Headed out to a new spot in Montreal for some evening / night fishing for big channel cats. It's not something I get to do often, but as I was busy all day and the family is away visiting the in laws, I decided to give it a shot.
We picked up some big 7 inch minnows and headed out to our spot on the shores of the Lac St Louis portion of the St Lawrence River. I set up a sliding bottom rig with a 1 OZ egg sinker and 3/0 wide gap hook, my buddy setup up a 2 OZ bell sinker under a store bough striper rig which was basically 2 big hooks tied with fluorocarbon line.
Nothing much until 9:00 when the fishing suddenly turned on. I assumed that the big cats would have no problem taking down the big shiners, but was surprised that they were more interested at nipping pieces off little by little. I hooked my first one at about 9:15, landed it within a couple minutes, weighed about 8 or 9 lbs.
Over the next hour or so, my buddy lost about 6 whole minnows, I had one that had it's rear portion bitten off, then another that lost a chunk of it's backbone. I ended up catching my second one on a dead minnow around 10:30 PM, measured 28 inches, probably weighed close to 12 lbs, definitely my personal best to date.
The baitfeeder reel really helped, I avoided getting my bait stolen or having to keep fiddling with the drag system. Coupled with my 6.5 foot Rhino rod, I'm using the same outfit that I do for big carp, and handled the big catfish with ease.
I realized that we would have been better off with 4-5 inch minnows, probably would have caught a lot more fish. Regardless, it's a relatively new species that I have't targeted much in the past, as well as a new spot, so I'm glad with the results of the outing.
I returned the following night to try again using some store bought Atlantic smelt as cutbait. In 1.5 hours, not even one bite. So much for that plan, it's back to live minnows, looks like I'l have to get there early enough so the bait shop is still open.
I'm off to another week of fishing up North, I hope to target pike most of the week on a remote lake I tried last year. Will post results and hopefully some nice pics/videos when I return.