The Best Tips On How To Catch Catfish

The Best Tips On How To Catch Catfish

Fishing for catfish is not a complicated exercise, but still, a smart angler will have to be very brilliant to lure the catfish to the hook successfully. Due to this, you should learn the habits of your predator, how to present the bait at the right place and at the right time to entice fish to the hook.

Catfish are among the best fish to prey on. This is because they are widespread, abundant in many water bodies, grow to be very large in size and once prepared well turn out to be a delicious meal. These reasons make the whiskered fish preferable to millions of anglers.

If you are reading this article then it means that you love catfish and would want to catch as many as possible. Lucky enough for you, we have discussed some tips which will be of great significance to you, a catfish lover and angler.


Essential Catfish Gear

To be able to successfully catch catfish, you first of all need to have the perfect tool for the job. It is wrong to expect miracles to happen while you are not fully prepared to succeed in catching the catfish. Having the perfect fishing gear is an integral part of making sure that you succeed. With that having being said, why don’t we go ahead and see what type of gear you must have to successfully fish catfish?

These are equipment for tackling small or average sized catfish.

  • Shore-style reel holder
  • Catfish baits
  • Medium-heavy spinning rod of about 6-7 foot and a reel with a stronger abrasion-resistant monofilament of about 14 pounds
  • Net and lip-grip used to land fish
  • Terminal tackle

When and Where to Catch Catfish

Catfish are abundant in many water bodies and are also widespread. Despite the fact that various species tend to like diverse habitats, most of them are found in shallow ponds, warm ponds and fast rivers.

At daytime, an angler can easily find catfish in areas such as those with muddy water, especially in the tributaries and its outflow, deep structures such as the river bends, deep holes, humps and drop-offs and also in areas with covers such as deep weed edges in water bodies. The best time to fish during the day is when the water temperatures are cool and cold and during the pre-spawn period when the catfish are feeding aggressively.

European catfish in deepwater optimized

European catfish in deepwater optimized. Via:

In the night, along shorelines and weedy areas, there are many catfish which are usually looking for food. They make use of their superior senses of smell as well as taste, together with their whiskers in locating food in the dark. Cat fishing at night is as good just as it is during the day since catfish are not nocturnal fish.

Step by Step Procedure of Fishing for Catfish.

#First Step: Choosing Baits and Supplies

  • Select a bait that has strong odour

Catfish have a strong sense of smell, and so they will be lured by smelly baits. Examples of such baits include the shad, night crawlers, and chicken liver.

There are also homemade baits such as the lye soap catfish bait, Wheaties catfish bait, and the cream corn homemade catfish bait.

Nightcrawler for lure catfish

Nightcrawler for lure catfish

  • Choose an appropriate reel, putting into consideration the size of the fish

For smaller fish, light duty reels are ideal, and if the fish in your area are of varying sizes, then a heavy-duty reel is suitable just to play safe.

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

Heavy-duty reels to fish for varying catfish sizes.

Heavy-duty reels to fish for varying catfish sizes. Via:

  • Pick a fishing rod of an appropriate size

Fishing rods are suited for catching fish in streams or bigger water bodies. A rod of about ten pounds is most suitable since it gets the bait to the bottom of the water body.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Fishing rod 10 pound to catch catfish.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod (8-20-Pound Test). Via:

  • Use a light weight slip sinker

To sink a fishing line to the bottom of a water body, a weight sinker comes in handy. A light one allows the catfish to taste the bait without feeling the weight of the sinker. A heavy sinker will cause the catfish to be suspicious hence it will drop the bait.

Shaddock Fishing ® 50pcs/box Heavy Duty Sinker Slide High

Lightweight slip sinker for catfish fishing

Lightweight slip sinker for catfish fishing. Via:

  • Ensure that hooks have bait holders

All hooks should have bait holders which are appropriate for the bait that you have chosen.

#Second Step: Catch the Fish

  • Ensure that hooks have bait holders

Catfish tend to reside in the deepest parts of water bodies, near any obstructions such as a pile of rocks or rip rap. Creeks which feed water into rivers and tributaries which feed water into the lakes are likely to be habitats of catfish.

  • Ensure that hooks have bait holders

Any motion or noise detected by the catfish will make them move away, and that is why you are advised to maintain silence to avoid scaring the fish away.

  • Ensure that hooks have bait holders

This method involves attaching a little weight to your line which will cause it to sink deeper into the water body where catfish are likely to be found. Through this, it is possible to feel a pull when a catfish grabs the bait.

#Third Step: Handling Catfish Safely

  • Wear a pair of gloves

Wear a pair of gloves when pulling the catfish out of the water to avoid getting cut by its fins if you don’t have proper protection. Some fish are also known to bite, and you never know what desperate measures the fish could employ now that it will have been threatened. Your safety as an angler is very important and you need to have protection while handling the catfish.

Youngstown Glove 03-3450-80-XL Waterproof

Pair of gloves to hold a fish without injury.

Youngstown Glove 03-3450-80-XL Waterproof Winter Plus Performance Glove. Via:

  • Handle the catfish carefully when removing it from the hook

You can use pliers to remove the hook from the catfish carefully. You should hold the fish from behind the dorsal fin. Keep your fingers behind the gills and fins on the side of the fish.

Holding a catfish with gloves

Holding a catfish with gloves

  • Kill the fish

Killing the fish in a humane way is important. This can be done by spiking the catfish with a screwdriver or an ice pick above its eyes. This ruins a fish’s brain thus causing its death. Also, by hitting the head of a catfish especially above its eyes will lead to its instant death.


Now that you have learnt the step by step procedure of fishing for a catfish I know it will be easy for you to go for your fishing sprees with all the required equipment and know how to go about the whole process.

Feel free to leave an opinion or make a comment on the article. You can share it with other anglers who may be needing clarity on how to go about cat fishing.

Louella Trump

Hi there, I’m Louella Trump, an adventurous young lady who loves exploring our beautiful nature by traveling and fishing. I write so as to share my passion and experiences with fellow readers who enjoy fishing and traveling as one of their recreational activities. My primary objective in sharing my experiences while traveling and fishing is to basically inspire any like-minded person out there to stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they explore their passion as much as they can.

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