|05/18/2023 6:00am||75°||74°||29.77||Excellent||P. Cloudy|
I read an article recently where an avid, experienced catfish angler said he likes to go out a few days before a full/new moon. He found the cats tend to be more agitated in the days leading up to a Solunar excellent day. I figured I’d give it a try, so I went out a day before the actual peak event was expected.
I brought along raw hot dog pre-soaked in water, 1 Tbsp garlic powder and red food coloring. I then cured the hot dogs in a layer of Kosher salt to stiffen them up and keep them on the hook a little better. I also prepared raw shrimp also pre-soaked in water with red food coloring (no garlic powder). Once I got the lines in the water both lines were active, but I noticed the hot dogs were being snatched off of the hook a lot easier than the shrimp. Shrimp is naturally more fibrous, so typically I don’t see the shrimp fall off the hook unless I throw a cast with such force it flings the bait off, so I try to be a little more gentle but intentional with my casts.
Within 15 minutes of arriving and getting my lines in the water, my shrimp line went off. It was a decent fight compared to lately, the fish never jumped out of the water but headed straight for the shoreline and rocks. I recall that’s where I lost a rather large catfish not too long ago, so I did my best to keep him from rolling in the shallows to break himself free. I managed to bring him in successfully, a 20″ 2.31lb channel catfish. Not a champion, but what I did notice was the coloring. His sides and belly were more yellow/green than the typical gray I’ve seen. I noticed this several years ago with a 5lb cat I caught that I swear was pregnant, with a distended belly (or overstuffed with hot dogs from local anglers!)
After another hour or so, my shrimp line went off again but this time it just felt like I was bringing in dead weight. That usually means a turtle, and sure enough it was. Around 6-7″ diameter shell, the common box turtles we see in the pond. Fortunately the hook came out easily and I was able to return him to the pond unharmed. I hate catching those little guys, sometimes I can’t get the hook out and I feel bad about leaving it in there, even though I know it’ll dissolve eventually and it’s the best way to ensure their survival as opposed to trying to dig or force it out. Maybe it’ll give them a story to tell their friends?
So another good trip, as always. Even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work. Some would argue there is no such thing as a bad day of fishing!