Centuries ago, Indians built dam traps across smaller river's to congregate and catch migrating fish. It wasnt until the early 1930s that the first hydro-electric power plants were built. Monster Catfishing quickly became entrenched beneath these huge concrete fortresses. Today fishing the swift water below the tailraces of these damns are by far the largest producers of monster catfish. In todays times nuclear power plant hot water discharges are by far the best fishing areas in the country. They allow fish to stay active year around to feed and GROW to enormous sizes.
Remember to use bait from the local water's Common table fair for monster Catfish.
In the simplest of terms catfish live in the tailraces because baitfish live there. Waters below large tailraces host 1,000s of ton's of shad providing easy to find meals for catfish. It is very common for large schools of baitfish and shad to be swept into the turbine from the lake or river to become easily digestible pieces for blue cats and other catfish. Others are left dazed and disorientated for easy capture of flatheads. Anyway you look at it these baitfish become a never-ending food source for catfish.
Larger cats spend their entire life in well-positioned places below these tailraces. They expend little energy for foraging, which allows them to maintain dominance and keep their prime tailrace position. These catfish grow rapidly and will only be removed from dominance from a well-positioned catfisherman. Once removed another catfish will immediately claim his position and the cycle will continue. Some hot catfish spots have been passed down thru families for almost a century.
Tailrace fishing is superb all year long but two times per year it will guarantee trophy catfish. Pre-spawn and post spawn catfish start a yearly journey towards prime bedding fields. When they encounter a tailrace they literally stack up like cordwood do to the obstruction. Heavy water flow and high water start the catfish migration from their deep water holding areas. Along the outer banks of these tailraces anglers with shallow draft boats can reach prime flathead catfish beds with little angler competition. Noodlers come out this time of the year to try their hand at hand-grabbing fish also with extreme success.
Fishing below tailraces is dangerous and you must be aware of slippery rocks and sudden water discharges. You will need some heavy-duty surf casting gear to send your offering to the desired locations. Also with the increased flow of the water a fish running with the current will test even the best salt-water outfits. Always wear a personal flotation device when fishing the tailraces.
Get out and experiment with your own local damns and tailraces. You will be amazed at what awaits you beneath the water. Its important to thoroughly fish all prime areas and keep experimenting. There will be natural chutes that will carry baitfish and minced fish to the larger catfish. The big cats literally dont have to move to feed. They position themselves where there is something below the surface that will provide some form of cover and the current and the turbines do the rest.