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Catfishin On The Rock


Bill Babler

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Setting here in the Blessed at last Rain, I have been reflecting back on the late July and August fishing we have had. I cannot nor can most of my guide associates ever remember catching as many catfish and walleye during the Summer months.

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I have caught the Kittys on everything from spoons to crawlers to dropshot worms and crankbaits. Most days on my guide trips I am catching between 3 and 5, but on Wednesday with Jerry S. out of Kimberling City, we caught 9 with 8 of them being over 10 pounds. Now that would be a pretty good catfish derby bag. Biggest we have caught has been 18# and I believe the one in the photo here is close to 16#

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Lots of threadfin and gizzard shad on the locations we are fishing, and really most lake wide, especially from point 5 clear up the White River.

Most of these Cats have been in the 26 to 35 ft. range on the bottom and also suspended, slightly above.

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Bill I know the weather has been "a little different" this summer, but I can't help but think the floods we had in '08 and ....what....2010 ( ? ) had to help the fishing for walleyes and those catfish.....Were they mostly channels or were there any flatheads ?? My walleye fishing friends have had really pretty darn good summers and Hunter91 caught 3 keeps yesterday in places he's never caught them before......Gotta love the Rock !0

Martin

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Combination there of channels and flatheads. Also some are catching blue cats. On the walleye, still don't know about recruitment. MDC has said in the past that all the walleye being caught are stocked. I would have to think that some may be spawning sucessfully. Hopefully. MDC last stocked in 2004 and 2005 in the James River Arm. Walleye are stocked yearly by the Arkansas dept of Conservation, in the Kings River and the Arkansas portion of Long Creek, according to their website.

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AGFC released around 64,000 walleye fingerlings into TR this spring. Another 175,000 were released into Beaver. They were from the Charlie Craig hatchery in Centerton AR. I believe they get all their broodstock from the White river. Might get some from the James also.

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Good information Quill. I did a piece on the walleye in the White River a few years ago, and at that time ADFG told me there was minimal recruitment in Bull Shoals and if the stocking program discontinued the populations would disapate to a very sparce level.

Missouri does not stock for supplimentation they stock to establish. Arkansas and the White River including Norfork, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals, has proved that Walleye stocking for supplimentation works and has created a very viable fishery, in which we are seeing huge benifits.

Quill, I believe they also harvest sperm and eggs in the Kings River. Phil lilley may have been on one of those research trips a few years ago, but I cannot recall all the details.

Big thank you the the Wonderful State of Arkansas on this one.

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Yep Bill, it's a good thing. I'm not an eye fisherman, but maybe some day I'll move over to the "dark side" and give them a shot. Nice to know they are out there. I'd like to see them fin clip or mark the hatchery eyes just to see what percentage of fish harvested come from the hatchery. I'm sure, like you're saying it's a high percentage.

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Missouri does not stock for supplimentation they stock to establish.

That seems strange with the number they gather from shocking every year. I would think they would run out of places to put them?

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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I know they supplement stock for sure on Stockton , they have to to keep that one going

The Dept. wanted to make sure there was a place for people to catch and keep walleyes --- It is my thought that MO and AR could have some of the best walleye fishing in the nation with a bit more investment from the Department they grow year round this far south

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Kwall, If they worked togeather the White River Chain could become the go to place for eyes in the south without a doubt, from all my reading they seem to be easy to raise and for the most part seem to do very well in the lakes. The 18'' size limit helps a lot as well. I think a Slot would be even better for management to encourage natural reproduction. I just have to keep going back to what I preach about these lakes and that is the super healthy and abundant supply of forage fish as a reason we have these fisheries that are so healthy.

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F&F , that's been my thinking also -- one reason I started eye fishing , they grow a lot faster here than up north . Here is an example, I fish Stockton a lot and last year I caught mainly short fish April through June, this year I hardly caught a short one during that same time frame -- now there is the shorts showing agin my thinking is the keepers are getting kept and the fish grow through the winter too around here

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