Wednesday, 9 September 2015

September Cats

After a break in fishing for some family time out east I was able to shake the rust off and wet a line for a few hours last weekend and ended up with a few Goldeye that weren't releasable. These would make good bait for catfish so after some frog hunting and catching a few of our secret weapons during the week, we were set to head up to Selkirk where we could launch the boat and attempt to hammer some cats.

We were greeted with morning thundershowers at home and by the time we got to the river it had dissipated significantly, so off we went up river towards Lockport. Along the way we saw many bald and golden eagles as you usually will along with a pair of osprey and a few hundred pelicans and cormorants. Our first spot smelled of laundry detergent, Winnipeg had been drenched with heavy rains twice in a few days and with that I'm sure sewers backed up. We each sent out a different bait to try out and waited for a bite. It was slow going with a few landed over the first hour, so we pulled up the anchor and headed off to scout out potential spots.
Our game plan was run and gun, give an area that looked promising on the depth finder a 30 minute soak and if no bites move on. As it turned out every spot we tried for the rest of the day would produce 4 to 10 cats within 30 - 60 minutes. We landed over 40 catfish with only 3 under 30 inches, and me personally 12 over 34 with the biggest being a new personal best 36.5 inches!

We ended up finding the most productive areas to be downstream of drainage ditches and creeks that were flowing heavily with run off. The cats were on the prowl picking off anything that would wash their way. One of the kitties we caught belched the most foul odor imaginable, another regurgitated some seagull feathers and one was even caught with a circle hook from a previous battle in the side of its mouth. It is clear every time we fish up there that it isn't the cats first rodeo once hooked. On this day many would make it to the surface and death roll, shaking their heads or out right breach the water and slap their tails down like a humpback whale. One of the big ones was successful in shaking the hook but the frustration was minimal as the action was so hot.

Sometimes the cats are stacked up by the locks and other times you need to be mobile and try many areas, I find it more rewarding and a little more scenic finding spots away from the locks. The river is full of history going back long before the fur traders and I often find myself thinking about those times and what the fishing may have been like with the gear and technology of today. Subtle changes in bottom composition can lead to a fury of action and we found a few holes and pockets that showed marks stacked up and proceeded to fish them pulling out a handful of trophies each time.

We ended up off the water at dusk knowing the bite would continue on but the long drive home was ahead of us. I was more than satisfied with the day, my arms and back ached (some of the cats I could barely lift after the fight) and my mind raced, thinking about our future trips later in fall for the greenback run .....


  1. Hi Josh!! Your dad told me I could find you here and I was delighted to read your latest post. We were just at Lee River last weekend ago, out on the boat letting the kids try fishing for the first time. Released a tiny one, and might have had a bigger one to eat but it wriggled away. Still good times! xo Ems

    1. glad you were directed here Emma, we should try our best to get together next spring or summer and I will put your family on some fish!