|Not a glamorous fish, but they get big and fight hard.
I don't usually fish for these, in fact, several on this page were caught incidentally, one on a soft plastic grub, one on a spinnerbait, one on a crankbait, one on a chatterbait, and one while bluegill fishing.
In 2006, I specifically went after some Shabbona Channel Cats. I wanted to get some easy Big Fish action for the kids. The fish were more than willing to do their part.
Raw chicken livers or Gulp brand artificial chicken livers on a circle hook are hard to beat. I always use circle hooks, they let you take your time with these fish and are impossible for the fish to get gut-hooked. Every time, the hook rotates around and penetrates in the corner of the catfish's mouth, giving you a perfect hooking job. Easy to remove from the fish with minimal damage to the animal, and impossible for the fish to spit out during the fight. Also, circle hooks are great for fishing with kids because you don't set the hook EVER, you just start slowly cranking in, and the hook does it all for you.
|This is Joey's Best
This 31 inch, 12.5-13 pound Shabbona Channel Catfish was caught on chicken livers on Sept 30, 2006.
|This is my Best
This 30 inch, 12 pound Shabbona Channel Catfish was caught on August 15, 2006 while bass fishing in 3-4 feet of water with a blue-black chatterbait.
|28 Inch, 8 pound 1 oz, Shabbona Lake on August 18, 2006, using raw chicken livers on a circle hook.|
|26 Inch, 7 pound 13 oz, Shabbona Lake on August 16, 2006, using raw chicken livers on a circle hook.|
|26 Inch, 7 pound 9oz, Shabbona Lake on August 16, 2006, using raw chicken livers on a circle hook.|
|25 Inch, 6 pound 2oz, Shabbona Lake on August 16, 2006, using raw chicken livers on a circle hook.|
|26 inch, Shabbona Lake on July 19, 2006. I was using raw chicken livers on a circle hook. She was really bloated for the spawn, and probably weighed 7 to 8 pounds.|
|This 22 incher was caught the same morning, July 19, 2006, while bass fishing with a chatterbait in 2 feet of water.|
|Caught the next day, July 20, 2006, with chicken livers on a circle hook, 24.5 inches and 6 pounds.|
|Also caught July 20, 2006, with chicken livers on a circle hook, 25 inches and 5.5 pounds.|
|Also caught July 20, 2006, with chicken livers on a circle hook, 22 inches and 3.5 pounds.|
This Super Grumpy 28 inch Shabbona channel catfish was caught on June 3, 2005 when he tried to inhale my bass grub at the boat !!!!! (he hit when I had about 5 feet of line out) The channel cat was really cool, darker colored that any I have ever seen. His underside, instead of white, was a mixture of green and chocolate brown. I didn't bother to weigh him, put he was probably around 8 to 9 pounds. What a Grouch !!!
Here's a Shabbona 27 inch, 9.6 pounder that I caught while bass fishing on Aug 29, 2000 with a spinnerbait in 2.5 feet of water. He pulled my un-anchored boat about 30 feet up in to a massive weedbed, and destroyed a new spinnerbait before I landed him. He was released to fight again another day.
I caught this Kentucky Lake 26 inch, 7 pounder while bluegill fishing with a redworm on a size 6 hook. He was just hooked in the whisker and took 15 minutes to land because he got all tangled in the weeds and brush.
Rosemary Wakeman hauled in this 22 inch, 7 pound Shabbona butterball while bass fishing on May 17, 2000 with a shallow running crankbait . I've got the whole 5 minute battle on video.
Here's Bradley and Westley Wooddell with a nice Shabbona pair back in 2000. One was 20.5 inches at 3.75 pounds, and the other was 18inches and 2 pounds. Caught by stink baits (and with stink baits too). These fish were deep fried for a campfire dinner.