Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5 Easy Steps to a Slimmer You

Or How We Catch Catfish on Smith Mountain Lake

If you've been following along with things on the blog lately , you know that I recently fished the Cave Spring Optimist's Fishing Tournament here on my home water with a good friend of mine. I've fished with him for close to 20 years now and every time we get a chance to go we have a blast. I try to act like fishing is serious business here on the blog , but in reality I go to have fun and it's far from a serious affair when I'm with my old friend. We joke around a lot and eat a lot and just kind of float around on the boat until something happens.

The basics of our fishing methods for Spring fishing on SML are fairly simple. We start out jigging with small jigs custom made by my fishing partner for Trout that work equally well for Crappie and small Bluegills. If we find a nice school of Crappie , we'll fish for a while , but generally we just catch about 20 small Bluegills and/or hybrid Bluegills to use for Catfish bait. We fish the jigs on small 1/32 and 1/16 ounce jigheads , tipped with a wax worm (or not). The fish love these jigs. We normally end up catching a few bass on them , some yellow perch and even an odd catfish or carp.
Jigmax1's custom jigs
My stash of custom jigs.
Once we have a supply of the right size bait in the cooler , we head to a secret spot full of submerged brush and catfish. I usually anchor the boat up and we start fishing. I use a simple rig for cats consisting of an egg sinker , swivel , 18 inch 30 lb. mono leader , and a 2/0 hook. Normally we hook the bluegills through the nose or through the tail and send them on their merry way.

This is when the fun starts. If we have bait in the water for a while with no strikes , we bring them in and send them for a Something's Fishy spa treatment. These lucky customers at the Something's Fishy spa are put through our exclusive 5 step program that leaves them looking and feeling thinner almost instantly. Seeing a satisfied customer as he or she leaves the spa in search of catfish always brings a smile to my face.

So what is the secret of our 5 Easy Steps to a Slimmer You © Spa treatment? It's really a fairly simple process and it's a surprisingly effective weight loss regimen for small panfish. Step one involves bringing the bait out of the water and into our luxurious facilities aboard the Gun Boat where they will be pampered with an unparalleled spa experience , custom tailored to fit their needs. In step two these fish are checked boat side for general liveliness and presentability as a viable catfish bait. During step three , the lucky recipients are laid out on our genuine plywood massage tables ( the deck of the boat ). Step four is a bit more complex. In the hands of our experienced staff , the bait is ran through a gauntlet of procedures designed to help them achieve their weight loss goals ( I stomp them with my size 13 boots ). Step five involves our staff admiring their handiwork and making bad jokes about how much weight the fish lost. Then our satisfied customers are sent back out into the water , so they can continue their search for big catfish.

Catfish love slimy , greasy , smashed up Bluegills.
Something's Fishy Jr. with the catch of the day.
This post is dedicated to my good friend Jigmax1 , who has been with me on some of my best (and worst) fishing trips regularly for the past 20 years. Wouldn't be the same fishing the tournament without you old buddy! Always a blast!


  1. When I saw the headline, I was like, "Josh, WTH are you doing?" Funny post. Love the pic of SF jr. Nice job buddy

  2. Thanks for stopping by Salty! LOL - did kind of look like a spammer post on Twitter didn't it? :)

    For the record , I ask myself "WTH are you doing?" almost every day.

  3. LOL!!! I wonder how many folks are going to drive-by after seeing the title. LOL!! Good stuff man and GREAT picture

  4. Funny read! I'll have to remember the Bluegill Spa treatment next time I'm contemplating using ancient hot dogs for bait again.

  5. To funny, Josh! The Bluegill Spa Treatment may work out here in Idaho too! I am giving you all the credit if she catches me a big ol' Cat!

  6. I cannot wait to start up my own "spa" for catfishing this summer! Great post JM! :)

  7. Hey, I'm all about "catchy" titles...enjoyed the read. Fishy Jr. is on his way it looks like!

  8. Looks like Jr's has picked up poppa's skills in fishing! I can't wait to show Rambob the spa treatment I learned on our next fishing expedition...


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