Summer’s here, and the chummin’s hot

Kyle Redger waits for a catfish to bite at Marion Reservoir...he didn't have to wait very long.

Afternoon temperatures are in the 100s.

It hasn’t rained in so long your dog is burying bones under the paved sidewalk because it’s easier than digging in your lawn.

And catfishermen are having the times of their lives catching dozens of fat channel cats.

On a recent morning friend Kyle Redger and I joined my friend, Warren Kreutziger for a few early morning hours at Marion Reservoir. Warren was fishing that section of the Cottonwood River before the dam was built.  For more than a decade Warren and his wife, Donna, ran nearby Canada Bait and Tackle. He still does a little guiding.

Warren had sent word the fishing had been great on areas he’d chummed with rotten soybeans. A GPS  let him drop chum on the same exact spots time after time. He and anglers had been taking limits of ten channel catfish each about every time on the lake…and often pretty quickly, too.

So, how’d it work when I showed up? (I’ve been called the “Fishin’ Magician” for my ability to make a total hot bite disappear.)

Warren Kreutziger has the net ready, as Kyle Redger brings another Marion channel catfish to the surface.

It went very, very well.

It was Kyle’s first trip fishing mid-lake, relying on electronics to stay on fish, and it ended up being his best-ever trip for catfish.

We fished some of Warren’s homemade stink baits straight below the boat and the fish seemed to plentiful.

The average size was probably around four pounds. Kyle had one  closer to seven pounds. All of the fish were super-fat – probably full from weeks of soybeans – and incredibly shiny.

After about 2 1/2 hours of fishing we stopped at our self-imposed maximum of 20 fish, though catfish were still biting well. They produced about three gallons of fillets.

…and we were off the water before the temperature even hit 85 degrees.

Some of the 20 channel cats caught in about 2 1/2 hours.