Yo-yo fishing heats up at Cypress Bayou Reservoir

H&H Catch-O-Matics can put lots of fish in the boat.

Some of the best fishing in the state is located just 15 minutes north of Bossier City at a place called Cypress Bayou Reservoir.Although most of the lake doesn’t have many trees on it, the parts that do are perfect places to hang yo-yos to catch delicious channel catfish.

And the waters are teeming with catfish ready to be caught.

Mike Dunaway and Justyn Wirth recently launched at the north end of Cypress Bayou Reservoir around the bridge. The temperature was a warm 80 degrees with a light wind, but the water was calm. The moon was full but the partly cloudy sky partially obscured it from view.

They were using H&H Lure Company Catch-O-Matic yo-yos rigged with the factory-weight string.

They hung the yo-yos using 10-pound-test nylon twine with a simple drop-through-the-loop technique around the limb so they would be easy to remove. This technique also kept them from harming the tree limbs.  They chose fresh, limber cypress limbs from which to hang the yo-yos so if a big catfish maxed out a yo-yo the limb would be able to flex.

They also hung them close enough to the water so when the yo-yo sprang it would not pull smaller fish completely out of the water. This gives the fish more of a chance to evade turtles and other predators than if they are just “hung out to dry.”

Dunaway and Wirth don’t use any split shot on the line because “the weight of the bait does the job.”

The line was tied onto Eagle Claw No. 2 hooks so they could support large fish without straightening out.

The catfishing team started hanging and setting yo-yos right before nightfall, bating them with whole, 6-inch Canadian night crawlers, traditional bait for catfish.

They varied the set depths of the yo-yos to find which depth the fish would trigger on best. After catching a few fish they found that the ideal depth was about 6 inches to a foot below the water.

They set the yo-yos on the shallower, light strike notch to prevent small fish like bream from stealing the night crawlers from the hooks. And they ran the yo-yos all through the night because that is when catfish are most active and when they bite the best.

“It was between about 1 and 3 a.m. when we really started catching fish, and then they really turned on about an hour before daylight,” Wirth said.

When the bite really heated up, it became very fast-paced.

“When the fish start really biting and the yo-yos start singing, you don’t worry about talking; the only thing you worry about is getting the hook out of the fish,” Dunaway explained.

In all they caught 69 good, eating-sized catfish that averaged between 2 to 4 pounds.

Although yo-yos can be a fun way to prepare for a fish fry by catching a lot of fish very quickly, discretion must be used. Too many lines set in the same places over and over can quickly knock down a fish population. It just takes some common sense to ensure that the catfish populations stay stable and are not over fished.

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