Catfish, they have to be one of my favorite fish to catch, and keep in aquariums. When it comes to fish tanks though, I like the Plecostomus the best of all the catfishes. That little sucker mouth up against the glass, cleaning algae off the natural way; what could be more appropriate in a tank. Now, they are no saviors when it comes to really poor tank conditions and there are those algae that they seem to show no interest in. But check out the different types some time and you will find a wide array of size, color and feeding preferences. My favorite is the Zebra pleco, followed by the gold nuggets and bristle noses, to name a few. Here in Florida you will also find a feral population, introduced by some of our more responsible pet owners, who thought they were doing the right thing, in letting the animal they no longer wanted go free.
Standing on the shore, of this small lake in Central Florida, I watch a very large pleco as he cruises through the shallows. I wonder how many there really are here in the state? Iv'e seen them in many other lakes but most disturbingly in the St. John's River and Withlacoochee. It sounds horrible, but the environment would be much better off if you just ate your unwanted pets, feral cats and stray dogs included. And I digress.
Oh yea, catfish, that's what I'm tying this circle hook on for. I talked to my buddy, Matt, before we came out, and at his suggestion stopped to get some stew meat. Apparently, the local indigenous tribe of Kissimmeeans that surrounds this manmade wonder of a lake, with their cookie cutter huts, throw a lot of left over barbecue in here. So Matt has tested and found this to work quite well on the fish in this particular lake. As I put it on the hook I am also noticing some qualities about his choice of baits that I find appealing. One is, it doesn't stink like cheese blood.
The second is, it doesn't come off the hook as easy as hot dogs or other baits, and there is blood soaked into it as well as healthy portions of fat hanging from it. The third is because of the second, since it doesn't fall off it last a long time and I don't have to keep rebating the girls lines that they don't like to leave in the water for very long. It's just an all around, down right durable bait.
It worked well too, catfish after catfish after catfish, with a suprise South American Red Tail thrown in the mix. I know what you're thinking, that I ate it right. No, and I didn't kill it either. I heard they don't taste good like a channel cat and this was a retention pond so I didn't feel like one lone red tail with no access to our natural waterways posed a threat. So I let him go, back into this small semi artificial ecosystem, and I hope I wasn't wrong in doing so. Below is a video of Lily fighting a channel cat, and another video with the red tail that Drew caught.
The gear for this is simple; I would recommend at least 6 LB. test line or higher. We are fishing on the bottom so using a little bit of weight for the bait caster which has 10 LB. test mono on it, an egg sinker and a circle hook. The spinning rods are rigged similarly, but with one having 20 LB. Power Pro braid. The rods are anywhere from medium light, to medium, to a medium heavy bait caster. These are great fish for introducing kids to our sport, but keep in mind they do have barbed spines so handle with care.