You can catch plenty of catfish in June in south Alabama. But, you have to first find those fish.
The key is that once the weather starts warming up cats are looking for baitfish in areas of moving water. Those areas with current generally are cooler than standing water.
Based on that fact, the most productive place to find catfish in the shortest time is below dams in the tailraces.
For the best information on where to find catfish in south Alabama, we talked to two state biologists, David Armstrong of Spanish Fort, District V supervisor for the southwestern part of the state; and Ken Weathers of Enterprise, the District IV fisheries supervisor for southeast Alabama.
More hot spots for cats in the dam areas mentioned by Weathers include the water around downed trees, logs and underwater stumps. Weathers recommended that when you fish these wooden trash piles, make sure you are using the type of tackle that can handle pulling big cats out of the cover. Use 30- to 50-pound-test line and a 7- to 8-foot rod with the backbone of a pool cue to put enough force on the hook and the line to move these big catfish out of the structure.
Most of these larger cats are blues or flatheads.
“Flatheads and blue catfish aren’t native to south Alabama rivers,” Ken Weathers reported, but then added. “Even on the small Choctawhatchee River, we’re starting to see flathead catfish show-up. In the Geneva area, we’ve brought up some flatheads that weigh from 30 to 40 pounds.”
The flatheads and the blue catfish are predators and like live bait. Weathers believes that if you want to catch the biggest blues and flatheads in southeastern Alabama, you can’t beat golden river shiners. Those are the same baitfish that anglers use in Florida and south Georgia lakes to catch big bass Unfortunately, they’re often difficult to locate at tackle stores.
To learn more about catching catfish in southeast Alabama, call Ken Weathers at (334) 347-9467, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walter F. George Tailwater
One of the better places that Weathers pointed to for catfishing in June was the Chattahoochee River, below Walter F. George Dam at Lake Eufaula.
The river here holds blue, channel and flathead cats. The new Georgia state-record blue cat of 80 pounds, 4 ounces recently was caught below the dam. Anglers often catch channel cats here, but the dominant species is blue catfish.