Summer is heating up now and June and July are great months to go fishing for catfish and carp here in Illinois and Indiana. With our many rivers, streams, and lakes these species of fish aren’t hard to find and they present a real challenge when you hook a really big one.
We have all sorts of catfish within our area; channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish are the main species in our area but don’t rule out what we use to call the bullheads as they can be good eating as well.
Did you know you can make a dough ball out of a handful of Wheaties? Simply grab a handful and get it wet and then start squeezing. You can knead this into a nice dough ball. You can also purchase dough ball or make dough ball of your own. I have always like the yellow cornmeal and flour dough ball. A big carp will give you as big a fight as any fish its size and there are plenty of carp in most lakes and rivers.
The flatheads begin to bite in late June and early July and are considered the cleanest of the catfish group feeding only on live food such as bluegill. These are the cleanest, best-tasting catfish and their size can top the best of scales.
Channel catfish and blue catfish are great eating as well but these species, particularly the channels will eat most anything and I do mean anything.
Filleted or eaten whole these fish are tasty when fried and can be found in abundance near your home.
Smelly baits such as chicken liver, shrimp, shad entrails, blood bait and cheese bait are among the baits commonly used to attract these fish. The nastier the better!
Flatheads, on the other hand, are more particular and prefer fresh fish, either whole or in part. These flatheads can exceed 60 pounds in our rivers; big enough to cut off fillets that can be fried in a pan.
Make sure you check each site that you intend to fish for their rules and limits as they may vary from site to site.
Your local Big R Stores carry many of the items needed to put these fish in your boat; cheese bait, blood bait and dough ball are among the many items that can be purchased there to aid you in catching these monsters of our waters.
Make sure you have a sturdy enough rod and reels along with a heavy test line if you want to tackle the big boys in this group because they can put a strain on the best a fishing tackle.
Find a spot along a river or take a boat down a lazy summer river and toss out your bait; then hang on for some real summer excitement!