Here’s a recent TV show I hosted for Fox Sports Outdoors on catching flood water catfish and fishing for catfish in high water conditions.
We’ve had a crazy few years here in Texas with the weather and other parts of the country have felt the impact as well.
First we had two years that were some of the worst droughts on record. We went for at least two long years with almost no rain at all. The lake levels on many of the Texas lakes had reached critical points with the low water.
The drought was so bad we’d started working on alternate plans to be able to launch our guide boats. The main lake I guide on during much of the year was down to one boat ramp and the loss of another few inches of water in the lake would have shut it down. Many of the boats already couldn’t launch because of the low water levels. The floatation pods on the SeaArk ProCat 240 were my saving grace allowing me to still be able to get my boat in and out daily.
Then it’s almost like someone flipped a switch. We went from not getting any rain to speak of for two years to torrential rains. It seemed like the rain was coming on an almost daily basis and it was massive downpours. My home lake came all the way back up to it’s pull level rising fifteen feet over the period of about ten days. Not only did it fill back up but it flooded and most of the North Texas lakes were shut down due to the dangerous flood conditions.
During the winter of 2015–2016 the rain slowed down but it came right back in March of this year and it came back with a vengeance. It seems like we’ve had rain almost every day for the past couple of months and once again we’ve been faced with significant amounts of water coming in the lakes and reservoirs and more flooding conditions.
Fluctuations in the water levels of several feet or more over the course of a week have been common this spring and there’s been a constant stream of water coming in most of the lakes and reservoirs.
Flood Water Catfish (Catching Catfish In High Water Conditions)
We had an unseasonably mild water this past winter. It never really got cold and put the fish in a solid winter pattern. When it did start to warm up and the water temperature reached the sixties it stayed that way for a couple of months putting the fish in what seemed like a never ending transition period.
Then, just when the water started to warm and push the blue catfish into a spring pattern the rain hit.
When you’ve got massive changes in water levels, fresh water running in the lakes and reservoirs, flooded vegetation that’s not normally accessible and rapidly fluctuating water temperatures it forces you to change your approach to catching blue catfish. We’ve still been catching blue catfish using the normal spring techniques (like those outlined in the Spring Blue Catfish Techniques ebook) at times but there’s we’ve been forced to adapt and overcome more than I’d like.
The fishing was starting to straighten out and I was catching some nice sized blue catfish. I was gearing up to film another show for Fox Sports Outdoors and then another round of rain hit causing more flooding and another shut down of many of the lakes in north Texas.
After several days of rain delays where we couldn’t film I finally got back out on the water and filmed a show on catching blue catfish in flooding and running water conditions. Unfortunately the bigger catfish weren’t cooperating but I did manage to catch a big mess of nice keeper sized blue catfish.
Here’s some of the tips covered in this show for Fox Sports Outdoors:
- How running water and flooding impacts catfish
- Places to look for blue catfish in flooding conditions
- Catfishing gear to use for these techniques including rods, reels and more
- How to rig for blue catfish in running water and floodwater conditions
- Why the VersaRattle makes a difference when fishing these techniques
- How to make your circle hooks work better
- How long to sit and wait for the catfish to bite
- Which baits to use for catching blue catfish
- Why high visibility fishing line makes a difference
Check out the video below. These techniques will work anywhere in you’ve got blue catfish and freshwater coming into a lake or reservoir.