Monticello blues is a great tune for March catfish

Monticello blues
Glenn Suber shows off the kind of big, blue catfish you can expect to tangle with on Lake Monticello this month.

Be ready for the Monticello blues to move

You have to be ready for the Lake Monticello blues to go on the move in March, according to William Attaway, who guides on the South Carolina reservoir.

“In March, I just anchor down on long, shallow points. I like to set the boat up in 10 to 15 feet, maybe 20 feet, of water where I can cast into deeper and shallower water,” he said. “When the fish start moving, they will move in droves. I like to have about a dozen rods out. I want plenty of bait out for them when the come through.”

This setup this time of year usually results in multiple bites, he said.

“When they move they are hunting something to eat. And they are also searching for places to spawn. When they come through you will catch more than one fish,” said Attaway (803-924-0857), who runs Slick Willie’s Guide Service.

Stay on the lookout for mussel beds

Attaway prefers baits of cut bream, cut white perch and cut gizzard shad on 40-pound line with a 50-pound leader and either 8/0 or 10/0 Gamakatsu hooks. If he can get small white perch alive, he will also fish them.

“I like to start out fishing the shallow water in the early morning and late afternoon,” he said. “If you are on a productive long point in the shallow end when the sun comes up, the fish will move deeper, so I move further out and anchor in deeper water in the same area.”

Attaway will also fish underwater humps, 40 to 50 feet deep, later in the day. And there is one other type of spot he finds productive for the blues, he said.

“They are feeding on mussels, so if I can find a mussel bed, I like to fish that area,” he said. “If you can find some mussels, they are good for bait, too. Just look for a sandy bank and dig them out of the sand. Those sandy banks are good places to fish for the catfish.”

Attaway said one more key to success on Monticello is patience.

“If you have caught a few fish on a spot and they quit biting, it won’t hurt to wait there another half hour or so. They might come back through.”

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