How to fish for Catfish: the Complete fishing for catfish Guide
Catfish are some of America’s most popular fish in the country. They get big, they taste great, and they put up a lot of fight. In this guide, you will learn how to catch Catfish from basics like telling species apart to more advanced theories on where, when and how to catch a monster. To catch them, you need equipment that is not too expensive. You can even get the equipment at Walmart if you want! Here, we will talk about how to fish for catfish and what is needed to do it.
How to catch catfish: The basics of fishing for catfish
- Lures: Some people catch catfish with lures. But most people use live bait. You can use minnows, cut-up fish, liver, grasshoppers, nightcrawlers, or even hot dogs or cheese to catch bullheads and channel catfish. Blue catfish and flatheads like to eat sunfish or shad
- Treble hooks are good for holding bait. They catch a lot of fish. Circle hooks are good for catching and then releasing a fish back into the water.
- Be patient. Check your regulations, and cast out a rod of two if it is allowed. Use a rod holder with the drag set light at first so that the rod does not suddenly disappear into the lake, now you just sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet until the excitement begins!
- When and Where to Fish: Channel cats prowl shallow places at night during late spring and early fall. But don’t be discouraged from fishing during the day. The great thing about this delicious and popular fish is that they are almost always hungry and will feed all day too!
- If you are brave enough, you can noodle for catfish! Go to the edge of a bank that is overgrown with weeds or where trees hang out into the water. Reach your hand under logs, rocks, and other objects along the bottom of shallow areas. Put your fingers together so they are slightly cupped and start feeling around for catfish. If you find one, do not move suddenly. Instead, lift the fish gently up and toward you while taking hold of it. If you are lucky, there will most likely be other catfish under the spot where you found the first one. My father-in-law and grandfather-in-law used to noodle for catfish back in the day, I have yet to try it, maybe one day!
Fishing tips for catfish
The first thing to know after reading this fishing guide on Perfect Fishing Tips, don’t be shy. Go to a local bait shop, fishermen are very welcoming, so if you go to them and ask them they might just teach you new things or tell you about the best holes. You can also check on the internet message boards or chat with other anglers that are around. But remember to help others after you learn!
Catfish are at their most active at night. They can catch prey that is not active during the day. Catfish are best fished when the sun is below the horizon. So if you are new to catching catfish, start at night for the best chance of success!
In fishing, the more hooks you have in the water, the better your chances are of getting a bite. Most states allow you to fish with multiple lines so don’t be afraid to max out your spread if your state allows!
Catfish eat things that are alive or dead. You can use these things to catch them. If the bait is not working, you should try a different one until they bite. If you are fishing with multiple lines, try different things on each line until you find what is working best in your time and location.
At night and in murky river systems, catfish feed by touch and smell. But if you put your bait up off the bottom, then it will leave a good scent trail. You can use an inline float or a bobber to make sure that the scent is not too close to the ground.
Some people believe the only way to catch fish is by sitting on one spot until they bite. But this isn’t true. Fish are quick biters, so if you have been sitting there for 20 minutes with no bites, you should probably pack up and check somewhere else.
Catfishing is fun because they get big. They can be 20 to 30 pounds and they will break your tackle if you are not careful. Use a strong rod that is 6-7 feet long, a large capacity reel, and enough monofilament line to let them run. You could also use heavier line for when you want to really go after some monster catfish!
Another misconception is that catfish are an inexhaustible resource. Many people believe that fishing for catfish does not impact the population of the fish in the water. That is not true. Catfish make good food, so by all means catch some to eat and release any big ones back into the water when you catch them.
Where to look for catfish
Outside of River Bends, rivers follow the path of least resistance. When something hard blocks the flow, the river changes direction and starts to form an outside bend. These bends are great places for fishing because it is where catfish like to live. The bank around the river gets cut away so that there are things like undercuts and lips
Erosion on the bank of the water causes trees to tumble over. Hungry cats find food in these areas. If there is a deep-water pool downstream, productivity will increase even more.
Wing Dikes are narrow rock structures made on a river to help reduce erosion. Cats like to eat fish. Fish are usually in the water near the bottom on the dike’s upstream side. Cats can stay there and eat without using up their energy. When fishing, look for fish on the uppstream side of the dike.
When hunting big cats, place a weighted bait in one of the whirlpools of water near the ends of wing dikes. These are the best feeding sites so they usually have bigger, more dominant cats.
River Holes are sometimes hard to find. Big catfish are attracted to these holes which break the current. They provide resting spots for blue, channels and flathead.
There are many catfish in rivers, lakes, and ponds. You can find them by picking a random spot. But if you want to catch more catfish, you need to know where they are. This goes back to asking around at baitshops and fishing holes, you never know what you might learn!
Cats need to eat. They can be motionless and wait for food to come close. You need to work hard at attracting fish. So, search the whole area, from the bottom up and from the front of the hole to the back. Focus on where it is most productive.
Catfish live in deeper water during the daytime in the summer because the sun makes it hot. Catfish swim in shallow water at night and on cloudy days. When fishing for catfish, make sure to use bait that is deep underwater during the day and shallow at night.
Tributary mouths are good places to find catfish. If the mouth is deep and if the tributary channel connects to a primary creek or river channel, then you might be able to catch bigger fish.
In the winter, tributaries with a warm in-flow are best. In summer, cool creeks are best. Heavy rain will make cats go to the mouths of feeder creeks and rivers. Look at each area and fish where there is most attraction.
Cats like to ambush their prey from behind. You can find them near where a tributary and the main river meet. Cast your fishing line upstream and let it drift past these places.
Some rivers and lakes have deep channels in the bottom. Other lakes or rivers have ledges or drops. You can find fish with sonar when you put it on these structures in the river. Some rivers have big channels, other ones have small ones.Main channels are like major highways. They lead migrating catfish from one part of the body of water to another. Small branches act as secondary roads and they lead migratory fish toward shallow-water habitat.
There are cats that stay near deep water. Look for them near things on the ledge that make it stand out from other areas. Big catfish also live in outside turns of channel bends, channel junctions and deep edges of channels near dams.
During the day, fish in shallow water near a dropoff. At night, fish in deep water to catch cats going from deep to shallow.
Engineers often place rocks near dams, bridges and causeways. These rocks are called riprap. Rocks attract forage animals that small fish like to eat, they provide cover, depth and shade. Large channel cats especially like this habitat.
When you are fishing, look for different objects. Sometimes it is a pipe or fallen tree that attracts catfish. Sometimes the difference in rocks will attract them, like big boulders changing to smaller rocks or slides of rocks creating underwater points.