Catfish migrating to coves, creeks

By Don Ingram
   April and May are excellent months to catch catfish.
   Catfish follow migration routes like most species of fish. Heavy rains during April and May will cause catfish to feed in rivers and creeks and migrate to the back of the creeks and coves on lakes.
   Two very important things to remember that trigger catfish migrations are water temperature and level.
   The water flowing into the lake, river, or creek must be warmer than the existing water.
   On reservoirs, like Barren River Lake, the overall lake level must increase significantly to trigger a migration to the end of the coves and creeks. Generally, the lake level must rise several feet before a migration will occur.
   Several techniques that work well on lakes and rivers during this time of year are limb lines, trotlines, and jug fishing. On lakes, use all three techniques in the last ¼ section of the coves. On rivers and creeks, look for the deeper wholes of water below the riffles.
   Key areas to look for on lakes are main lake coves and secondary creeks. Main lake coves are better during the heavy rain or the next couple of days after the rain when the water is muddy or stained. Big cats will migrate to the muddy water to feed and remain until the water begins to clear.
   The best main lake coves are the ones that have a well-defined secondary channel or gully near the end of the cove. A small channel in the back of a cove indicates that during a heavy rain a large amount water will flow into the cove and increase an anglers chance of catching several catfish.
   The chances of catching a huge, 40 plus pound catfish are better in the coves because they are adjacent to the main lake which offers deep water and security. In the rivers and creeks, the deepest water will support the largest catfish.
   Secondary creeks are better when the current begins slowing down which is usually 3 or 4 days after a heavy rain. An angler will have a better chance of catching more fish in the creeks than in the coves because the creeks will have a larger population of catfish.
   Make sure you are familiar and comply with all state regulations concerning the use of limb lines, trotlines and jug fishing.
   Catfishing in April and May can produce huge catfish.
   When all other anglers are searching for bass and crappie, a select few fishermen are catching huge catfish.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.

1 comment

  1. Catdaddy says:

    I’m new to the area and am having trouble finding the cats I know it’s prime time right now but like i said I can’t find a good spot to fish. Can someone please give me a tip as to where I can bank fish and catch some good fish? I don’t know road names or anything around here so directions from Glasgow would be very helpful thanks and good luck to all!!

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