Quality catfish action during hot weather is highly anticipated by fishermen throughout the Carolinas. Many lakes and river produce outstanding fishing, but each system is unique, and the most-productive fishing patterns during the scorching weather of August can be quite specific.
Here’s a look at six of the Carolinas’ top catfish waters, with basic patterns described for August fishing in rivers and lakes, covering how to catch blue, flathead and channel catfish.
With blue catfish bursting on the scene in recent years, some fishermen may overlook flatheads, but not Tyler Schultz from Rock Ridge, N.C. A tournament director with the Neuse River Catfish Hunters tournament trail, Schultz has long been a flathead fisherman, and years of fishing have confirmed what he’s long suspected: the Neuse River is a flathead paradise.
“The Neuse has plenty of hefty blues, as well as channel catfish,” Schultz said, “but the flatheads rule, and I can’t imagine a better river for catching both quality and quantity of flatheads. We catch fish from all size classes, with fish in the 30-pound class not an unreasonable expectation for any trip.”
Schultz said he and tournament anglers he knows target big flatheads because the tournament environment rewards bigger fish. For pleasure fishing and to increase the number of bites, simply downsize tackle and bait used to target the big cats.
“I target specific places including bends in the river, logjams, eddies, junctions of feeder creeks and natural rock bluffs,” he said. “Each of these creates unique situations with deeper water, current and eddies.
“A lot of our tournaments