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Blue Catfish


OzarkFishman

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This year I made it to LOZ twice. Once in July and once less than 2 weeks ago. We always set lines and have our best success with 7/0 circle hooks and live bluegill or green sunfish (longear sunfish don't survive as well in my opinion).

In July we had a blast and caught over 100 pounds of catfish in one day (2 times running the lines). It was crazy with our best 3 over 20 pounds each and the biggest at 22.

Two weeks ago my dad invites me to the lake and I suddenly get a scratchy feeling in my throat and just know I need to take the next day off to let nature cure me. So, I head to the lake that night and we wake up the next day and start setting lines. When we check them at 5 that night, we had 2 smaller ones and a 28 pounder!!! We felt so good that we set another line up river in a different spot. Next morning, we go to check the new lines. I feel A LOT of weight and start getting nervous/excited. We pull up a 3 pounder and an 8 pounder ... The weight is still there and not any lighter ... Then .... We pull up the biggest freakin log I have ever seen in LOZ. This thing was as long as my little 16 ft Lund. After my dad and I pulled and tugged enough, the leader broke and it was on to check the last of the hooks.

After that excitement, we called it a trip. It was amazing and I think I will have to always have a second fall trip. I always read about fall fishing, but am usually too busy to participate. Most people look to crappie, bass and other fish in the fall ... The blues are big in this lake and are still biting!!!

PS - all fish except one 14 pounder were released by us this year. I am all for keeping the smaller ones, but the 28 pound female that we released is a whole lot closer to 50 pounds than the countless 5 to 10 pounders in this wonderful fishery.

PSS - I noticed I wore the same shirt both times. Didn't mean to do that, but maybe there is something to that shirt/hat combination ...

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I do not bait fish for csts. They are a side thing when i jig spoons for white bass. I have caught them to 47 lbs on 10 lb test line. I had one on onetime before i used steel leaders that i am certain was in the 50 to 60 lb range. After a long tussel he was near the boat and just under the surface.as i looked at him i could not see the spoon. I knew right then it was somewhere on the other side of those teeth and was pretty much all over.i had no more made that thought then he made a short turn and the line just broke with hardky any pressure on it. Now days i try too jig with a short leader on. Big cats are a thrill to catch on light bait casting setups. Only thing in loz tgat can give you as much thrill is a big gar. I fish for them in the dog days.

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I get what you are saying about the "thrill" of catching big fish on rod and reel. I have caught many big fish this year on rod and reel, yet checking lines at LOZ is the most exciting thing I do all year. It is the anticipation and the hand-to-hand combat that I love.

To each their own.

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