Catfish bite actively during trout season, especially in the fall during the first trout plants.
When the trout stocking begins around November, anglers show up in droves and most are using scented baits, and catfish will be hooked. Problem is, sometimes that little treble hook is tied to very thin line so as not to spook the trout, and a big channel cat will make short work of line too thin. A little luck, though, and a ten-pound catfish can be wrestled in on light trout gear. It happens every year, especially at Santee Lakes.
In the past month at the string of lakes on the west end of Santee, several good sized cats have been caught by folks targeting them, specifically in Lakes 3 and 4 on mackerel, bonito or chicken livers. This coming weekend is their trout season opener, one month after Stockzilla when 3,500 pounds of channel catfish were stocked. The first trout plant will be 2,500 pounds, several in the eight- to 12-pound range. Like the catfish, many trout are tagged and the angler that presents a tagged fish at the tackle shop can win prizes.