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Old 02-29-2020, 08:00 AM   #1
texasGG
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Bulkhead Fishing

You can't say I didn't warn you, bulkhead fishing is about 5 weeks away. Get ready, put your shallow gear in the boat. I mark my calendar for April 10 each year. The fish are usually really going by then. Sometimes they start a little sooner but usually by April 10th they are in full swing. This usually last about three weeks or so but I have seen years when it lasted much longer. For anyone that has not fished this time of the year, you need to give it a try. Its great for the family and kids IF you can get them out of bed and on the water early. This can be fast and furious fishing when everything comes together. If you are ever going to catch a limit of eater fish by rod and reel,this is your best chance of the year for doing that.

My tips to those that don't know:

Watch the weather. Look to see which way the wind is blowing. That is critical. I can't emphasize that enough. You MUST fish against a WIND BLOWN bulkhead or steep bank. When I say up against, I literally mean within 10 feet of that bank or closer, many times I will bounce my cork off the bulkhead. You must have a good anchor to hold your boat or poles to push in to tie your boat to or something to hold your boat near the bank. You do not want a very gradual sloping bank like a sand bar. Needs to be a bank that's at least 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep right against the bank, at least thats what I look for. Another tip is look for birds on the bank. Those white cranes aren't all standing there for no reason they are feeding on the shad. They are easy to spot from a distance so keep that in mind when looking for places to fish. This all happens EARLY so if there is any way possible be on the water at earliest light. The bite is usually best the first 3-4 hours in the morning. As the sun comes up the fish will move out off the edges a little and the bite will slow. Use FRESH shad for bait, they are usually the easiest to catch this time of year. Throw your cast net at the boat ramps, they are usually thick on the ramps or very near by. If you are on the right bulkhead, usually one throw AGAINST the bulk head will give you enough shad for the day but bounce your cast net off the bulkhead, they are that close to the shore. Keep your shad fresh on ice in a zip lock, don't leave them out on the deck to dry out and get soft, if you get a shad out, put the bag right back in the ice chest, yes this is important... Now just anchor up and throw in close to the bulkhead/bank and be ready for a bite. It can be the fastest catching of the year when the conditions are right. But again, you need some wind. As far as gear, I use circle hooks, about a 3/0 or 4/0. When fishing with my family I almost always put bobbers or slip corks and set them about 2 feet deep. I usually use big corks, they are easier to see and I think the big plop they make when they hit the water will sometimes initiate a strike. That said, I sometimes use a carolina rig and fish on the bottom. Either will work. Most folks like to see those corks pull under though.

I Hope I'm not coming across as a "know it all" my wish is to help some of you that may be just starting and to help speed up your learning curve just a little. This is how I do it, I'm sure there are other and better ways out there. But, this works for me. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:04 AM   #2
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Great post! I need to try it more if my schedule allows.
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:23 AM   #3
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Your information is spot on and is the exact way I fish. One thing I learned from a top notch blue cat man is to look for a very nice lawn above the bulkhead if possible. The run off from the lawn fertilizer seems to enhance the algae that grows on the bulkhead and thus better shad concentrations. A creek channel nearby even makes it better. Anchor between the bulk head and the channel and you catch them from both sides of the boat faster than you can get them in the boat. Hard to find a spot like this, but when you do the action is FAST.
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Old 03-01-2020, 06:49 AM   #4
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Good post TexasGG, I can't wait, it's some of the most exciting fishing of the year.
I notice that the small channel cats start it off before daylight, then thin out as the shad move in to the top and the blues, gous, and hybrids take the stage.
I hate to hook up with a big disappointing gasper gou in the heat of action. The first one is fun, but then...
As action slows near the bank the channels come back and more gous. If that's all you start catching at the bulkhead turn and start casting out to deeper water with a carolina rig. It buys you some more fish until they move out for good as the sun gets high.
I don't bother with a cork anymore, but use a very light Carolina rig with a 20# short leader and a small kale hook.
A light sinker lets fish pull the rig off the bottom without snagging, and they will pick it up if it gets snagged if you let slack out and wait.
At some point in the morning the shad can get too thick to get a bite using one for bait.
I keep the first small gou I catch and use small cut bait when the shad are too thick.
This keeps fish coming during that lull.
I did one time catch a Lake Livingston 50 fish limit during the bulkhead bite.
I was having a good day and at 8:30 counted fish and had 47, so I went for the limit.
Regretted it as I spent the next couple of hours cleaning fish!
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:10 AM   #5
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Great post, I usually try all the above ways during this time of year.


Good fishing to all!
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:46 PM   #6
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Great post. Thanks


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Old 03-02-2020, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thank you for the informative post !! This will help a lot...
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:32 AM   #8
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Lots of great info on this thread, I am so ready for the bulk head bite.



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Old 03-02-2020, 02:28 PM   #9
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Good post. I'm starting to get the itch too. Wife informed me that she doesn't really care for white bass. She only likes it when it's fresh. But oh the catfish, she loves the catfish. That's good news for me and my two sons. We always look forward to the bulkhead bite and use the exact methods you posted.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:15 PM   #10
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Spot on!! I usually try and make 3 or 4 bulk head trips a year. I did catch a 50 fish rod and reel limit one morning last year. You gotta be there early.
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