Gearing up for Catfishing on the 3 Rivers - Page 2 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I probably wasn't clear on the barges . We were in the middle of the river after just crossing under the bridge below the Beaver River . I couldn't figure out why I couldn't see the boat launch behind the bowling alley from there . At that exact moment is when the tug hit us with his light . He actually ran the light over the top of the barges to light them up for us to see and only flicked the light at us for a split second . But it was DEFINITELY enough to get my attention as to why I couldn't see the boat launch ! Believe it or not , at night that tug was actually hidden behind the barges . You couldn't see him until he was going past our boat . Really kinda spooky . But I'll definitely be more aware and NEVER anchor in the middle of the river at night . I'll probably be less spooked about river debri now that I have a good light on the front and a handheld as back up .

Also , if there are any out there as HPA members , a BIG THANK YOU to the Rochester police force for patrolling so often around the boat launch area ! Being a country boy , I was a little worried about leaving my truck and trailer in a questionable ( to me ) area of a strange new city . They probably drove by 3 times while we retreaved and unloaded the boat for the drive home . Made me feel alot more comfortable about leaving the truck there .
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 01:35 AM
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Navigating at night definitely isn't easy....after some time on the water, you aughta have enough tracks to show you the route on the GPS.

Those barges are scary...they are typically very considerate and used to guys fishing at night in the area..as long as you don't do anything dumb (or illegal) you aughta be fine.

Wait till you are half asleep and catch the noise of a LONG barge coming by. We had that one night last fall. Kinda breezy and general "noise". Out of nowhere we realized that there was a very long barge coming by. We weren't in it's course..but it was so long he had to get closer than usual.

Lots of guys like fishing around their docking areas...they can be productive...but can be a pain when a barge decides to come or go.



Good to hear the police are spending some time down there. I spent a LOT of time down there last summer bank fishing. I saw some sketcky stuff. A group of idiots nearly blew me up as they stood up on the road and decided to chuck giant firecrackers onto the bank and into the water. One was dangerously close to me. As well as numerous people I'd venture to guess we're doing drugs..aside from all the people casually smoking marijuana.

That area can be productive. Every year a bunch of good fish get landed through there. I put a 29 pounder on the bank there last September.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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You say it's productive around the docking areas . I was talking to the ( owner/caretaker ? ) at the marina on the left just as you enter the Beaver River . He told some fisherman to try by the bridge peer by the marina and claims the guy pulled in a 30 pounder an hour later . My fishing buddy from down there has been asking around since he now has me to take him out , says he has a few new places to try . So hopefully sometime this week I'll have some big fish to post up . I'm going to try to get there as early as possible to try to get some bluegills for live bait . It's something we haven't tried yet . He's been hitting Reddi bait shop and has the big shad for cut bait and I have just about every stink bait and bagged shad that's off the shelves . Sooner or later something is bound to work . We've been fishing kind of deep last time we went . Maybe we should try a little shallower along shore this time out ? I've also been talking to some ( strictly ) cat fisherman and they claim the big males are possibly still guarding the spawn nests and should become active in the next few weeks . I sure hope their correct because this old man and a younger kid are just waiting to hear the drags screaming on a couple new reels !

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 10:17 AM
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Reddibait shad and skipjack can be awesome...

Stink baits and bagged shad, cheese, liver, hot dogs and all that mess...I've personally never seen a flathead caught on it...let alone a big one.

Live bait is my go-to. I don't mess around on the river trying to catch bait. Just not usually easy/quick to find. I hit a pond or lake or creek prior to going...

Don't know what it was but last night was the best night I've had since June up here. I put 5 on the bank. One being a 16 pounder which is my biggest up here.


Fish definitely get pressured and either move or get tight lipped in popular spots.


I am sure there's probably some fish guarding nests..but the fishing is a lot better than it's been and getting better daily.

I was planning to fish a tournament with a buddy tonight but that's not gunna happen. Working 7 nights in a row has turned me into a vampire. Last night I fell asleep around 5. Doubt I make it.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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I hear ya on the sleep part . I'm a shift worker . I'm on daylight shift this week and want to go Monday evening ( my Friday night ) , but getting up at 4:30 am and trying to stay up till 1-2 am fishing probably isn't going to happen . So I'm probably not going to hit the river till Tuesday or Wednesday evening . I know my buddy doesn't quite understand especially being 30 years younger . It's like the Old Bull and the Young Bull standing in the pasture ( family version ) . Young Bull says let's run down and catch a FEW ! Old Bull says let's walk down and catch them ALL . We'll get it right one of these trips . . . . As far as bluegills , I have a couple ponds close to me . I just need to get a 5 gallon bucket set up to keep them lively . Ahhhh , fishing project No. 382 . . . . LOL !
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 11:23 AM
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Haha I hear ya...I often pull that on my Fridays (Sunday usually). My typical schedule has me on PMs. But Saturdays I work 3-11 and Sunday 7-3. I fish to try to avoid going to sleep early Sundays lol. But it's brutal.


I keep 5 gallon buckets in the truck. They make lids for them to turn them into bait buckets...(field and stream is the only place I know locally that sells them). And they have small aerators. I usually run 2 in each bucket. Can pack 12-15 gills in a bucket as long as you have an aerator going and change the water regularly. After I'm done catching bait, I drain the bucket completely and refill. That first hour or so is the worst..they seem to puke and poop everything they got in them. I usually keep a bucket or 2 with bait and 1 or 2 with clean water. At home I have a pond or will stop at roadside creeks for clean water. I have the pond stocked now with sunfish and bullhead but trying to leave them alone this year. In the future I will get bait from it on days time is short.

I bought a cheap plug in fish tank aerator I've plugged in and used to keep em overnight. Keep em in a cool dark place or Atleast out of the sun and they'll be ok.

I probably spend more time bait fishing than many guys spend fishing lol. It's a chore. But, it's part of hunting river monsters.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Nice ! The bucket lid thing will keep me from having to butcher something up on my own . I'm in the camp of boycotting field and stream , but the alternative is driving 1 1/2 hours to Cabela's . I try to just window shop there before I make a trip to Cabela's .

I was looking at some satellite picture maps of the Rochester area . I have a feeling we'll be heading upstream towards the next Lock and fishing the back Eddie's . Most river residents I speak to say those are hotspots . Probably due to what they call the barge effect and of course oxygenated water from the dam .

I also keep trying to call a marina I like locally to get permission to launch at their place ( only decent launch for miles ) , but they don't seem to answer their phone . It's a favorite pool because it's where I caught my first large Channel cat and my daughter always wants to swim and it's a decent place for that also . Well , close to end of shift . I have to finish installing the new boat floodlight and NOW go get 2 more 5 gallon buckets at Rural King . LOL !
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 02:44 AM
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I hear you on F&S. Not my favorite place either...rarely even go in anymore but was local when I lived down there.


This river up here is loaded with flathead. I just either can't find the bigguns or they haven't gotten big yet. I've landed 13 the last 2 nights and missed at least that many runs. Out of 13 I've had 2 10s and 11, 12 and a 16. Not complaining..it's a blast..just looking for some bigger fish.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Not to reveal your fishing spots , but what general area fishing ? I thought you were fishing the same general area I am . Your up north ? Sounds like your patterns are working well . But , I'm on the same page wanting to hook a monster . I may have some inside information for you I haven't had a chance to look into yet .

Back story :
Many years ago when I was married , the wife liked going to the beach . Not being much of a sun worshiper , I decided to try my luck at peer and surf fishing . I picked everything up at a local sports store down in Ocean City . As soon as I started catching ocean fish , my freshwater fishing interest really took a hit . I just lost interest in fishing for hours hoping for some type of hit . Hybrid Stripers were the only thing I can think of that may compare to hooking fish in the ocean , but that ( from asking around ) required alot of specialized equipment . I just honestly couldn't justify the expenses . Now , years later , I started reading articles and forums on giant flathead catfishing and how they hit baits like a freight train . NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR ! ! ! So , here I am back into freshwater fishing again . Yes , I had to upgrade on line weight and poles & reels , but I had a couple expensive toys that had been sitting unused for a couple years that justified a nice used boat to chase down the wiskered monsters . The 3 Rivers area seems to be the haunts of these monsters , so here I am , IN SEARCH FOR THE RIVER MONSTERS .

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 01:06 PM
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Yep I'm up North on the upper Allegheny. It's about a half hour closer than heading "down home". I moved up here in December.

I've found a news paper article that a guy claims a 24 pound flathead in 1995. And I found a picture of him and a 31 pounder a while back..so, they ARE HERE and that keeps me hunting.

Last year I fished from the bank a LOT down there and didn't do nearly as well as I am up here. The river is pretty predictable up here. There's a lot of water that's not really fishy. Shallow. Then there are deeper pools where the structure and flatheads are.

I'm going to start making some trips "down home". I do like fishin here though. A lot more quiet..a lot less light polution etc. Just a nice way to spend a night lol. I'm going to start working on running atleast 1 or 2 rods with pretty big baits and trying to stop some of the smaller bites...but these fish are crazy...I've caught 2 now that the hooks never contacted the fish...the slab bluegills were lodged hard enough to endure me reeling them in.

In my head, I feel like there's no reason for them not to get big up here. Incredible food base. Water warms sooner and probably stays warm longer being a shallower river. Cleaner..I'm determined to find the monsters. These fish are IMO stronger which has me slightly concerned. The 10-16 pounders have been pretty feisty. I haven't had trouble landing them...but I caught that 29 from the bank last year down there and it didn't have half the power these fish do. Not exactly what I'm hunting for..but still fun.. especially when action is fast enough it's hard to keep 3 rods out.
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