Jim Reedy with Rend Lake Channel Catfish

Jim Reedy with Rend Lake Channel Catfish

Regular followers of the crappie scene are familiar with the husband/wife team of Jim and Barbara Reedy from Missouri. But today we are not after crappies. Jim has a new catfish rod he wants to try out on the Rend Lake (IL) crappie factory.

The weather, although sunny, is a bit chilly and the waves a little choppy. Fishing in a small cove, we find an 18-foot hole in hopes of finding some of those 2-pound channels that this lake is well-known for producing. The Hummingbird electronics are marking fish.

B n M Fishing ( is an established producer of crappie rigs and poles and is one of the Reedys’ sponsors. This year they released the Silver Cat Catfish Pole. It is 100% fiberglass with a graphite reel seat that fits any size reel. Nylon cord wraps the handle giving a firm grip. As with the crappie poles sensitivity is important in the catfish line.

The poles come in seven and eight foot lengths in either a spinning or casting model. The 7-foot models are the choice for today. Three rods have spinning reels and three are bait cast models. The silver shaft with a glow in the dark tip is ideal for those night time forays for Mr. Whiskers.

Catfish anglers use an unending variety of baits. Jim has introduced a new one. Snow goose meat that got freezer burn and is not very good for human consumption marinated in garlic and salt.

The catfish rig is 100 pound test Hi-Vis Vicious braided line in yellow. The yellow allows Jim to see the slightest motion. A 20-inch clear fluorocarbon leader is added to the terminal end. A bead above the swivel protects the knot from the movement of a 1 ounce egg sinker above the swivel. A number 2/0 hook holds the bait.

Jim explains that this rig is what he usually uses for those big blue cats in larger rivers.
The rods are placed in Driftmaster rod holders so that each angler can have three (the legal limit on this lake) rods in action at the same time.


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