Anybody who knows me will agree I’m a big fish Kind of guy, Lake Trout, Sturgeon , Northern Pike, Walleye, Brown Trout, Carp, Eel Pout, it really doesn’t matter. If you share that same passion then you’re going to love this!
Manitoba’s legendary Red River is well-known as a big fish factory where thousands of anglers come to test their luck each year. Imagine heart pounding strikes that nearly rip the rod right out of your hand, setting into big fish after big fish until your arms fell like rubber and you can barely stand on your own two feet let alone engage in another intense battle of tug-of-war. Recognized as a world-class fishery, screaming reels along with incredible bites lasting all day long make this fast flowing water-way one for the bucket list. Splitting the southern and Interlake regions in two this runnel supplies a flourishing habitat becoming home to a wide variety of fresh water fish witch all can be caught throughout the river reaching well over trophy size. But one River monster in particular has made its presence Well known in the sport fishing industry attracting attention from around the globe, the Chanel Catfish.
The city of Selkirk located 30 minutes north of Winnipeg has been crowned king living up to its name as the Chanel Catfish capital of the world, leaving its competition lingering in the dust. This small city situated along the banks of the mighty Red River has been catering to anglers from across the nation for years supplying bait and tackle, boat launches, full service campsites, accommodations and an eras of eateries. The Friendly hometown service and paved roads leading up to what is considered a primary stretch of the river to angle these massive specimens keeps people coming back every year.
Although I have caught many gargantuan kitties throughout September and October The months of May, June, July and August have been notably incomparable to others. Hooking into multiple Manitoba master angler size fish at the same time is not uncommon throughout the earlier months. Thriving off mainly a pure protein diet these powerhouse fish will devour nearly anykind of meat they can fit down there throats.
Large schools of goldeye ordinarily found lingering in the shallows just Beneath the waters surface can provide an excellent choice of Bait. Easily caught with a small hook and bobber. Adjusting the hook to hang a foot or two below the bobber tipping it with a small piece of worm has proven to be successful. Slicing the goldeye into 2” strips and puncture your hook through its thick shiny scales provides a durable bait along with and irresistible snack. This technique has been successful for me through the months of May and June. July through October I prefer to use leopard frogs Which can be found hiding out in tall grass-lines surrounding the river and nearby sloughs. Fairly easy to find but not so easily caught their ninja like reflexes make them a challenge for the most avid frog hunters. A large small webbed net with a long handle Will increase your odds immensely, don’t forget to bring a pail with a firmly mounted lid.
Pre-made catfish Riggs can be purchased at the local tackle shop in Selkirk or if you choose too you can make them yourself. I enjoy making my own which consist of one double barrel swivel a bead a number 7 Circle hook (barbless) attached to a foot and a half of 40 pound floro-carbon line. Adjusting my weight using just enough to keep the bait on the bottom. Depending on the current I will adjust the length of the floral carbon using a longer piece in stronger current. I prefer running a 50lb braided line spooled on a 4000 reel attached to a heavy action 7.5’ rod.
Primary hangouts for these bottom dwelling monsters Include deep pools, sharp drop offs into deeper channels, current breaks and structural transitions.
So the next time you’re looking for that big fish experience of a lifetime with your friends or a fun filled Weekend with the family take a trip to Manitoba.I guarantee you’ll be leaving with sore arms a of pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.