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High Tech Tips for Trophy Catfish
Two Midwestern guides are proving it takes more than tight-lining stink baits and drinking a couple of beers to catch trophy catfish. By John Neporadny Jr. July 2006


...Jeff Williams of Jeff Williams Trophy Catfishing Guide Service (866/HOOKSET) net their own shad for bait and rely on sophisticated equipment to track down behemoth catfish. Their boats are equipped with the latest depth finder/GPS combination units for pinpointing the depth and exact location of schools of big catfish. The guides also use drift socks to control their boat speed when they drag their baits along the bottom.

"The trick is keeping up with the fish and that is pretty much seasonal," said Brown. The guides employ the same sonar tactics bass anglers use to keep track of the seasonal migrations of catfish and key on the bottom structure (drop-offs, ledges and flats) the fish are holding on in reservoirs and rivers. Brown prefers drifting cut shad on Truman Lake with five rods placed in a triangular pattern in his boat. His reels are equipped with depth counters, which allow him to present each bait at 25-foot increments and cover a wider range of water without tangling his lines. Williams favors dropping an anchor in the headwaters of Lake of the Ozarks or Grand Lake o' the Cherokees and casts live or cut shad to current breaks or any bottom structure where he locates big schools of shad with his electronics.

Both guides are strong advocates of catch-and-release and have watched their clients release several blue catfish in the 20- to 50-pound range.

About the Captain Jeff:

Jeff Williams hails as a catfish guide from Grand Lake, Oklahoma. He has also guided successfully on Lake of the Ozarks, MO, Truman Lake, MO and the Missouri River. Jeff is a seasoned tournament pro that also speaks at many seminars annually, plus is continually in the media spotlight via TV, mainstream magazines and newspapers. He represents many national sponsors that are proud to be involved in the world of catfishing. Check out his full line of professional catfish tackle and gear at Team Catfish.

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