A catfish fishing expedition is fun, to say the least. Catfish are plentiful. They fight hard. Often, they are willing bitters. Ultimately, they are sumptuous on your dinner table. All these factors combined make catching catfish more than fun. For many catfish anglers, the most enjoyable part is eating the catch …
The good thing is that everyone can catch catfish — unskilled, skilled, old and young anglers all can.
Do you want to increase your odds of hooking and landing more catfish? Who doesn’t? It is highly important to realize that while the act of catfishing is not a complicated sport, it should not be oversimplified. The truth is that you cannot plop down in your lawn chair by the edge of the water, make your cast and anticipate to catch zillions of cats.
You need to study and learn a host of habits, tips, tricks, techniques and many other things that will improve your prospects of catching catfish. You must learn how to present to correct bait, at the right place, and at the correct time in order to entice the catfish you desire to catch.
1. Which Is The Best Time To Catch Catfish?
Do you like some catfishing? If yes, then get up early morning and head straight to the nearest farm pond, lake or river. You can catch ‘cats’ quite readily at almost all times of an entire day. You can also get them at all water depths and temperatures.
During the day, search for catfish in muddy water areas such as outflow or tributary. Alternatively, you can look for them in deep structures such as river bends, humps, deep holes and at the base of drop-offs. Catfish also tend to hold around cover such as deep weed edges and standing timber.
Nighttime also produces excellent results. Catfish tend to utilize their heightened sense of taste and smell coupled with their whiskers (barbels) to search for food in the dark. During the night, shorelines, points, bars and flats are highly common areas to grab prowling cats.
However, the best time to go out on your expedition is after a heavy downpour. This is especially true during spring. Whenever other fair-weather fish are temperamental and sluggish, hungry catfish tend to forage about in freshly rejuvenated waters.
2. Where To Catch Catfish ?
Catfish are widespread.They thrive in numerous water systems. You can find them in warm, shallow pond or even fast rivers. While different catfish species prefer varying habitats, catfish thrive in general water areas.
You can find catfish on every continent. However, they do not exist in the Antarctica. The prominence of catfish in aquaculture is because of their popularity as a food staple and game sport, particularly in Asia. In many countries around the world, these types of fish are a common invasive species.
Some of the most common areas in the US where you can catch catfish in abundance include:
- Medard Reservoir
- Joe Budd Pond
- Mosaic Fish Management area
- Upper Kissimmee chain of Lakes
- Haines Creek
- Ochlockonee River
- St. Johns River & Dunn’s Creek
- Escambia River
- Yellow River
- Choctawhatchee River
- Apalachicola River
3. Catfish Fishing Techniques, Tricks And Tips
Here are effective catfish fishing tips, tricks and techniques:
- Always cater to their sense of smell – Catfish usually hunt with their whiskers, which are loaded with sensors for smell detection. Most if not all catfish bait is oily and stinky, but is effective at bringing monster catfish.
- Do not forget the liver – Chicken liver is the most popular type of baits for successful catfish fishing. While it is not a guarantee that you will catch the fish with this kind of bait, there is no doubt that it will rake in the catfish from a distance. A treble hook can come in handy in preventing the loss of chicken liver whenever you cast.
- Utilize circle hooks – Circle hooks are very difficult for the catfish to shake off. Additionally, if they strike it correctly, you will not even need to set your hook.
- Utilize fishing rod holders – Anytime you are fishing for a catfish, it is important to know that you are fishing for a potentially powerful and long fish. Consequently, it is prudent to use a high quality fishing rod holder in order to ensure the rod is secured properly. The last thing you want is to look away for a second (s) and then realize that your rod is taken off to the water.
- Always fish near submerged structures – Just like any other fish, catfish are into hanging around and hunting by submerged structures. Submerged structures include man-made fish cribs, branches and sunken trees. Most fishermen can even submerge their structures and revert to them weeks later in order to fish near them. When submerging for later fishing, it is essential to ensure that it is legal in your area. Furthermore, make sure that the structure will not poison or pollute the water.
More techniques, tips and tricks
- Like all fish, catfish aren’t randomly dispersed. They are normally concentrated in particular areas. Fishing results depend on your capabilities to find them.
- Light tackle usually catches more fish. However, heavy gear is needed in structure and snags when catching big fish.
- You can catch catfish all year round.
- To ensure your catfish expedition is a success, you can utilize cut-bait or dead minnows in the late part of winter and/or early springtime whenever the water temperatures are between 35-60 degrees F.
- Live bait works best with larger fish, especially those above 3 lbs.
- Stink/cheese baits are highly beneficial on catfish that are 10-16 inches in size.
- When the water temperatures are above 70 degrees F, in the summertime, you can use prepared stink/cheese baits.
4. How To Choose And Use The Right Bait ?
Catfish that exceed 10 pounds eat fish primarily. Therefore, when targeting heavyweights, you will be most successful if you utilize fish baits. You can purchase some, such as goldfish and minnows at bait shops. You can collect others using cast nets, bait traps, hook & line or even specialty products such as sabiki rigs.
Oily baitfish such as suckers, herring and shad are tops. Others, which you can try, include sunfish, goldeyes, chubs and carp. For the big flatheads, use live fish. They hardly ever eat anything else. Channels and jumbo blues eat fish dead or alive, including cut-baits that are prepared through slicing fresh baitfish into fillets or chunks. However, it is highly prudent to be sure that baits are freshly caught. Remember that fresh is always the best.
Are you having challenges or trouble obtaining bait? Do not fret. All you need to do is head to the closest grocery. Undeniably, fresh chicken liver stands out as one of the most effective catfish baits. Try Hormel Spam for the trophy blue cats. Just to drive this point home, a chunk of Hormel Spam managed to catch a former one hundred and sixteen pound world record … how about that!! inexpensive hot dogs are a favorite for the jumbo channel cats.
The following are other supermarket items that are magical in catching catfish:
- Dog food
Hopefully, you have learned a lot about how to catch catfish. Regardless of your level of experience in catfish fishing, there is always something new to be learnt. Never get tired of passing through information on catfish fishing. By consistently and relentlessly reading such pieces, you’ll not only enjoy your catfish expedition, but you’ll also find it interesting and a success. All the best in your next quest of catching a catfish.