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Catfish are one of the most popular fish around to catch. Why?
Well they’re a common species that can reach from 50 to 100 pounds. They’re excellent table fare and they’re fun to catch. They’re also easy to find, making their home in most all major and minor waterways around the US.
Allow us to share some information on…
How to Catch Catfish
Blue, Channel, and Flathead are the most common types of Catfish. Easily recognized by their whiskers, they don’t have scales like other fish. They’re also not a fish to be trifled with due to their various spines, one on the top dorsal fin and one on each pectoral fin.
The Environment of Catfish
Catfish are classified as warm-water fish. They prefer water temperatures in the 70s to 80s. They live in almost every body of water imaginable, except for portions of the west. Most of them can tolerate muddy and unclear water but despite the popular myth, they don’t survive well in low oxygen or polluted waters.
Each breed spawn in the late spring or early summer, just as water temperature levels reach the desires 70-degree mark. During these times, look for catfish near holes or sunken logs or boulders.
What Do Catfish Eat?
Another popular myth is that catfish like to eat dead or rotting meat. They point to the success of stinkbait as proof.
However, while not incorrect, its not entirely true. Catfish much prefer live or fresh meals to a dead rotting one. In their normal diets, catfish rarely each dead flesh.
Where to find Catfish
Shallow backwaters where catfish can create spawning sites. Cavities in rocks and ripraps are great areas to find catfish. Tail-waters below dams where catfish collect because of the concentration of forage fish is one of the best places to catch massive catfish. Any other deep channel or hole is likely to hold some nice sized catfish.
Look for the remnants of timbered flats. Creek arms extending into larger bodies of water before the spawn are sure fire spots. Deep channels or open water is also bound to hold catfish.
How to Catch Catfish
Catfishing takes many different forms.
Simple catfishing might utilize ultra-light tackle with 3 to 3-pound line, bringing in a 1 to 2-pound catfish. While more serious intense catfishing utilized 80-pound braided line and aims to bring in state news worthy 100+ pound catfish.
The most fun aspect of catfishing, is that you never know just how big your next fish will be. Generally, catfish bite best when the water temperature is 70-degrees or so.
Still fishing is the most obvious way of catching catfish. Due to the strong sense of smell possessed by the catfish, most anglers can cast and allow big cats to come to them. They utilize strong smelling baits, or stinkbaits, letting the scent draw the fish in.
Slip-sinker fishing is one of the most common techniques. It allows a catfish to mouth the rig without feeling any tension in the line, allowing a clean hookset before the fish can detect the hook in the bait.
However, when fishing in cover that easily produces snags, it is prudent to keep the bait snubbed closely to the hook so the cat can’t swim around and tangle it in cover. Most big cats don’t mind a little resistance, smaller ones certainly do though.
Drift Fishing is more effecting than still fishing, especially when catfish are spread over a large area. Drift fishing is when anglers rig a few rods on the edges of each gunwale of a boat. Each rod is rigged with a small sinker and a live (or cut) bait with the sinker allowing the bait to float just off the bottom.
Using 8 or 9 foot rods should give you the ability to cover a 30 foot breadth of water.
Best Catfish Bait
Here are some baits for your consideration to help you get started:
Get ready for some good fishing and some good eating. Catfishing can be a sport to pass along to generations to come because it is an opportunity to fish, relax and spend time making memories.
Catfishing is a part of many people’s fishing stories and now, with the information above, you can create your own.