Catfish are the most well-known fish in the United States. They grow to be enormous, have a delicious flavour, and put up a good fight. You’ll discover how to catch Catfish in this short book, from catfishing basics like identifying species to more advanced theories on when, and how to haul in a monster.
Catfish, as most people know, are tough fighters who are also good to eat. Catfishing equipment is inexpensive. You can get everything you need for traditional pole fishing or any of the DIY methods outlined below from your local Walmart! In this post, we’ll go over the fundamentals of catfishing as well as a few different fishing techniques that are widely utilized to catch these tasty fish.
When it comes to catfishing, keep in mind that mosquitos and other biting insects are often out in force, especially during the summer. Cover yourself and protect your skin from both pests and the sun. Check out the Mossy Oak Fishing Performance Apparel and Gear for face and neck protection.
Although there are over 1,000 different species of catfish around the world, there are just 26 in the United States, ranging in size from one inch to a 315-pounder catch in the Missouri River.
Catfish in North America have barbels (whiskers) on their faces that help them find food since they taste with their feelers as well as their entire bodies, which have over 100,000 food sensors.
A catfish finds food by fanning the bottom with its barbels and focusing on vibrations at 13,000 cycles per second. Catfish can perceive high frequencies and follow food scents.
What Do Catfish Eat?
Catfish eat a wide variety of foods. It’s including gizzard and threadfin shad, miniature marshmallows, homemade soured-food cooked mixtures like pineapple and rice, wieners, chicken livers, soap, golden raisins, commercially prepared catfish bait, suckers, mullet, freshwater mussels, hellgrammites, worms, leeches, frogs, and any decaying matter.
Some people prefer to catch their own bait. However, manufactured “stinky baits” offer a quick and easy option for others. There are a variety of pre-packaged catfish baits available.
Best Season for Catfishing
The majority of people have a poor understanding of when to capture Catfish. You might believe that catfishing is only done in the summer. Summer is the ideal time to get catfish, but they can be caught all year. It’s fairly uncommon for Channel Cats to be caught in ice! It varies by species, but in general, they prefer deeper, slower-moving water in the winter and shallower, quicker water in the summer.
Best Time to Catch Catfish
Another myth regarding catfish is that they must be caught at night. Although most people go catfishing after dark, this does not rule out the possibility of catching monsters during the day. It depends on where you’re fishing and what kind of fish you’re looking for.
Flatheads are the most nocturnal of all the fish. They like to move out of their shelter or hiding place at night. This is the greatest time to find them, but you may also catch Flatheads in the sun if you work the cover they prefer.
Regardless of the time of day, Blue and Channel Cats appear to eat at their own pace. One thing to keep in mind is that if there is a strong current to hunt in, giant Blues will be more active throughout the day. They primarily hunt at night in slow-moving waterways.
Catfishing at Night
People go catfishing at night for two reasons: it’s much colder, and the fish congregate in much shallower water. Why? Catfish, simply put, follow their stomachs, which follow the forage. On a hot summer day, topwaters become too warm for bait fish.
Under the cover of darkness, they also feel safer in open water. Catfish, on the other hand, are scent-based hunters who have little trouble finding food in the dark.
During the day, catching catfish from a boat is much simpler since you can get out to deeper waters. You can fish from the shore if you can cast correctly into deep water.
Begin by fishing points and humps in the deepest portions of the river or lake, then gradually work your way to shallower water until you locate the correct depth. It necessitates a greater understanding of the seas you’re fishing in, but it can be as rewarding.
How Deep Do You Fish for Catfish?
Depending on the time of day, season, wind speed, and other weather circumstances adjust how deep you fish. While most people imagine huge cats weighing 20-60 pounds hanging out in deep burrows all of the time, they actually move quite shallowly at times.
Early in the morning and late in the evening, thin-water locations can be particularly productive. They will sometimes migrate into as little as 5-10 feet of water at dawn or night. They prefer to hang deeper, between 20 and 60 feet, throughout the middle of the day and when it’s bright and sunny.
How to Catch Big Catfish
Catfish can be caught in a variety of ways, including trolling, fly fishing, and catfish noodling (if you call that fishing). Still, there are two tried-and-true methods for catching the most fish: still fishing and drift fishing.
Still fishing is a simple and successful method of catching fish. Simply put your bait out there and wait for something to eat it. It isn’t the most polished method of fishing, but it is ideal for a peaceful day on the water.
You can also drift your baits under a bobber if you want more hookups and less waiting time. This works particularly well on lakes with the little current to spread your smell trail. It will, however, necessitate the use of a boat.
The exact strategies of catching catfish differ depending on the species and the body of water. For each species, below are a few pointers.
How to Catch Flathead Catfish
Current and cover are two things that Flathead Catfish enjoy. Outside of river bends, where drowned trees and boulders pile up to create lots of shelters, they prefer to hunt. Flatheads don’t move far off the riverbed unless it’s absolutely necessary, so presenting your bait a turn or two from the riverbed will offer you the best chance of catching them.
How to Catch Blue Catfish
Blue Catfish prefer to seek in lakes around a single structure in the main body of the lake. Blues, unlike Flatheads, are content to search in open water as well as on the bottom, so experiment with depths if you’re having trouble catching fish.
Bends and confluences in a river are the finest spots to look for big cats. Try a few different locations, dropping your baits just upstream of deep holes. This is where the fish hide to avoid being caught in the main stream.
How to Catch Channel Catfish
Channel Cats will set up shop anyplace they can get away from the current while still jumping out after fish stranded in fast-moving water. Check the deep pools below rapids in minor rivers.
Channel Cats are drawn to these areas because of the logs and boulders. Channel Catfish will cling to structure or cover that breaks up the main current in big rivers. They don’t mind if it’s rocks, logs, holes, or old tires as long as it makes their lives simpler.
What is the Best Catfish Bait?
Large catfish will eat a wide variety of foods. Commercial catfish stink bait formulations are a good option in some waters. Flathead and channel catfish are particularly vulnerable to large live shiners, herring, and shad.
For both those species and blue catfish, though, it’s difficult to beat a portion of chopped bait from a herring, shad, or mullet. Cut them into 34-1 inch wide steaks.
Freshwater purists frequently overlook catfish. People mistakenly believe they are all the same, despite the fact that they vary just as much as Trout and Bass. They’re grouped with other “rough fish” and largely forgotten. Catfish may never be given the respect they deserve, but for those in the know, they’re a game fish to be reckoned with.