One very overlooked part of catfishing is cutting bait. Fresh bait or rock hard frozen bait as catfish anglers. Getting bait cut quickly and safely is critical and having just any old knife in the boat only makes things more difficult.
A few years back I was introduced to Dexter Knives and my bait cutting (and fish cleaning) has changed forever. I bought a 9" Sandwich Knife because I once saw it cut through a solid skip jack. Since I have owned mine there has been nearly 30 tons of catfish brought through my boat and that one knife is still cutting the bait. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of bait to catch that many catfish.
This knife may not look show room new any more but it is still cutting bait just like the first day I took it out of the package.
Today is a day that I very much dislike every year. The day I change oil and get the boat ready to go into storage for winter. It is not like its a surprise since I live in North Dakota but every year I am always saddened when the time comes to put the boat away.
The good news is 2017 is just around the corner and my boat will be waiting for me all ready to go when I get it. One of the reasons I do love living in the north is the seasons. The fresh start with winter and again with spring.
So until April, good bye boat and I will see you on the other side.
2016 is a wrap and I sat down and told you all about it. Be sure to get in on 2017.
Man do I love catfish. Two years in a row the end of my season came and I was not ready for it to stop. Being from North Dakota a sad truth about catfish is when the water temp goes below 50 degrees the catfishing gets really slow. You can still target them and catch them but it can me a daunting task.
Yesterday I was out chasing fall walleyes with a buddy and telling him how I was not ready to be done and wish we could catfish longer here in the north. About an hour later his walleye rod that was soaking on the bottom bent over and the drag started ripping. It took quite a while on a medium walleye rod with a jig but what he got into was an amazing 23 pound channel cat. A true thing of beauty and on November 1st. That late catfish made my whole month. So in the end I just love catfish.
CPR Catch Photo Release. We hear it all over the internet and every time someone keeps a trophy catfish the CPR guys tear them a new one for keeping a big fish. For the record I follow a strict CPR plan releasing everything over 24" back to the water. I am all for selective harvest and eating fish, THE SMALLER FISH.
So I also see photos around the webernet of people with their day's catch on a tarp or stacked on someones lap three or four deep. Of course all fish safely released after the photo. I have a huge problem with this. I have a huge problem with dragging big fish around in a livewell all day or tied to a rope so you can get your photo with all the fish from the day. I have a problem with this because it is stressing those fish out.
Before you jump all over me about livewells, I understand that tournament anglers carry fish around all day for weigh in. Today many of these tournament boats are set up with O2 to help keep the fish lively and healthy.
I feel it is different to haul fish around all day for a photo vs a tournament. Just get the photo of your trophy and get it back to the water so it stays at tip top health. By law that is what we have to do up here. I know it looks impressive to have a good day and lay all the fish out to show your prowess but I must tell you that for the betterment of the fishery your fans will love you just as much with many fish photos.
I can't take it any more and just have to say something. Social media is to blame for this and it drives me up the wall, the jersey jockeys in fishing.
These are the people who wear their fishing jersey full of company logos everywhere they go thinking they look good and are helping out their sponsors. The guy you see out on the lake in the middle of nowhere on a Tuesday with his bright flashy shirt on looking like a "pro". I hate to break it to you brother but the fish don't bite better for you when you have a sponsor shirt on.
I remember back when I was trying to start out in the fishing industry. I could not wait until I had enough quality sponsors to finally get a one of those cool shirts that look like a NASCAR suit. I worked my tail off until I finally earned enough quality sponsors and thought I had enough clout in the fishing business to get a jersey. A new sponsor agreed to buy me that jersey and be part of their team. About the same time my new jersey came in the mail I noticed on Facebook that guys from all over the country were going out and purchasing jerseys with the logos of the products they love (or say they love.) All of a sudden after all the work to earn that jersey it didn't mean anything. So now it hangs in the closet and come sport show day or tournament day when I am supposed to wear it I just loath putting it on. Not because I am not proud of it, I AM but because I don't want to look like all the other want to be people around.
Then came the wearing it fishing and taking photos of themselves in the jersey looking like a pro. Not even a good fish, just a fish. The post on social media asking "should I wear my jersey above or below my bibs?" The best one is a guy wearing his fishing jersey on a cold day with his hunting bibs pulled down so you could see the fishing jersey with the buck he just shot. Come on people. Is that 10% discount worth giving away your integrity?
I am not saying we should not promote our sponsors because we should it is our jobs as professionals. But we get tee shirts and hoodies, caps and products. Just wear that and look like a human. Have fun and be professional.
Ok folks, lets lets set some ground rules for when you can or should wear a jersey.
1. Are you at a media or speaking event?
2. Are you at a tournament?
3. Are you at a sport show?
4. Does fishing provide a sizeable percentage of your annual income and you are at one of the three above?
If you did not answer yes to any of the above then the jersey stays in the closet.
Two years ago when I was on the road with the Scheels Catfish University I was telling people that Humminbird was changing the way catfishermen fish. I said how they introduced the Helix 5 with si and put top end imaging in the hands of every angler at an affordable price. Now anglers could get top end HD for $500. I also went to talk about AutoChart Live which at the time was only available on the top end units. My point with that was that those of us with no manufactured maps could not make our own. Autochart Live by the way is the biggest deal in fishing tech of all of it in my opinion.
Last year (just 2 years later) Helix 9, 10, and 12 came out with everything of the top end units including Autochart Live. The price point started at just $999. Huge value.
Now just announced the Generation 2 Helix 5 is coming and it will have AutoChart Live on it. I am still unsure of the price point but my guess is no more than $500-$600. This will truly put top end tech in everyone's hand and make everyone better anglers.
Dear Catfish Community,
I am writing you today to see what you want to see in the catfish media. Over the past five or six years I have been very critical of the catfish media whether it be online, video or print. Why have I been critical you ask? Well it seems that everything is the same recycled crap that goes back to the late 80s and early 90s. Different author and new photos but same basic stuff. Either that or tournaments. Yes tournaments are a huge part of our world but come on, so and so won and this was the weight caught. Nobody ever really goes to the next step of how did you win it?
Doesn't anyone do any thing new in catfishing? Other than the new rage that you can't catch a catfish without bumping from everything I read nobody is trying to deviate from the old ways and learn new things about catfish and how to catch them.
I have done extensive research over the past seven years and even written two books that are like no other out there, yet that is it.
The catfish world is hungry for information, we watch and read everything we can. There is a market here and the people want to know now lets step it up and give them what they want.
I want to hear from you on this. What are your thoughts? What do you want to learn? please comment.
Captain Brad Durick
Concerned Catfish Angler