My BEST Catfishing Tips and Secrets
By James Spain
Here are some of my best catfishing tips that you should keep in mind the next time you go drown some worms. With warmer weather just around the corner catfishing is in the forefront of most anglers minds. Follow these tips and tidbits and make your next catfishing trip an adventure.
Berkley GCCL Gulp Catfish Chunks Bait, Liver
Seasonal Catfishing Tips
Catfish move in to shallow banks to spawn during springtime and using minnows will bring a quick catch.
Catfish are very active during spring and early fall. This is the time when the waters are rising either from the winter snow melts or the autumn rains.
The reverse is also true.
Catfish are less active when the water levels are falling.
Catfish are much less active during the daytime and become very active and feed at night. Dusk is the Best time to drown some worms.
The Winter months should not be ignored. Just present your bait in a slower manner giving the sluggish yet hungry catfish time to respond.
Summer catfish seem to prefer the cool, oxygen rich fast moving streams.
At night the reason the catfish come into the shallows is to feed on the baitfish, normally they are bottom feeders.
Hot summer nights are a great time to go catfishing, the warmer waters of the day tend to make the catfish groggy and slow moving. They tend to do their hunting and feeding at night.
Catfish Habitat Tips
Catfish LOVE to lurk in holes in side banks, (Undercuts) or sink holes on the waters floor, in and around fallen trees, hollowed out stumps, or at the base of dams.
Know where a clam bed is? For catfish a clam bed is a great source of food. Fishing slightly down river from the clam beds should allow you to snag a catfish coming to chow down.
Areas around docks are good in lake or pond fishing. A lit dock at night is even better.
Light means insects,
insects mean baitfish,
baitfish means catfish.
When fishing at night be sure and be more quiet than usual. Remember you don’t have the daytime background noises to cover up sounds.
Fishing in moving waters or those with a current requires the use of cut bait, you lower the bait upriver of the vicinity of the catfish and allow the movement of the waters to carry the scent of the bait to the catfish, drawing it out to feed.
Learn the habitats of the different catfish species such as Channel Catfish that enjoys a different habitat from the Blue Catfish.
Catfishing Bait Tips.
The Fresher, The Better, cut bait from fresh chicken livers to bloody scraps from a catfishes usual diet of baitfish such as, trout, bass, shad, perch, and minnows, to even the bloody entrails of another catfish.
When using liver, or cut bait, be sure to secure the bait to the hook in some way. Elastic thread, or a small section of panty hose wrapped around your bait and the hook will assure you of not having to continually replace the bait because it simply fell off in casting or was pulled off by the prey.
Remember, when your using cut bait that you need to give your bait at least 15 minutes to soak to allow the catfish to discover the scent and lock on to it before you relocate your bait.
Catfish like to feed on moss and algae that grow on, and around structures that are man-made.
If using a Cheesy type bait in the summer heat you’ll need to add a little flour to thicken the consistency, and therefore, make it easier to keep on the hook.
Fishing in still waters like Lakes or Ponds requires a Live Bait that will wiggle around creating vibrations in the water that get the catfishes attention.
Catfishing Rig Tips.
When considering the weight of line to use, take into consideration the depth you are fishing. The deeper you fish the heavier the line you should to help protect from breaking your line on snags on the bottom. Average choice is a 10lb. line.
When catfishing in rivers or streams you fishing pole length should be in the 6′-8′ range. For the lakes and ponds the shorter rods seem to do just fine.
Using a leader with a swivel allows the catfish to twist around which they tend to do once hooked. The twisting fish stands less of a chance of breaking off and saves your line.
Hook sizes of 1/0 and 2/0 are recommended, circle hooks have gained quite a following among anglers as they seem to set themselves.
In closing, I want you to remember that… Fish show up at the same places and times every year and go after the same baits, year after year. They aren’t aware of the state, country, or body of water they reside in. Catfish behavior is the same everywhere.
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