How to Fish for Catfish like a Boss


Catfish fishing is a sport that is always in season. Why? It’s because of catfish abundance in most areas in the world. It’s the most loved by anglers, be it done on freshwater or salt waters. Catfish fishing is best done on lakes, rivers and on ponds even though sometimes they tend to move into oceans but then still manage to get back especially on shallow parts in order to feed.

Know the Fish

First and foremost, the most important factor to consider on how to fish for catfish is to have knowledge on its behavior and characteristics they show differently depending on their location, time and also depending on the season. Catfish lives in both fresh and salt glasses of water. They are best distinguished by their “catlike whiskers” that’s how they are being coined as catfish.

They have slimy bodies and make use of their barbells to taste their food too because of its unique sensitive sense of smell embodied on their barbells. They are also called wolfish sometimes.  They only usually suck or gulp their prey when eating because they don’t have teeth. They have keen of smelling on their barbells that’s why in fishing, distinctively stinky and oily cut baits are used; shrimps are best and most used, chicken livers too are considerably the best picked in fishing.

Treble hooks are best hooks used for them because sometimes they can be furious and powerful so it’s better to secure your rod by using line holders. During summer and daylights, they usually merged themselves on submerged structures or debris on deeper areas of waters but then usually move up on shallow areas to feed. So with these, some fishermen do man- made cribs to lure them to achieve an easy catch.

There are different kinds of catfish. Channel catfish are one of them. They all have their own characteristics and behavior too! But yet all of them are bottom feeders who feed themselves on aquatic plants, small fishes, insects, and crustaceans.

Channel catfish have poor eyesight but has the most sensitive taste buds on their whiskers among the rest. So having these characteristics and behaviors, bottom fishing and bait casting are best used by anglers.

How to Fish for Catfish in a Lake

Catfish fishing on lakes are fun! You can possibly catch large fish here and all sorts of catfish but mostly, especially channel catfish are abundant on lakes. In here, the most preferred time to fish is at night because of their behavior as bottom feeders during this time of the day. You can possibly catch larger ones here compared on rivers. You can also catch for blue flat-heads and bullheads here too that you’ll be going to love because they are all fun to fish.

But still you can excitingly fish during daytime too because catfish usually comes up to shallow parts of the lake in order for them to feed. And at this time of the day, they have the tendency to hide themselves under fallen debris or structures and sometimes under lily pads since they are sensitive in higher temperature or heat and even on day light itself.

On lake fishing, fishermen try to make holes at the bottom of the lakes for catfish to stay for a good catch.

Better be quiet then while fishing. You need to be calm and avoid some unnecessary movements and noise for catfishes are sensitive to these and keep and scared them away, so while fishing, avoid talking loud either. When irritated by noise they tend to move down to deeper areas of the lakes no matter if they’re hungry. They just let themselves hide and just wait for they prey or food to come near them.

On lakes you can use cut baits. With live baits, minnows are best used but you can also use worms or shrimps instead. But if you prefer to use lures or artificial baits, it’s best to use dough type baits.

You can use short rods for catfish fishing. But for lakes, better prefer to use bigger rods compared to what you are using on rivers because on lakes you can commonly encounter large catfish. You can use any hooks on lake fishing but the most preferred hooks by anglers are between 4/0 to 8/0 lbs.

Choose the right time to fish. Catfish are nocturnal, so it’s better to fish at night using bottom fishing. But mind you dear fishers, you can still fish at daytime too considering that catfish tend to move up to shallow parts of the lake to feed. Just always be reminded on areas where to fish. Usually, it is best to fish under fallen debris or structures on lakes because they usually hide themselves on these areas to avoid light and warm temperature.

Catfish fishing on lakes, you must remember also to use rod holder most of the time since they are sometimes furious enough to bring forth your rod at the bottom of the lake.

Sometimes, it’s better to use fish finder too for a better lake catfish fishing than just studying or by just feeling it through instinct.

Catfish fishing varies on every season. The proper spawning time for them is June. Around this time, catfishes are even most furious, because aside from feeding, they usually tend to protect their habitat and their eggs too! Channel catfish go for as their prey during. It’s best to fish along rocky portions of lake because usually channel catfish are nesting here so it’s good to use “float bobber rigs” here.

During summer time, it’s best to do bottom fishing because catfish migrate themselves on reservoirs to feed for shads. So usually anglers look for school of shads to fish. At this time, it is also best to fish on shallow parts too because cats usually tend to go on shallow parts of lakes to feed themselves.

How to Fish for Catfish

How to Fish for Catfish in a River

It’s also exciting to fish in rivers or flowing waters too! So here are some simple tips on how to do river catfish fishing.

The use of proper rods and lines suitable for catfish are usually considered here. It should be done depending on fishes that are possibly embedded on rivers. It’s better to use 10 – 20 lbs. test line with a sharp hook on it. You can possibly use glow in the dark bobbers at night to help lure catfish. It is also nice to use “fishing holders” for safety since catfishes are wise enough to pull your line down to the bottom of the waters so easily.

You can use cut baits here such as chicken liver or pieces of corns. But sometimes it’s much wiser though to use artificial baits for some fishermen due to practical reasons of course. But certainly everybody knew that using live baits do mean more catch for them.

In river catfish fishing, you also need to consider when, where and what time are best to fish.

Catfish usually cover themselves on rocks against the current of the river where they stay there and just patiently wait for their prey to come. In here, there is a magical chance to catch more catfish so better position correctly then to go cast and reel.

How to Fish for Catfish in a Pond

Catfish fishing on ponds are exciting too! But still you need to consider the right time and location as well as the right equipment and fishing technique to be best use here.

Choose the best bait. Mostly cut baits are best used on catfish fishing done on ponds. Since they are sensitive, you need to look for strong smell or stinky smelling cut baits like chicken livers or shrimps.

Consider the right rod and reel. It is wise to consider the right rod to use in pond fishing, 10 lbs. rods are the most ideal to use together with the right light duty reels. On ponds, it is better to use slip sinker for the line too that are possibly be paired with hooks and bait holders for better pond fishing.

Ponds with algae are mostly suspended with “cats”. So fishers, better look for ponds covered with algae or water lilies on it for a big catch.

Be quiet and still too! Catfish are sensitive enough to tolerate noisy surroundings in order not to scare them away. It is best to fish at night for catfish because they are suspended on fallen structures at the bottom of the waters using light line technique. With pond catfish fishing, always expect resistance from “cats”.

In pond catfish fishing, it is most likely to remember to handle “cats” safely all the time. You need to consider the proper handling when pulling it out on the waters. Be careful in taking it out of the hook too! Because it’s not the only to fish that matters but also on how to do it happily and productively without overlooking for your safety.

How to Fish for Catfish at Night

Mostly, night catfish fishing is the most fun and the most popular sports by anglers especially on summer time. Why? Because it’s the most efficient time to fish where large “cats” are usually out of their hidings and go on shallow part of waters for them to feed. Since at night, shallow waters are getting cooler so big “cats” have the tendency to come up to an open giving out the chance to fishers of having good catch.

Night catfish fishing is not only for fish alone but best shared with family and friends too! It is usually spent along with foods and sometimes beers for relaxation as well.

Here are some ways on how to fish catfish at night:

Right equipment for night catfish fishing. Since it is done at night, you need to use “light up bite indicator”. Yes, one must consider it as one of the most important equipment in night catfish fishing in order for you to know when you have a bite. But flashlights too can be of great help if it is too tight for your budget. Wisely always have spare tackle every time you go out for a night fishing too because there’s big chance for you to lost or break your line in the middle of your fishing. So better be prepared.

Go for cut baits during night catfish fishing. It’s best to use or go with chicken livers or shrimps for a better catch. There stinky smells lure “cats” to fish.

When you’re using a boat, it’s best to bring along 2 or 3 rods for as long as you’re using rod holders too for you to have greater catch. Since big catfish are out at night, it is best to use strong reel too to be able to fish larger ones. You can use a cast away rods guys with 25-50 lbs. test line with the best circle hooks on it.

Here you will definitely need strong reel along. But surprisingly, you can use any strong affordable and available reels on hand because here, reels don’t matter most for as long as it is strong enough to fish. So to fishermen out there, it’s just a matter of choosing the quality reel, rod and line because without these, you will miss the opportunity of catching that “fish of a lifetime.”

Fishing at night during spring time. Spring time is spawning time for catfish. At this time of the year, catfish are furious enough trying to protect their eggs as well as their place of “nesting” too so it is best time to fish on rocky shallow part of waters where they usually spawn.

Lastly, catfish fishing is a sport that brings out the best in you because it deals with how you manage to deal with the hardships to fish for them on every different season, time and locations as well. So to all fishermen out there, better start your chance of doing “catfish fishing of a lifetime” because it’s worth a while.


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