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Channel Cats Through the Ice

My lighthearted blog post last Friday was about catching largemouth bass through the ice.  Some of  us “northern” boys really know how that is done, and in fact the bite for largemouth bass through the ice can at times be very good and is a lot of fun.

I know our ice conditions in some parts of Nebraska are very much “iffy” right now, and let’s just say if you are getting on the ice, you better be very careful and you better be using that spud bar religiously (Ice Safety Reminder, Again!)

But, today let me go the other direction and tell you that us “southern” boys on the southern edge of the ice-fishing belt know some things about catching fish through the ice that our more northern, ice-fishing brethren do not necessarily think about.  For example, icing channel catfish.

I will always tell you that channel catfish are definitely warm-water fish, in fact they are some of our slowest-growing fish in Nebraska waters and can grow much faster in southern, warmer habitats.  Even though they are less active during the winter, under the ice, channel catfish certainly can be catchable.  In fact on some waters, at the right time, and as always, in the right spots, channel catfish can be very catchable.  Early ice and late ice are probably two of the best of those times.

I have seen questions and comments about ice-fishing for channel cats on the interwebs, so let me suggest a couple of really good references.

First is an on-line article In-Fisherman ran a couple of years ago, Ice Fishing Channel Catfish.

The second, and one of the main reasons I wanted to blog about this, is more recent, and will require you to go to the newsstand to purchase the current, December/January/February 2019 issue of In-Fisherman.  That issue has an article in it,  “Icing Cats is Mainstream” and Nebraska’s own Andrew Svoboda is one of the main anglers quoted in the story!  Way to go Andrew!

Here is what the cover of that issue of In-Fisherman looks like:

I have been privileged to spend some time on the ice with “Swoaby”, have not dried off any channel cats while doing that, but I do have some pictures of him holding big bluegills.  I am betting he will not mind my inserting one here.

Sorry, that is all I am going to say about catching channel cats through the ice.  Check out the references I just recommended, they have the entire scoop and I have nothing else to add.  Just need some ice to get on to practice it!

Channel cats through the ice?  You bet!  Big ones too!

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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