Catfish Fishing 101: Top Tips For Catching Catfish
Catfish are a top predator fish in the ocean. Catfish are a top predator fish. They eat whatever is available to them, and they will seek out and thrive on food. This is why catfish fishing can be so exciting. The fight of a catfish is not like your feisty bass nor like your aggressive panfish. You might feel snagged when you hook into a catfish for the first time, but if your line moves and the drag starts screaming, you will know that you are hooked up with a river monster.
There are three types of catfish available: the channel catfish (blue catfish), the flathead catfish and the blue catfish. Many anglers are most familiar with the channel catfish. They are tough and can be a great fish fry. They aren’t as large as the flathead or blue catfish. They are, however, the most difficult fighting catfish of all three.
The “big momma” blue catfish is a massive fish that can weigh over 100 pounds. It’s an exciting experience to catch one while catfish fishing. Flathead catfish are the top river predator. They are territorial fish that will never leave their territory and will eat any food offered to them. It will eat any bait, whether it is live or cut bait.
Where to Find Catfish?
Catfish can be caught almost anywhere that is a river or lake. Catfish are more likely to be caught in the spring and summer depending on the season. Catfish love to cover! Catfish love cover and will move to areas with some structure. Structure can be a bridge, dock, downed tree, rocky bottom, etc.
Catfish can also be found around channels ledges and dams. Catfish migrate. All catfish cruise up and down rivers, but the blue catfish is the most common. Flatheads are more relaxed and tend to claim their territory.
Furthermore, catfish love a good current in a lake/river. Catfish become more active after a flood or a good rain. These conditions offer the best chance of catching catfish.
Catfish fishing baits to use:
Catfish are great opportunists. Catfish will eat any food, whether it is minnows, shads, sunfish or bream. Channel catfish will only eat the most stinky type of bait. Stink baits and chicken livers are good choices for channel catfish. Flatheads love live bait, while blue catfish prefer to eat cut bait.
You Can Use These Rigs:
Different catfish fishing methods will require different rigs. The Carolina Rig is a popular rig among many catfish anglers. This rig can be used to fish from a boat or the bank. The Santee Rig is another common rig for catching catfish. To keep your bait off the bottom, attach a peg float to your line. You can use this float when fishing from a boat, or the bank.
Catfish fishing tackle:
The size of the catfish you are trying to catch will affect how much tackle you use. A medium action rod/reel combo spooled with 15-20 lb line is a good place to start when catching catfish. If they are targeting trophy catfish, the more experienced catfisherman might use heavier rods and fishing lines.
10 Tips for Anglers Interested in Catfishing
Catfish have been criticized by many angling purists for being a “bottom feeder”. However, they are enjoying a revival in angling popularity. Catfish are a fun, abundant, easy-to-catch, large, and delicious on the dinner plate. However, it is difficult to find catfishing tips.
Bottom line: If you have never taken a catfish to your boat, it is time to do so. You might find a new hobby.
These are 10 tips for catfishing that will help you get started.
1. Ask Around
Cat fishermen are friendly and open-minded. It is a great way to find out more about their techniques or to meet other anglers. Stop in at the bait shop and ask around, check the internet message boards, and don’t be afraid to chat up other anglers you see on and around the water, but remember to return the favor the next time someone asks you.
2. Take a look at the map
Map study isn’t just for panfish anglers. Catfish are often drawn to flats, creek channels, and scouring holes. You can easily identify these areas by looking at a map of the lake. For river anglers, look at aerial imagery on Google Earth and mark down deep holes and runs to focus your efforts.
3. Make a Plan
Catfish are not lazy and slow, but they live very seasonal lives like all freshwater species. While it might work to throw a few worms in any hole, if you really want to catch the right fish, you need to have a plan. If you are looking for flatheads in a large river system, you will want to target the seams near the cover. This is because that’s where they head before they spawn.
4. Fish at Night
Catfish can be caught anytime of the day, but they are most active at night due to their genetic adaptations that allow them to catch inactive prey species at night. You can expect to catch more catfish and land more trophy fish if you fish below the horizon.
5. Multiple lines are possible
The law of numbers applies to catfishing just as it does in other disciplines. You have a greater chance of being bit if you have more hooks in the water. Anglers can fish with multiple lines in most states. Don’t be afraid of maxing out your spread. Blue cat guides who fish in the Mid-Atlantic regularly use 8-10 lines in rod holders.
6. You can try different baits
Many anglers believe that catfish only eat decaying matter and detritus, but this is incorrect. Catfish actually eat a wide variety of prey. You can try chicken livers or cut up shad to get the catfish biting on dip bait. In the spring and early seasons, live bait can be very effective. The bottom line is that you can catch catfish with a variety of baits until they start biting. Once that happens, let the fish decide what you want.
7. Take it off the bottom
Catfish are primarily attracted to smell and touch in the night, especially in murky rivers. Your baits will leave a better scent trail if they are lifted from the bottom. To diffuse your scent further, experiment with floating jigheads, inline flots, and even bobbers.
8. Don’t Linger
Catfishing is a common way to fish. This can work, but you will have more success if you are not afraid to move if the fish aren’t biting. Channel cats are particularly quick eaters, so if you have been sitting still for more than 20 minutes with no bites, you should pack it up and move on to something else.
9. Get Ready
Catfishing is fun because of their size. Catfishing is a great sport because you can catch them at a range of 20-30 pound. If you don’t prepare, they can wreck your tackle. A strong 6- to 7-foot fiberglass rod with a high capacity reel and sufficient monofilament for them to run is recommended. Top anglers use heavy 2–10 ounce sinkers and 40-80 pound lines when targeting trophy cats.
10. Be conservative
Another myth is that catfish are inexhaustible resources, so anglers can’t harvest them. This is simply not true. A good meal of catfish is a great way to spend your time, so you can harvest some for the pot. Consider releasing any trophies and keeping only what you eat to ensure that there is plenty of catfish for future generations.
Catfish are the most prized freshwater and saltwater species among all.
They are plentiful, profitable, and available in a variety of sizes and types, making them suitable for all skill levels and preferences.
Catfish fishing can be fun and provide a lot of excitement. However, anglers often seek them out for their profit. These vile creatures can be found in many delicious dishes, which you wouldn’t believe!
The problem is that there are many myths and false rumors about catfish. It can be difficult to know which way is best for you to catch them. Do you really have to go deep in order to catch them? Are you able to get bites only in the summer? Do these strange baits really work?
We’re here to answer all your questions and guide you to the right path to landing as many catfish as possible.
Catfish fishing tips: Find the right places
It’s not difficult to find catfish in water. Before we get any further, it is important to understand that there are three types of catfish. Each species has its own habits and preferred hiding spots.
1. Channel Catfish
They are the most common type of catfish and are also the most social. They prefer to move in groups. If you can get hold of one, chances are that you will catch two or three more at the same place.
They are often found in rocky areas or riprap banks, as they prefer these areas for their easy food and spawning. They prefer open water near channels and creeks.
2. Blue Catfish
The second most common species of catfish is the blue cat. They can reach very large sizes. They are constantly on the move in search of prey and food.
They are bottom dwellers but they enjoy drifting in high current flows as they stir up the water and provide them with plenty of food. For blue catfish bites, place your bait in areas that have current breaks, near dams, or deep at the edges of channels.
3. Flathead Catfish
Flatheads, unlike the other types, don’t like to move much and will consider a specific area their territory. These spots could include holes, stumps or depressions in rocky bank rocks where they can guarantee food and shelter from predators.
Choose the right time
Many theories revolve around catfish feeding in the night, with many claiming that they eat more during summer. The short answer is that they feed every day. Catfish can be found in any kind of water, regardless of whether it is dark or light and whatever temperature.
To be specific, however, fishing in daylight requires that you place your bait in deeper water than near the shoreline. You’re more likely to encounter large blues or channel predators this way.
However, if you are a night angler you might be able to catch some flathead cats. They are night hunters. They are usually found in shallow water, where they eat the forage at night.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t catch flatheads in the daytime or blue and channel catfish at dusk.
Catfish prefer warm water with lots of oily and meaty food, regardless of the season. In winter, it’s best to place your bait in warm, slow-moving waters. In summer, you might choose shallower water with a cooler breeze.
The last but not the least, fall and summer are the best seasons for catfishing. Fall is considered a great time to fish because it’s when the catfish are looking for food in preparation for winter. Many anglers still take advantage of the pre-spawning period in summer to catch channel catfish in large numbers.
Set up the Proper Gear
It’s not difficult to set up catfish fishing gear, as they don’t need any advanced equipment or tackle.
To withstand these monsters, you will need a 7-7.5 inch medium to heavy action rod. To reach deep depths, you will need a longer rod if you fish from the shoreline. Instead of a tip bend, choose a soft rod with a bend towards its center. This will allow it to withstand the tug of live bait and make it look natural.
For smooth casting, pair it with a bait-casting rod with smooth drag and ball bearings. Your reel should have a large line capacity. This extra line will be needed to use different techniques, as catfish have different sizes and habits.
It shouldn’t be difficult to use spinning reels if you are already familiar with baitcasting reels. When you are fishing for catfish, however, it is a good idea to avoid using spin-casting reels. They lack the necessary drag system, gearing, or line capacity to accomplish the mission.
The line is the most important tackle. Choose an abrasion-resistant monofilament with a 12-20 pound weight test. If you are targeting larger blues, consider increasing the line test to 20 pounds. Consider bobbers in multiple colors and vibrant lines as they can be a great lure for catfish.
Learn How to Hook Catfish
Catfish are smart and quick-witted. They strike hard sometimes, but they will also play with the bait for quite a while. You need to be able fool them into grabbing your hook. They will leave the bait if they feel any resistance.
First, attach the hook to your line without weights. The second step is to keep the line tension while casting your lure. If the cat grabs your bait and runs, this will allow it to move a few yards without resistance.
It can be difficult to sense the bite if the line isn’t tightened properly. Install a clicker bait so you can hear and feel the line being pulled.
It’s also worth noting that almost all anglers agree to use treble hooks. If you prefer to use circular hooks, be sure to make them sharp enough to cut through the catfish jaws. You can do this by running the bait through the hook in a small area and leaving the gap.
Make the best bait
Catfish anglers are very creative with their bait selections. Some even use hotdogs or french fries as lures. If you are a beginner, it is better to stick with the established baits and to develop your own theories later about the best baits.
You should learn to select the right lure for the species you are targeting and keep in mind that cats have more keen senses than any other animal. These are some examples of baits that work:
- Flathead catfish: Live baits such as perch, sunfish, perch, or goldfish are the best lures for flathead cats. You should also learn how to keep these baits alive when you are working them.
- Blue catfish are not picky about the food they eat. Both live and dead baits work well. Hence, most anglers use cut bait as they are easily prepared and work on any type of rig. You can make cut baits from skipjack herrings or shads, but it’s better to use their primary food. Baitfish such as carps or freshwater drums can also do the job.
- Channel catfish: This kind likes simple, odorless meals that are easy to find. You can lure a channel with stale baits such as chicken livers or dough. CJ’s Catfish Shad Punch Bait, a dip-and-punch bait that can be used to lure these animals by their smell, is a good option.
You’re now well-informed about catfish, and you have all the necessary equipment. These tips will help you to throw your line. We guarantee you won’t regret the results.