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Fishing Rodeo Part 3

We checked out our spots, we got our bait…now it’s time to head to the river!

It’s time to bait our big hooks with live bait. You want the big fish, you use the big bait!

Let’s talk about the hooks we need to use.

To start with, too big of a hook is too heavy. Too small of a hook may not hold the fish you are looking for.  You have to find one that’s just right.

The best hook I’ve found is a 11/0 or 12/0 Circle C. I personally use a 200 lb test mono-filament for my drops on my trot line. Your equipment determines the fish you’ll catch.

When fishing a preferred spot, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, don’t put all your hooks in that one spot. Go to more than one area and scatter your lines.

Now that we have learned what equipment to use, what kind of bait to catch, what hooks to use…it’s time to fish.

And to bring our catch to the Harbormaster for weigh-in.

For 11 years, I’ve been the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Freshwater Catfish Division Champion with my highest weight of one 74.3 lb catfish. But it’s a new year and there are many looking to knock me off my spot.

I get to the weigh-in and…

(to be continued)

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Fishing Rodeo Part 2

Last week we talked about scoping out the best fishing spots and keeping a record of the weather systems prior to a big fishing trip. Now it’s time to bait up.

We don’t head to the store for bait; we head to the lake.

After double-checking my live wells to be sure I can keep my live bait..well, alive…we move on to the pre-fishing fishing.

I fish for perch which can be found in freshwater lakes, sloughs, and bayous. As my ole Pop used to say, “Go catch you some punkinseed perch for live bait.”

Always check the rules and regulations in your state for legalities of using anything in the perch family for live bait.

In the bream family, there are many different species of perch. South Mississippi and Alabama, we have what they call a stump perch. You will find these mostly in shallow water around roots and cypress knees. This type bait is the toughest I’ve seen- it can stay alive on a hook much longer than most fish. It is similar to the sunfish family of fish in the Arkansas and Tennessee areas.

Once you’ve learned how to catch your bait, it’s time to learn how to catch the fish…

Once again check your local rules and regulations for the amount of hooks you can use.

I have a commercial fishing license to catch the fish for the ministry. This allows me a greater use of hooks. All of the fish I catch are used for the ministry…keep in mind while fishing, never catch more than you can eat and if you have extra, donate to a local shelter or ministry!

It’s time to head to the river…stay tuned next week!

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Fishing Rodeo 2019

My favorite time of the year…the 4th of July!

It marks the time to begin preparing to catch the BIG FISH for the 4th of July Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, knowing it will take DAYS of searching for that big fish.

The process of getting all the equipment needed is no easy job. I check out live well pumps, my boats, my motors, and scope out fishing spots.

I search the areas where I think a giant catfish might be bedded up and spend hours circling a particular spot on the river looking for fish.

I go from one hole to another, still doing surveillance only, until I have marked and logged in the places I want to return to the next day to see if the fish are still there.

This process lasts anywhere from 3 or 4 days to a week. I haven’t begun to start fishing at all at this point.

While scoping sites, I’m also recording barometric pressures, cold fronts, weather systems, low pressures, and high pressures.

After all, you don’t just catch a big catfish anytime you want to.

Now it’s time to get my bait… if you think I pick it up at Wal-Mart, you’d be very wrong. Find out what I use for bait next Monday…