Lets talk about Indiana Pay Lake Fishing, and how to fish them.
Many of you who read this think your going to take a Zebco 202 or similar rod and reel, and catch fish. That maybe ok
for some frying size channel catfish, and they sure are some good eating.
Indiana pay lake fishing offers lots more than just that. Many of the pay lakes out there offer some big catfish and carp
fishing. I'm talking flathead and blue catfish 50, 60, 70 pounds plus, and some mighty big carp.
These fish mostly come from river's and some of our southern states. There are fish suppliers who are paid to put these
fish into pay lakes. Some of these stockings are legal, while some of them are not.
Beware of some pay lakes that run fishing pools. I know of at least one that will tell you that you have won, and then
make up an excuse. One espically on the Indy southside.
It's an anglers dream to catch one or more of these fish, and maybe catch the biggest fish they have ever caught ! It's a
good feeling to catch a big fish, and then release it back, but the big problem comes from "How did that fish get there
to begin with". Some, if not most are illegally stocked.
I fish some pay lakes just to catch big fish. I can always buy fresh channel catfish at the supermarket.
To catch big fish at pay lakes:
1. You need heavy duty fishing equipment. A heavy action rod with enough backbone to turn a fish around when you
set the hook. Many anglers prefer Circle Hooks. Fishing line 15 to 30 lb. test. I use 65 lb. test Spiderwire with a 30 lb.
leader. Note: Some pay lakes do not allow steel leaders. For carp I use lighter line with no leaders. Don't expect to
catch many big fish on whimpy rods and reels. They just won't hold up and are not durable enough to land big fish.
2. Fish with live bait. Goldfish, shinners, live bluegill, and crayfish ( Crawdads and Soft Craws ) for catfish. Cut bait for
Blue catfish. Live bait is the flathead catcher, and dead cut bait for blue cats.
3. For carp I use Wheatie Balls with a very light sinker. Some pay lakes allow hair rigs and/or boilies. I'm not much on
these different baits, but other anglers like them.
4. Most pay lakes charge $12.00 or more dollars to fish them for 12 hours. More for 24 hour pass. Most sell bait such as
nightcrawlers and doughbaits, while some others sell live bait such as Goldfish, shiners, and crayfish. If you want to use
live bluegill, catch them before you go. Check to see what types of baits the pay lake offers before you go. Also, most
require you have a fishing net to land your fish in.
Pay lakes can offer some fantastic fishing. Snag rates are low, and most fishing is near your home, leaving you more
time to fish, and save's you the high cost of gas.