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How to Catch Catfish in Different Waters | The Best Ways!

How to catch catfish
Written by Simon Michel
Last Update: July 24, 2023

Do you love to catch those tasty catfish and wondering how to catch catfish? Fishing catfish is highly enjoyable and quite fun. Being freshwater fish they thrive in lakes, rivers and ponds in a temperate atmosphere. They are plentiful, fight a little while catching and they taste great. To successfully catch a catfish, you need to know the details of their habitant, what they eat and which fishing gear is needed to catch them. To make your catfish fishing adventure successful, we have prepared this guideline. Read for more and we believe you will not return empty handed!

Catfish Habitant: Where to Find and When to Catch

To learn how to catch catfish, you have to learn their habitants and their active times. Catfish lives in different water systems. From ponds water to fast river water, they are found almost everywhere. There are also various types of species of catfish can be found and they tend to live in different water environment. However, there are common places that hold catfish.

You can also find more catfish early in the morning, especially before sunrise. They are more active this time and try to feed in these hours.

Best way to catch catfish is fishing in the night. Night is the perfect time to catch catfish. They use their whiskers and heightened senses to find their food in dark. Bars, points, flats, weedy areas and shorelines are perfect place to catch catfish at night.

In daylight, catfish are less active and for daylight fishing you have to search catfish in outflow of tributary and in similar muddy waters. Catfish also dwell around cover, such as weed edges and standing timber.  Some deep structures, such as humps, deep holes and river bends are also good place to look for catfish.

Choosing Essential Gears and Baits

Choosing Essential Gears and Baits

For catching catfish you do not have to gather a lot of stuff. Like an ordinary fishing it requires a feature-rich fishing rod, bait hooks, bait and other necessary stuff. Try to buy a longer rod if you want to fish from the bank or the shore because this provides a greater reach.

  • For small to average sized catfish, you need a 6 to 7 feet spinning rod with around 14 pound reel spooled monofilament.
  • For fish larger than 20 pound, you need 7 feet rod with 20 pounds reel spooled monofilament.
  • Try to buy decent size fishhooks according to the bait you are going to use for different fish sizes.
    You can use a bobber, especially glow-in bobber. It will attract more fish in the night.
  • Other types of fish finder and bobbers will help you in still water, like in ponds.

For bait, use live one as most experts say, live baits catches best fishes. However, if you are unable to collect live bait, the use of artificial bait can also be fruitful. For different catfish choose different baits according the type found in you region.

Channel Catfish

  • For blue catfish skipjack herring, threadfin shad and gizzard shad are mostly useful. You can also use Buffalo, Drum and Perch.
  • For channel catfish, smaller fish and prepared baits such as punch and dip baits are ideal choice.
  • For Flathead Catfish bluegill, perch, sunfish, mud cats are mostly useful.
  • For the size of the bait, try to determine according the size of the fish you are going to catch.
  • For landing fish, you may need lip grip.
  • To remove fishhooks you will need pliers.

For excellent result keep baits fresh. If you use night crawlers keep in the cooler. To keep cut baitfish fresh you can use ice. For live baits, keep them in cool bucket water.

Catch the Catfish

How to Catch Catfish

After choosing the place and gathering you stuff, it’s time to catch the catfish. Slip-sinker rig is well known setup to catch catfish as they tend to dwell in the bottom of the water. You can also use a float rig. While drifting the area, you can either hoover above or left the rig to the bottom.

Jig head with bait is another choice to catch catfish. Simply, lift it and drop it into the bottom. Hold it steady for a catfish bite.

Catfish generally plays along the bait to take it. Occasionally, it hits hard. When it starts biting, let go of your line a bit and then start reeling in quickly as they are well-known to fight back. After successfully catching the catfish, wear gloves before handling as you can be hurt by its fin very easily. Then, remove the fishhook carefully. Keep the catfish iced or in cool bucket water to preserve the freshness.

Are you wondering any other options? Like, how to catch catfish in a pond or in a lake? Well, you need to follow these similar steps. If you need a boat to reach out for catfish hideout and use a shorter sized fishing rod. It will help you handle the resistance perfectly. If you want catch from the banks try to use longer rods. Longer roads are pretty helpful reaching out.

Final Words

Catfish varies in size, good to eat and fun to catch. They can also be found it almost all kinds of freshwater sources. Using proper tools and technique can save time to successfully catch a catfish. Carefully consider necessary variables and you will not leave the fishing spot empty handed.

About the author

Simon Michel

The plight of life sometimes takes you to extremes of nature and guess what, you learn the best lessons in your most difficult times. As a keen sea explorer with several years spent in yachts business, I had damn busy schedules throughout 13 years of my career. I used to free my mind from my mundane days in the sea with extreme fishing expeditions when this became not just a fun activity, but a life saver. You could say, I employed most types of fishing techniques but nothing felt better than fly fishing. That drew my whole attention for a good number of reasons. I mean, it’s an amazing feeling when you are in a light mood with buddies munching snacks and casting the fishing road. I look forward to making the most of my leisure time with this fantastic sport.

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