Fishing For Big Game Fish: Catfish, Gator Gar and Buffalo/Carp.
If you want to catch the big fish(s) you must be patient. When the fish are not trying to breed, during the spawning season near the months of March, they will be more spread out. During their spawning season they will be traveling in packs(school’s) and in shallower water than usual, for the fish eggs.
But if the fishing is in prime time, buy all means cruise around the lakes and find the hot spots. But if it is later in the year near winter after the hot summer you might want to try a more calm and patient approach. You might want to stay away from noise and boats, because the older/bigger fish are more easily to be scared off. The smaller/younger they are the more likely they are to just follow their “nose” and follow the sent of a bait.
Make sure that you follow the state and local fishing laws for catch and release and bag limits. It is important that you release undersize fish so that the fish population will not be affected in the long term(25-50 years from now). If you want to catch big fish for the rest of your life, follow the rules/laws and guide lines set by the Parks and Wildlife Department and the State. You can be fined by a game warden for poaching if you have under size fish, it is the law.
You can make your own bait: Bait can be made from different foods and a variety of style’s. A local favorite to use is corn flakes with big red mixture, mix it until you have some type of dough. This would be called a dough bait, other baits you can make are more hardcore like stink baits. Stink baits are great for catfish and gars. The dough baits are more for the buffalo’s and the carps. Be sure to have your drag set, because you never know when a big fish might be lingering.
Finding a good spot to catch big Catfish: Catfish and carp’s are the vacuum cleaners of the lakes and rivers. They love to stay at the bottom of the water, scanning the field for easy foods, like craw-dads, perch and the smaller fish like catfish,carp, bass and little minnows. Sometimes they will eat muscle’s, crickets, worms and grasshoppers when they get the chance. So fish on the bottom with your bait, if you are going to use live bait use live perch, gold fish, carp or jumbo minnows. If not use a stink bait or dough bait for catfish. Sometimes you can catch catfish off lure’s like rattle traps, but it is rare. Special Note: Catfish love shrimp especially when the water is running hard and mercky brown from a heavy rain. And/or use worms for the big blue cat’s in this type of water.
Finding a good spot to catch big Alligator Gar(gator gar): Fish on the top with a live bait like a jumbo minnow or a perch, If you use a triple hook and stink bait, with a floater you will catch more gator gars this way. Sometimes gars will feed on the bottom for your stink baits and chicken livers, but it is more rare. The little catfish will find the bait before the gars usually do. Gars come up for air, so you will see gars hitting the top of the water all the time. If you do not see many gars jumping then you will need to cruise around until you see some.
Finding a good spot to catch big Buffalo’s and Carp’s: Buffalo’s and Carp’s are great for fishing on rod and real. They grab the bait and run! If you are not careful they will drag your pole into the lake/river. So it is a fun fish to catch, not so much a fish caught for eating. Use your home made dough bait or just plain bread. Carp’s love bread, just put some on a triple hook and wait for a few. The carp work about as fast as a little catfish, they will use the scent from the bread and follow it until they get hooked. Some people will eat carp, especially in South America. Carps will be found alongside catfishes and bass, they live in the same rivers and lakes. Note: If you catch a carp that has no scales, it is a South American species of carp, that probably found its way through the connecting rivers and lakes to the spot where you caught it.
A real popular method for fishing is Bow Fishing: You cruise the lakes and rivers on fan boats usually at dark with spot lights. And try to spot some big Gator Gars and big Buffalo’s and Carp’s, since these fish hit the top of the water for air. If you may want to look more into this style fishing, there are fishing guide services that will provide all of the gear needed for Bow Fishing, just pay for a fishing session.
If you don’t make enough time to stay and fish you could also try fishing with drop lines, trot lines or jug lines. Just set your lines out and run them when you can, bait them at night and check them in the morning. Or set out some baited jug lines out in the lake and go search for them every 4-6 hours. But you must still follow the state laws regardless of what style fishing you like and do, bag limit and size.
It is great for conversation when you have picture’s to show your family and friends. So take picture’s of all of your catches, small or big, they will be great memory’s to have.