Catfish are a voracious species of fish that grow to ridiculously huge sizes. They, however, present an awesome opportunity for people who love fishing as a sport to stay busy. With the right fishing techniques, tips and tricks, anyone can go catfishing without being exposed to danger.
This article aims at revealing the secrets of cat fishing that will make you realize just how much fun you have been missing if you have being ignoring the fish before.
When’s the Best Time to Catch Catfish?
Timing is everything when it comes to catfishing. Seasons determine the temperature of the water, which in turn determine how active the catfish are.
Cormorant catfish and blue catfish, for instance, are most active during winter. Therefore, that’s the best time to go hunting for them. Channel catfish, on the other hand, spawn more during summer. At this time, you will have higher chances of catching one. Finally, fall is the time for trophy catfish. Most catfish set out to hunt and feed during spring, making this another perfect season for catfish fishing.
There is really no bad season for catfish fishing since in every season, there is a type of catfish that will be most active. The only thing you should know is the type of catfish you are looking for.
Catfish hunt during low-lighted periods since their sight is most enhanced at this time. Since their sight is enhanced, it means that they are also more capable of seeing your fishing line. You can however manipulate this to your benefit.
The Best Catfish Bait
There is a vast variety in the catfish species. A combination of bait will therefore increase your chances of catching fish.
Catfish are attracted to extremely strong odor and something that is physically alluring to them. But even with this, a good catfish fisherman should have a rough idea of their fishing ground and the prevalent catfish species. Some items you can use for baiting catfish include chicken, herring, dip and punch baits, turkey livers and gizzards.
Since there is no assurance that only one certain bait type will yield results, you should experiment with different baits. Most catfish, except for some very rare species, will eat almost anything they can get hold of. Therefore, most of the time you can be sure your line will catch some catfish as long as you have an interesting lure for bait.
Catfish Fishing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Go on Current Breaks on Rivers
A river bank presents an awesome opportunity for catching fish, especially during current breaks when fish need to take a break from the current. During the break, catfish will tend to hunt because every other fish will also be resting. You will need a GPS fish finder on your escape.
TIP: Find the break and cast your line there to increase your chances of winning a catch.
Find a Flat Sinker
To increase your chances of catching a catfish, you need your bait to stay at the bottom of the water, or somewhere closer. A flat sinker will come in handy here since it resists the current. If you are fishing from a boat, you can try different techniques while anchoring to get the flat sinker to the bottom. The more you perfect your anchoring skills and line positioning, the greater your chances of making a catch.
Get Your Timing Down
Successful fishermen, catfish or not, know how to time correctly. The perfect time for getting a catch is when the sun is going down. This is because catfish have a clearer vision in low light and therefore set out actively to hunt at that time. As they are aggressively hunting, you are in a better position to lure them to your bait.
Use One Rod at a Time
Patience is key when starting learning to catch catfish. It will take you longer to learn when if you start off with multiple rods instead of using only one rod at a time. As your prowess increases, you can increase the number of rods.
Fish Near Cover
A well-guarded trick cat fishermen know is to find a cover when fishing. Use surrounding trees, rocks or stamps for cover. Also, keeping your bait close to these covers can help you get a catch faster. When fishing near a cover, you are less likely to scare catfish away. This means they will easily emerge from their hiding and present themself to you.
Use a Circle Hook
A circle hook is perfect for catfishing since you don’t need to set the hook. However, when a catfish grabs a circle hook, they are immediately trapped into it. This type of hook is also perfect for training beginners and kids how to fish.
Bring a Carolina Rig
Another item that comes in handy when catfish fishing is a Carolina Rig. This maintains the location of the bait and makes it more unrestricted and palatable. At the same time, it prevents the line from being snagged. This is a perfect tool for angling and it can also be used to tie out leader lines.
Free and Controlled Drifts
Controlled or free drifts enable you to put more bait into the water, thus making it easier for catfish to locate it. Drifts will also give you an opportunity to experiment with different types of baits and improve your chances of catching a catfish. Once you have learnt which bait attracts the catfish the most, you can use it more regularly to get a catch every time.
Go into Deep Water Structures with Currents
There is always current in deep water structures like debris, docks and logs. Therefore, these are more lucrative fishing spots. You can use your portable fish finder to locate these spots. The fish finder will also help you locate deep holes, ledges and other hiding places where schools of catfish could be hiding.
For some people, the saying “It’s all in the mind” is just that; a saying. However, when it comes to catfish fishing, this saying can mean the difference between being successful and frustrated. Train your brain to believe you will go home with a catch. This will improve your confidence and attention when fishing. Even on the days that you don’t seem to catch anything, remind yourself that you will get a catch. Keep your focus, learn your fishing grounds well, and use a variety of tricks and tips.
What to Bring on Your Catfishing Trip
There are some must-have items when going cat fishing. These include:
Terminal tackle, including circle hooks
The best hooks for reeling in catfish are circle hooks. The hooks gives you a better chance of catching the fish. When the fish swallows the hook, it can’t remove it. Ensure your tackle box contains the circle hooks before setting off on your fishing adventure.
A 6-7-foot medium heavy spinning rod, with at least a 14-pound abrasion-resistant monofilament
After getting your catfish hooked, you’ll need it to stay in place. Catfish can be quite heavy and hence you need a heavy monofilament. The heavier the monofilament, the tougher it will be to be break. The minimum weight monofilament will work most times, but it’s not a guarantee.
Long-nose pliers to remove the hooks
After getting your catch, you will need to remove the hook from the mouth of the catfish without it getting messy. A long nose needle plier will be handy here. Circle hooks are particularly more complicated to remove and require correct tools.
Net for landing fish
After getting your catch, you need something that can hold them. Having a net will not only help you place the catfish correctly, but also with the extremely big and fighter catfish that may give you problems pulling from the water.
Boat (if necessary) or a shore-style rod holder
Your hands can get really exhausted when fishing the whole day. When you have a rod holder, you can relax and only get into action when you detect a potential catch. Reeling in a catfish with exhausted hands can be challenging.
Live or smelly bait
When baiting fish, you are trying to attract their attention. For this, you can use live bait such as minnows and warms to lure them to your line. However, if your line goes further down than where the fish is swimming, they will be more attracted to it.
Fishing is an exciting sport, but catfish fishing take adrenaline rush to the next level. To be successful in catfish fishing, you need correct timing and also learn the fishing ground well. Positioning yourself near the catfish hiding places such as along the shore within tree lines or under docks or rocks gives you a better shot of going home with a catfish.
When it comes to reeling your catfish, locating the perfect fishing spot is crucial. You also need the right equipment, including bait and other tools that improve your catfish fishing. Normally, the general equipment used in catching most catfish will do the trick. But if you need an even bigger sized catfish, you must up your game.
Investing in a good fish finder makes a huge difference between a successful catfish fisherman and one fishing without a plan. When you have this fishing gadget, you have a better control of your favorite productive spots, size of the fish you go home with, and the overall outcome of your fishing adventure.