There is a rock weir behind Fordice Island, almost directly across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg. The river was around 9.9 on the Vicksburg gauge and Richard Baker said we could get all the skipjack shad we’d need for bait for our catfish outing in just a few minutes there.
Mike Iaconelli squinted with intense concentration, peering down the shank of a VMC hook in his left hand. Cracking a confident grin, he nodded in approval as the point pressed against his right thumb.
You’d almost think this thing was a CIA operative, what with all the different identities, abilities and serious armament. At the risk of stretching a not-so-subtle Jason Bourne reference too far, let’s just say that the topwater frog is one deadly asset for just about anytime but the depths of winter and whenever fish hug deep structure. So proficient is the frog’s fish-tempting allure that this floating amphibian impostor is a go-to bait for tournament pros and guides who depend on it for a wide range of applications.
As hard as it may be to believe, catfish are one of the most versatile quarries with whom anglers can ever hope to do battle. While most people think of them as slimy creatures that lurk on the bottom in the mud, catfish represent all of the characteristics as top-of-the-food-chain predators, finicky tournament day foes, and main course for a fish fry all rolled up into one.
Summertime means hot days and even hotter crappie action. Check out page 21 to see how to jig and crank up summer slabs.Cover photo by Jerald Horst