John's Journal...

Kids and Catfish

Day 1: Kids Are All About Catching

Editor’s Note: Two types of fishing particularly are wired for children to enjoy - bream fishing, especially around fish feeders, and catfishing. Two kinds of catfishing really can fire-up youngsters - jug fishing and Yo-Yo fishing.

Click for Larger ViewAlthough many children enjoy fishing, I’m not so sure it’s the fishing they enjoy so much as it is the alone time with Mom or Dad. But, all children are about catching. There’s nothing as exciting as seeing or feeling a fish on the end of a line. This past week, I had the privilege of watching 5-year-old Daniel Northern go Yo-Yo fishing with his dad Nelson, at Reelfoot Lake near Tiptonville, Tennessee, on the northwest Tennessee border. Click for Larger ViewIn a day and an afternoon, they caught more than 100 pounds of channel catfish, fishing out of Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake. Night crawlers were the bait of the day, and with 24 Catch-O-Matics (automatic fishing reels also known as Yo-Yos), Daniel and his dad wore the catfish out. They hung the Yo-Yos from green branches on cypress trees out in the middle of the lake. By the time they’d set out all 24 Yo-Yos, they had catfish flopping on their lines. When Daniel’s mother asked him if he was going to the babysitter’s house, he said, “No, ma’am, I’m going fishing with Daddy,” and fish he did. The Catch-O-Matic sets the hook on the cat when the catfish takes the bait. As Daniel’s dad maneuvered the boat close to the line, Daniel could grab hold of the line and pull the catfish into the boat, unless the catfish weighed over 3 pounds. Then Dad would have to come to the front of the boat and help Daniel get the catfish in the boat. From early in the morning until late in the afternoon, these two worked the lines and caught the fish. With a stringer of cats that even a commercial catfisherman would be proud to bring in, Daniel and Nelson Northern had a fishing trip and a time to bond as father and son that they’ll both remember for a lifetime.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewYo-Yoing for cats isn’t just a sport and a fishing trip for men and boys. Darleen Chamberlain and her granddaughter got in on the action also. While running the Yo-Yos on Reelfoot Lake, a big thunderstorm rolled-in, and they were too far from Blue Bank Resort to motor back, without getting wet. However, one of the big advantages of fishing on this northwest Tennessee lake is that Reelfoot Lake is right in the heart of duck-hunting country. The lake is surrounded by several state and national waterfowl refuges and peppered with covered duck blinds. When the rainstorm blew-in, Darleen and her 4-year-old-granddaughter DaLanee Rinks, pulled into a duck blind until the storm blew over. Then they resumed their catfishing and bream fishing out on the lake.

To learn how to rig a Yo-Yo, click here.

For more information on how you too can take your children and grandchildren on a catfishing trip of a lifetime and have plenty of good groceries to eat when you get home, go to, or call Blue Bank Resort at 1-877-258-3226.

Catfish Like a ProTo learn more about how to catch catfish, click here, or go to, and type in the name of the book, “Catfish Like a Pro” to buy it. Too, you can download a Kindle app for free and buy the book from Amazon to read it on your iPad, Smartphone or computer.

Tomorrow: Jugging for Catfish

Check back each day this week for more about "Kids and Catfish"

Day 1: Kids Are All About Catching
Day 2: Jugging for Catfish
Day 3: Family Jugging
Day 4: Expert Jugging for Catfish with Carl Morris
Day 5: More Expert Tips on Jugging for Catfish with Carl Morris

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 667, Day 1