Them Fellas Been Cattin’ Around

The Fishing Club having a “reely” good day

Scott Baker

Texas has loads of great rivers, streams, and lakes, and you can find all kinds of fish in any one of them. The largemouth bass is the most popular. Any guesses what’s number 2? Yep, that’s Mr. Whiskers himself. The lowly, sometimes slimy—yet extremely tasty—catfish is the go-to species for those angling for a mess of fish for the dinner table.

We’re a catfish-crazy state. From vast impoundments spanning tens of thousands of acres, to small, tucked-away farm ponds, it would be impossible to name all the catfish waters in the Lone Star State. With no shortage of great fishing options, the RR Fishing Club headed to Lake Ray Roberts, just a half hour drive north of Denton. This 25,000-acre reservoir consistently produces a healthy population of channels, flatheads, and blues.

Knowing what we already knew about catfish, we felt certain the fishing was going to be pretty good for this “meat-and-potatoes” fish. Overall, the best time to be out fishing for catfish is spring. They spawn between March and May, this being the most reliable time to find them in abundance.

Catfish have sensitive eyes, and they prefer to reside in turbid waters and avoid too much direct sunlight. Because they hunt using their senses of smell and taste, they love live bait, especially bait that stinks. With the services of our professional guide, we wielded rod and reel using strips of freshly cut bait, still a bit drippy with blood. (Of course, the old standards like stink bait, chicken livers, bacon, and hot dogs would work great, too.) Thank heavens they aren’t picky eaters!

The red-hot fast and furious action started just as we dropped our lines. By day’s end we reeled in 68 cats ranging in size from 2-1/2 to 7 pounds each. Once cleaned and deboned, we came home with over 37 pounds of fillets. And, you guessed it, everyone’s asking, “So, when’s the next Fishing Club Fish Fry?”

Ready for a little cattin’ around yourself? Catfish are everywhere in Texas. They’re found in almost every nook and cranny throughout the state. Texas catfishing is a year-round sport. You don’t freeze in the winter, the lake doesn’t get covered in ice, and the fish are biting whether it’s summer, spring, winter, or fall. So long as you’re near water, you aren’t far from cats.

Interested in dropping a line? The RR Fishing Club meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Wildhorse Grill Boardroom at 4 p.m. For any inquiries, comments, or suggestions, contact [email protected] or Scott Baker at 214-334-7664.