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Catfish Statistics
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Posted by rsimms
10/1/2019 2:00 PM
I have slowed down on my CFF usage. For those looking for me, my apologies. For those not interested, you're welcome.

I thought I would share my catfishing results to-date. At Scenic City Fishing Charters (with six bass, catfish and crappie guides) we don't keep secrets. We tell folks like it is. We don't want to take anyone's money under false pretenses. The money isn't the only reason we do what we do.

The catfish bite has been off about 30 percent this year compared to 2018, with detailed statistics below to prove it.

I keep count and daily records of every catfish that comes over the side of my boat. To-date this year my clients have caught 891 catfish. In 2018, after an equivalent number of guide trips, clients had boated 1,269 catfish. That's a 30 percent decline.

The catch rate in 2019 has been 3.15 catfish per hour. In 2018 the catch rate was 4.15 per hour. The "trophy fish" bite has been down as well. In 2018 my clients boated eight cats 50-pounds or above. This year, only one. My clients have caught 25 TARP fish (20-40 pound class) which has been nice.

Not many folks I know keep detailed records but from the anecdotal evidence I hear throughout the Tennessee River region, it has been the same for most.

Why?

I wish I knew. Last winter was exceedingly wet with Chickamauga flood gates open non-stop from November until February. One would think that had some affect but in reality, who knows.

I'd love to hear some feedback from some of the other serious catfish folks?

But, all that said, even if it has been a little harder work for me and the other SCF catfish guides, we continue to keep folks happy and that's really what it's all about. Here's a few of my favorite photos from this year.

Edited by rsimms 10/1/2019 2:05 PM




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Posted by Gator
10/1/2019 2:28 PM
Richard, thanks for the excellent catfish summary. I always enjoy reading your reports and those from Ben also. I hope you find an explanation for the difference in this year and last.
Posted by muskyman
10/1/2019 9:03 PM
Man I love fishin big cats more than anything else. Looks like I need to head out west your way. I have Watts Bar here and I am trying to get to know it.
Posted by Nauticman
10/2/2019 1:53 PM
Echoing Gator’s comments. Really interesting info you shared, Richard. Again, thanks!
Posted by porthos33
10/3/2019 11:45 AM
For me personally, I've always seemed to think, the giants seem to be around best December, Janurary, and februrary. Kinda like the the huge bass, Seems you really need to capitalize on that winter/prespawn bite and with the gates open so long this winter, it was tough to do that. Then summer comes, the rain disappeared, and we all know current is king on the Tennessee River. I think it's just a flow thing. I wish there were trackers on all the 50 pluseres you guys have caught over the years. It would be cool to see where they go when they aren't showing up. Appreciate the stats!
Posted by SMA
10/6/2019 7:50 PM
Thank you Richard for your willingness to share information about your fishing stats!
Posted by Tight_Lines
10/7/2019 1:38 PM
you said your clients have caught 25 TARP fish (20-40lb class.) what is a TARP fish??
thanks in advance,
T. Kennel
Posted by Kman
10/7/2019 4:38 PM
Great pictures
Posted by M GO BLUE
10/8/2019 8:47 PM
I can't speak to the Cats, but strange that LAST YEAR was so crappy (no pun intended) for me for summertime crappies, but THIS YEAR has been INCREDIBLE. We've crushed them this year and just curious what the inversely-proportional environmental differences could've been, if anything in common at all?? I know Crappies are very cyclical, not so sure about cats?
Posted by porthos33
10/9/2019 2:57 AM
M GO BLUE - 10/8/2019 9:47 PM I can't speak to the Cats, but strange that LAST YEAR was so crappy (no pun intended) for me for summertime crappies, but THIS YEAR has been INCREDIBLE. We've crushed them this year and just curious what the inversely-proportional environmental differences could've been, if anything in common at all?? I know Crappies are very cyclical, not so sure about cats?
There was a study done on bass and crappie spawns over the years on Kentucky and Barkley lake and I believe when there is a high flow throughout the winter the crappie had a really good spawn and the bass didn't and it switched with a low winter flow. 
Posted by rsimms
10/9/2019 10:31 AM
Tight_Lines - 10/7/2019 2:38 PM

you said your clients have caught 25 TARP fish (20-40lb class.) what is a TARP fish??
thanks in advance,
T. Kennel


TARP is an acronym for the "Tennessee Angler Recognigtion Program" sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

See: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/fishing/tennessee-angler-recognit...

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