It’s June. It’s hot. So is the catfishing on Lake Murray. And while you don’t want to miss out on the action, who doesn’t want a break from the sweltering heat? Fortunately, you can have both.
Tony Alexander, who works at Lighthouse Marina on Lake Murray, works in the sun 10 hours a day. On his days off, you’ll find him fishing, but you’ll also find him dodging the sun. Alexander fishes at night, and he catches plenty of catfish this month.
“My favorite fishing this month is catfishing at night. I don’t fish at all during the day once it gets hot. I work outside, so on my days off, I become a night owl,” he said.
Alexander said you can catch a variety of cats on Murray this month, including flatheads, blues, channels and white catfish. Mainly though, he catches blues and channels. His secret is anchoring down, fan-casting with multiple rods and using the right bait.
“I use dip baits such as Sonny’s and Secret 7 Stink Bait. I’ll anchor down on main-lake points or on big flats in about 10 feet of water, and I’ll fan-cast around the boat with anywhere from six to 10 rods,” he said.
Then, it becomes a waiting game, but it usually doesn’t take long.
“I don’t like to move around much. Once I’ve got my rods out, I want the dip bait to totally pollute the water with stink. It usually doesn’t take long at all to start getting bites. The catfish love that stuff,” Alexander said.
On most nights, once the bite starts, he is forced to put away a couple of rods.
“It is possible to have too many rods out. It’s good to start that way because it just gives you a better chance at hooking up with something, and it helps chum the area with the bait,” Alexander said. “But once the bite starts, you can have bites on every rod, so you need to put a couple away. It’s a good problem to have,” he said.
Alexander uses a 2 1/2-inch long Cool Cat Dip Worm to hold his dip bait, and he rigs the worm on a 1/0 Tru-Turn hook. He uses a Carolina-rig with as little weight as he can get away with, which is usually 1/2-ounce sinker.
While he doesn’t like fishing when the barometric pressure is low during the daytime, Alexander does not notice any negative of doing so at night, even when the pressure is so low that it would keep him off the water during daylight.
“The direction of the wind and barometric pressure are far less of a factor at night than they are during the daytime, so that’s another good reason to fish at night this month,” he said.