a new state record here when he landed a 72-pound, 14-ounce flathead. Chris Shaffer is the author of The Definitive Guide to Fishing Southern California. When faced with a slow current, 2 ounces will get you by. Can Notre Dame erase a decade of history and compete with Alabama? In Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, you can legally fish on Lake Powell and the Colorado River. I knew they got big, and I wanted to go down and see if I can learn how to go after the trophies.". People come here with their boats. Would you like camping info? I don't know if they ever die. Smothers was cruising down the grade into Blythe on his way to go catfishing in the Colorado River. "I'd say the flatheads here need to be 40 pounds and up to be a big fish," Smothers added. Use 1- to 2-inch pieces of cut up frozen anchovies for bait. Here, you're on your own. Make sure you bring a long-sleeve shirt. When fighting massive flatheads, it's common for your boat to rapidly shift -- and accidents happen. More often, outbound optimists return as realists in the harsher light of late afternoon, eager to show off their catchhowever small it might compare to the record setters. There is very little information available to anglers looking to tackle it. A $3 Colorado River Special Use Permit is required. They get huge, though.". The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing. Several fish of similar size were harvested during a creel survey of the lake from July 2017 to June 2018, which means this record could be broken again. You have to always go with someone else.". Amazingly, larger fish are still out there. For the former California state record catfish holder, this was far from the record-producing waters of San Vicente Reservoir and Irvine Lake, where he's used to fishing for some of the largest blue catfish in the world Ñ and an entirely different style of fishing. The goldfish last at least a couple of hours. Instead of looking at the system as big and tough to break down, it's better to start with a small area and look for fishable water. Crawdads, shrimp and clams can also be used. The first step is perfecting your release. The previous record also was caught in the same Panhandle river. There are few fishing the river, especially at night. When: Fishing is open year round. In California, flathead catfish are about as common as walleye and pickerel. When targeting flatheads, locating slow water is imperative. Weather was really nice, slight breeze, and about 89 degrees. Even if more anglers came, the river would still look barren. The Lower Colorado river is chocked full of multiple species, with some of the most popular being largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, stripers, crappie, bluegill, catfish and monster flatheads. South Platte River. The South Platte is full of possibilities. Often the most productive areas will be along the bank, outside the current and near the tules. It's best to use reels with clickers and loosen your drag. If camping away from the Colorado River, throw remains along the riverbank. Colorado River flatheads can compete with the gigantic blue catfish found in many SoCal reservoirs. The shorelines are bare. Channel catfishing is a great fishery in Lake Havasu that is generally underutilized by anglers. The best way to catch flatheads, hands down, is with live bait: small carp, goldfish and bluegills. That allows the fish to stay alive after you've stuck the hook through it. You can catch them all year long, but June through October marks the best time to chase them. Even if reports out of the region say that catfish angling is excellent, you'll have an entire stretch of river to yourself. Hooking the fish properly is imperative. I think the water drowns them," Smothers explains. Because catfish of all shapes and sizes start to get more active as water temperatures … To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. In reality, it's fairly simple fishing. Subscriber Services. You can get a little scared if you are too close to the tules. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski share goofy tales of their friendship, 'Are we really in the NFL?' Once in a while, that dream of glory comes true. FISHING REPORT: COLORADO RIVER OVERVIEW. As you probably know, it's against the law to fish with live bluegills just about anywhere in California. The buddy system is imperative. Anglers must fish with weights to properly approach the fishery. "But the locals say that the flatheads will only take the live bait. Nevertheless, most locals employ 30- to 40-pound mono anyway. Most of the shoreline is steep, roughly five to 15 feet high and composed of dirt and sand. Therefore, most anglers arrive in the evening and catch a dozen or so bluegills from sloughs or canals leading into the Colorado River. Also, once the sun goes down, the unwritten rule on the river is to stay put. Not only do you have to deal with extreme heat Ñ 110- to 120-degree days Ñ you'll also need to content with wave runners and power boats that treat the river like a highway. You have to always stay alert. However, outboard props can get you by, and you'll just need to watch the depth carefully. Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There are many times throughout your day when you can partake, but most often it is either at lunch (before or after food is served) or at camp. I think the water drowns them," Smothers explains. All those I know of are part of the Colorado River System. Colorado River Raft on the Colorado River by Grand Junction and CO Nat’l Monument. The biggest challenge in fishing for flatheads here is learning how to do it. It has a nice improved launch ramp with a picnic area. Smothers says it's important not to set the hook when you first get bit, rather to wait until the fish swallows it first. Smothers says that he pierces the hook between the dorsal fin and the tail, which allows the fish to stay alive after you've stuck the hook through it. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. However, flatheads are more available and easier to catch than the elusive and rare blue cats. Fishing Guides & Outfitters Fishing Lakes and Rivers It's like a different world. California law prohibits anglers from catching bluegill or other panfish in one water and transporting them to another for bait. However, the Colorado River region has an exemption that enables anglers to use live baits. There's also lots of channel catfish that range from a few pounds to near 20 pounds. "We are well aware of the big flatheads that are there. They beach their boats on sandbars and ride jet boats and WaveRunners at warp speed. But if you can stand the heat and have a boat, you can get in on the best big-catfish action in the West. published 24 times a year. Or if you have to move, idle for short distances. If you've been overlooking the West's channel catfish, you're missing out on prime fishing. While some cut baits and stinkbaits may be effective, the flatheads are more likely to take live prey, be it tilapia, bluegill, redear, crappie, carp or goldfish. "But I would have loved to see it. I don't know if they ever die. Only in the Colorado River District can anglers legally use live or dead golden shiners, fathead minnows, red shiner, mosquitofish, longjaw mudsuckers, bluegills, tilapia, threadfin shad, goldfish, sunfish, mollies or dead carp for bait. When using the live bait, Smothers fishes with an 8/0 octopus circle or 10/0 Big River Bait Hook by Gamakatsu. Channel cats are well established, but rarely targeted -- most likely because the flatheads are larger. In reservoirs, flatheads nocturnally roam large flats that provide cover and shad. Anglers must fish with weights to properly approach the fishery. Colorado River - Laughlin Fish Report for 12-2-2020. 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