Guide on How to Catch a Catfish

how to catch a catfish

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“Could you give us some tips on how to catch a catfish?”, “You make catching catfish look so easy, how’d you do it?” and “Can you teach me how to catch a catfish?” are some of the most common questions that I’ve been asked over the past few years from people all around the social media.

So, that’s why I’ve come up with this guide in order to answer all of the questions related to catching a catfish.

The first thing that I always tell people who ask me questions about catching catfish is that always know what you are going up against or in simple words, always do some background research about the catfish you are about to catch because there are many different species of catfishes and many of them show traits that are different from one another. So, a little study can go a long way when it comes to fishing.

There are some basic things that you should know about catfishes. The first thing you need to know is that a catfish usually thrives in lakes or small stream. Also, their habitat can change from clear water to muddy water. And you’d be glad to know that there is no particular time for Catfish.

But night can give you an advantage because that time catfishes use their sense of smell rather than eyes to search for food so you can always use a bait without alerting the fish, but this topic is a debate by many experts which means that you can do fishing either at day or at night and might be able to catch some catfishes. But that can change according to the preferences of the habitat of the catfish and also the season.
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#1, Things That are Required for Catching a Catfish

There is actually not much needed to catch a catfish, but still, there are some things that can make the work of catching them a whole lot easier.

The first thing you’ll need is a fishing rod which is pretty obvious. A spinning rod of the 6-7 foot can work. Make sure that the built of the rod is medium-heavy in order to catch an averagely sized catfish.

Another thing that you’ll be needing is the bait. A bait can anything from a worm to small fish. Also, there are many beliefs according to which a stinky bait can attract a catfish which is true to some extent. So, if the bait you are using is stinky then you probably have a high chance of catching catfishes. But if your bait doesn’t stink, you don’t have to worry because a non-stinking bait can also work as only one type of catfish is attracted towards a smelly bait.

Make sure that the handle of the rod is large enough so that you can avoid inconvenience because when you encounter a big fish, a small handle can make it hard for you to manage it. A big handle can give you more control over the catfish once it gets trapped into the hook.

Fishing line is something that one should look out for. Many people think of it as an accessory which doesn’t play many roles. But you’ll be surprised to know that a good quality fishing line can make all the difference while fishing a catfish. Also, try to change the fishing lines as often as possible because fishing lines can wear out with time which can make it hard to cast. If your fishing line is in good condition, you won’t have to worry about it getting snapped at important times.

Now you know the basic things you need to catch a catfish, but the question is “Where?”. There was a time when even I didn’t know where to find catfishes and I’m damn sure that a lot of you also don’t know the answer to this question. I’ll tell what you need to know.

When it comes to fishing a catfish, they can be anywhere from shallow waters to large rivers as we said before. This can make it hard to predict their exact location. But there are some things that you can keep in mind like if it is daytime, then you’ll most probably find them in muddy water.

They thrive deep inside holes or river bends where they can find a place to hide. They don’t actually hide in these drop-offs. They just like to enjoy a little shade by hiding from the direct sunlight. And if you are fishing at night, then you might get lucky because they are known to hunt better at night. So, your bait can actually work at night. Look for some shorelines or flat water when fishing a catfish at night.

#2, How to Catch a Catfish?

Video: How to catch catfish with worms - fishing for catfish in a lake

Video Credit: Catfish and Carp

Now, since I’ve already told you how to find them and what you’ll need. The final part is to catch them.

  • Method #1
    To catch a catfish, you can try the slip sinker rig. It is one of the most popular when it comes to catching a catfish. It is very easy to make. All you have to do is thread a bead and a sinker on the main line.
    Then you have to tie the main line to one of the ends of the swivel. Now, on the other end of the swivel is a 2-foot-tall monofilament leader. This is one of the most popular ways and effective one too.
  • Method #2
    A common rig can also work. Catfish are generally very quick so wait for them to get comfortable with the bait. Catfish usually has a habit to play with the bait. So just feed the line to a catfish and once it gets trapped in the hook, take it out.
  • Method #3
    Jig head hook can also work while catching a catfish. It is said to be one of the easiest ways, but it needs a little patience. Usually, sitting quietly and keeping the jig head still can help in catching a catfish.

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Guide on How to Catch a Catfish
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I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.