Blue catfish bite all winter long on Fishing Creek
Many anglers have winterized their boats by January. But Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service laughs at the notion. And one place he loves fishing this month is Fishing Creek, a small reservoir on the Catawba River Chain above Lake Wateree.
Wolfe (803-487-3690) targets catfish here, and whle he mainly catches blue cats, he said he gets plenty of bites from quality flatheads as well.
“This is the most basic type of fishing you can do. You don’t need electronics, planer boards, or even a trolling motor. We anchor down or tie off to timber, then cast big cut baits toward sunken trees,” he said.
And then it’s just a waiting game.
“These catfish love to get in the thick piles of sunken trees, submerged logs, and whatever other debris they can find. They hunker down in those areas, which give them a break from fighting the current, and also allows them to ambush prey that swims in range,” he said.
With two to four rods out, baited with fresh cut bait, those fish catch the scent of a fresh meal. They’ll venture out from behind their hiding spots, pick up a bait, then head back to their honey hole. When they bite, you’ll know it.
Let the fish hook itself
“Fishing like this, it’s best to put your rods in rod holders, then just watch and wait. When these fish pick up the bait and begin to move off, they’ll hook themselves, and the rod will double over,” he said.
Wolfe said anglers should avoid the temptation to pick up the rod and set the hook at the first sign of a bite.
“They might pick at the bait a few times before they actually have it in their mouths. If your rod tip is twitching, just let it keep twitching. When the fish really has the bait secured, the bite will be solid and unmistakable,” he said.
Anglers may have trouble getting the rod out of the rod holder at this point, because of the angle the fish is pulling.
“Don’t get in too big of a hurry. But also don’t let the fish have his way for too long. You need to get him out of that debris field before he wraps the line around everything and breaks free.”