Stream flooded fields can be great place to catch stringer of catfish
Every spring brings with it rain, and this year has been no exception. In fact, for many there has been too much rain to really enjoy the season’s fishing.
Hopefully, flooding has passed. But if we get river waters back over the fields, it can be a time to catch catfish. There's no better place to catch a stringer of fish on some spring days than in a corn field.
The fishing action can be hectic at times, and an angler can put a lot of fish on the stringer. Sounds a little crazy, but true. Conditions have to be just right.
A corn field or other field for that matter, can produce some mighty good fishing. I’ve experienced it a number of times when the waters of the Ohio River were on the rise.
When river or stream waters are rising and spilling over into fields, the result often is excellent fishing for small catfish, often referred to locally as pollywogs or bullheads. These and other fish make their way into shallow water, especially corn fields, in search of food. They can be caught in 18 inches of water.
Fish move in and bite only when water is rising. As soon as the water begins to recede, the fish seem to know it is time to head back to deeper water, and the fishing actions slows dramatically.
The little cats will bite on most any bait. Worms and nightcrawlers work well. Most cornfield anglers use bobbers on their lines, however at times a tight line can be effective.
One of the most significant problems facing cornfield fishermen is getting the fishing line through the old floating corn stocks and other debris. A rake can be used to clear a fishin' hole. And, of course, anglers need landowner permission to fish private fields.
A long pole also can be useful to help place the bait just where you want it.
One of the exciting aspects of this cornfield fishing is the surprises it can be bring. Pollywogs, bullheads or little catfish (whatever you choose to call them) are usually what you find on the end of the line, but occasionally you'll find a big channel cat, crappie, bluegill, carp, or any type fish you'll find in any river or stream. It's fun and exciting.
The polywogs are great eating. While they are small when compared to some catfish, they are mighty tasty and certainly worth the work of cleaning them and preparing them for the dinner table.
Most people roll them in a batter and deep fry them like any fiddler catfish.
Hopefully, we won’t have any addition significant water rise in streams the rest of spring and early summer, but if happens, remember cornfield catfish.
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TRIATHLON -- Registration is underway for the Patoka Lake Triathlon taking place at Patoka Lake beach Aug. 24.
Participants in the triathlon will swim 500 yards in the lake, bike 12.8 miles along paved roads within the property, and run 5K along groomed gravel roads and a paved bike trail.
All proceeds from this event will go to support Patoka’s non-releasable raptors; a red-tailed hawk and eastern screech owl. It also may save the life of a bald eagle by acquiring a non-releasable eagle for Patoka raptor education program.