Tackle and gear tips are most commonly supplied for catfish catching. This often leads many beginning anglers to focus too heavily on gear-like rods and reels when planning their fishing trips. More so, a few essentials like good hooks and lines for catfishing tackle is much more important.
Even more, tips and tricks of your fishing practices can help you catch catfish at certain times of the day or certain times of the year. Better than that, it’s important to know when catfish will feed heavily to head out to the water despite the weather that is on its way in or out. So, take a look at some of the tips below to help you hook a good catfish and hit the water when plenty of them are available.
Use Quality Fishing Line
One important thing to follow when catching catfish is the quality of your fishing line. Based on the type of catfish that you target, up to a 30-pound test line works for even the heaviest fish you could hope to catch. A high visibility fishing line can help you clearly monitor its movement along with the swimming of the fish you snag or as the line goes slack. You should also change your line often, as it breaks down with age and exposure to elements like UV rays. This also makes it more brittle and difficult to cast and can snap upon the hook of a large catfish.
Use the Right Bait
It is important to use the right bait for the catfish you target, including baitfish for catfish over 10 pounds. For these catfish, anything from minnows to goldfish or shad will work. This may even include something as simple as chicken livers or other cheap. It can even include canned meat from the grocery for other smaller catfish.
Leave Hook Points Exposed
One of the easiest solutions to snag catfish when they bite is to leave your hook point exposed. If it’s hidden inside your bait, the hook may not make it all the way to the catfish mouth if they simply grab a nibble on the end of your bait. So, be sure to thread your hook all the way through your bait and leave the point of the hook exposed bare so the catfish bites it when they take a nip on the bait.
Fish All Year Round
You may have been taught that summer is the best or only time for productive catfishing. But, you shouldn’t ignore catfishing opportunities available throughout the rest of the year. Many species like Blue catfish feed through the winter months, even below the ice. Flathead catfish are more active throughout the spring and fall, and Channel catfish are known to feed all year round. So, if you study the catfish species that you target, it can help you plan your catfishing trips throughout the entire year.
Take Advantage of the Weather
It’s important to remember that catfish don’t feed 24/7 all year either. So, you should plan your catfishing trips for when your target species tend to feed the most. This often increases with rapidly changing weather conditions including oncoming storm fronts. Often, catfish quit feeding one or two days before a storm arrives, but they feed heavily while the storm is raging. This may not be a consistent trend, but something to research in relation to the catfish species that you like. The catfish will also tend to stop biting for about a day or two after the storm passes, returning to normal after that.
Play the Sit-and-Wait Game
Sitting and waiting while you fish is also known as “still-fishing” and can be done while sitting on the bank of any waterway or on your boat anchored on the water. Either way, it is important to find a productive spot where you know there to be highly active catfish that will snag your bait. In this manner of fishing, you will drop your bait at or near the bottom of the water and wait patiently for a catfish to take on your hook. It takes patience and knowledge of the best areas to find biting catfish. But with the right research and experience, you can catch plenty.
Practice Drift Fishing
Also sitting in a boat or alongside on the bank, this slightly more active option of catfishing includes a drift rig placed on your line above a barrel swivel. The drift rig is typically made of a bottom-bouncer sinker and attached to a two- to three-foot leader with a hook on the end. A small bobber just above the hook helps float your bait just above the bottom for the catfish to see. No matter where you sit, your bait drifts naturally with the wind or flows with the water to catfish-attracting areas. It is helpful to keep your line tight at all times but release it as your bait moves downstream. You can also shift between sides of the river or around active holes of the water where the catfish tend to bite the most.
Try Mobile Fishing
Better than sitting in one spot for hours waiting to snag a catfish, there is a benefit to mobile fishing. It may only take 10 to 30 minutes in one location for actively feeding catfish to detect your bait. After waiting that long, it could be time to continuously move to seek out catfish that are actively feeding. You can try moving to a new spot at a varied depth and present your bait differently to the catfish nearby. After moving, you can easily find productive fishing spots where the high activity of catfish quickly begins.
Improve Your Catch
With these tips, you have some options for improved catfish catching. With your equipment, location, practice, and more, you have the ability to catch your desired type of catfish any time of year.