Are you a catfish enthusiast or you would like to join the club? Here is a brief tutorial on the basics of catfish fishing. Catfish is one of the most popular game, among anglers. They can be found on every continent except in the continent of Antarctica.
The name catfish commonly refers to the large group of ray-finned fish of the Siluriformes order. You may have heard of their possible size, fighting ability, simplicity to catch, etc. Catfish come in various sizes; they can be as large as 600lbs or small like a parasite.
A catfish’s body has no scales and is slimy, i.e. they are covered in mucus. They are well-known for their whisker-like organs that are scientifically known as barbells.
However, not all species of fish called catfish have these barbells.There are different species of catfish, channel, bullhead, white, flathead, etc. Each species needs a specified way of fishing for you to fish it successfully. Nonetheless, a majority of catfish are bottom feeders, they prey on other fish. For more details on this, you can visit the Do Catfish eat Other Fish Tutorial.
Understanding where and How to Catch Catfish, depends on the type of catfish species that you want to find. Outlined here is some of the more general techniques on how to
Table of Contents
Pro-Tips On Catching Catfish
1. Choosing The Right Fishing Gear
Every angler knows the importance of having the ideal kit combination to ensure that your fishing expedition is productive. The choice of equipment should depend on the size of catfish that are available in the area that you are fishing. You don’t want to be toppled over in the water while fishing because catfish are excellent fighters.
Their strength grows with size; the larger they are, the more opposition they will give you. If the fish are under 20 pounds, a 6-foot rod with a 10-pound test line and above will do. Otherwise use a 7-foot medium to a heavy spinning rod, with a 14-pound test line of monofilament that is resistant to abrasion.
If you are a seasoned catfish angler, you have probably come across fellow enthusiasts who prefer to use “conventional” rods over spinning tackle. It is also tougher to use as compared to it. The standard gear has its reel sitting on top of the fishing rod like a spool unlike in spinning tackle.
2. Lure Them Using Different Baits
We all know that for your bait to be effective in catching any fish, then it has to represent what the fish you are targeting, want for that day. The same applies when selecting the ideal lure for the catfish in your area. Therefore, carry along different types of lures and try them out as you try to determine what the catfish in your area like and want.
What kind of bait should you bring along with you?
If you are targeting the big catfish, then using fish as bait will be ideal. Opt for oily baitfish such as herring, shad, suckers, etc. You can buy them from a bait shop or catch them yourself.
The oils released by these fish attract catfish especially the channel catfish. They will also bite live or fresh dead bluegill, perch, shad and the likes as they like easy to find, meat. Channel catfish are driven by their strong sense of smell. It also applies to blues.
Flatheads prefer live baits such as bluegill, perch, sunfish, etc. You can present the lure whole as cut bait. The small sized catfish are not as finicky about food as their heavyweight counterparts. For them, you can use minnows, night crawlers or even crayfish.
These can be bought in a bait shop. They leave the catfish with a trail of sensory overload. You can try and use Sudden Impact Fibre bait or the Punch baits among others.
Your choice of bait should match the size of fish lest it gets stolen away from the hook. Properly store the bait in coolers or ice as the catfish will not be drawn to bait that has been sitting out.
3. Fishing Techniques To Catch Catfish
Spinning tackle is the widely used techniques for catching catfish. A 6-foot rod will work fine, but if you are fishing in the deep, you will need to add some heavy lead weights to your gear. You can also adopt:
It is ideal for novices in catching large blue catfish. You need to determine the depth of water that you want to fish and let the wind move your boat across the water.
Drag your bait slowly along the bottom of the water. You can also cast multiple lines off one side of your boat. To keep the side of your boat away from the wind, you can use drift socks.
Using a ‘drop & drop’ technique: deploy anchors to secure your boat. Scatter your baits around the area to cover the water thoroughly. You can use multiple rods if it is allowed.
If you are pursuing large fish, you should consider using a wide beamed boat so as to keep you from falling in the water. Otherwise, just fish from the banks.
Controlled Drifting Or Even Trolling
Choose the technique that is giving you more bites, if you are after numbers. The outlined methods are recommended for you, when fishing rivers or lakes, where there is moving current.
When you get a bite from the catfish, let the line go a bit slack before you start reeling in the catch. If the fish is too small and you are not to keep them, release it. Otherwise, place your trophy in a bucket of water for you to clean, later on.
For fishing catfish, it is advisable to use ringed hooks. Well, you don’t want to injure the fish if you aren’t planning to eat it.
Catfish are a great game for anglers due to their fighting spirit as you reel in the catch and they are a table delicacy. With these attributes, it is no wonder they are among the top, sought-after fish in the water. They can be found in ponds, lakes and rivers.
If you are new to catching catfish or even a seasoned catfish enthusiast, the above tutorial sums up the basics on How to Catch Catfish. You have heard and come across many theories on the kind of lures that work for catfish. However, you need to understand what the fish in that area want for your bite to be consistent.
Yes, they are exceptions where an out of the blue bait brought in a few bites. But the outlined lures, have been tested and tried over time, and they result in a consistent number of strikes. Always ensure that you are well-equipped with the right gear for the catfish in the area you are fishing.
Remember, catfish are fighters, and you won’t reel them in without a struggle. It will stop being an exhilarating experience when you topple into the water.