If I’m being completely honest, I would have to say summer is my least favorite of the four seasons God created. Over the years I’ve learned that I much prefer cooler weather over warm every day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, there are many summertime activities or products that I dearly enjoy and are seasonal to only the summer. Gooseberries, blackberries, many garden crops, various fish spawning and so on. One of my favorites is the pre-spawn for channel cats. I’ve actually planned my daughter and I’s summer vacation around it for the past three years. We take a 5-day camping/cat-fishing trip the week of Memorial Day. That week usually lands us smack in the middle of the spawn. Male channel cats begin coming in to find nests at about 72-degree water temp. Channel cats will spawn in large rock columns around bridges, muddy banks with holes, hollow logs or anywhere there is shelter and a crevice. Once the nest has been found the male will lure the female in to lay eggs. The female quickly gets run off and the male begins his 3–4-week journey of hatching and protecting the fry. It is very important to note though, male channel cats will not hunt or feed during that time. They will only attack if threatened. With the males not feeding and the females being run to deeper water…. fishing can get tough post spawn. That’s why it’s important to watch the water temp and hit pre-spawn and spawn as soon as it begins if possible. That time is almost always that week of Memorial Day for us. We have usually had many warm rains also, allowing for rising water. I’ve noticed I catch more cats when there is more water, and it is not falling drastically. We will usually track down to the bridge by the campground we use and set up shop on one particular side that has a channel break out in front of it. We will fish under a cork about 3 to 4 feet with a #5 circle and either worms, leeches or shiners. This year we brought back 19 with the most and biggest (10lber) to my daughter Alinea. This year she learned how to cast, hook and reel in all by herself. If you can catch it at the right time…the early catfish spawn is amazing…hit it too late and you will be singing summertime blues!