People love to have catfish as it is an ingredient in a number of delicious cuisines. Fishermen have to display a great deal of stamina and endurance in order to run after it. Fishing for the catfish especially the big flatheads isn’t that easy.
They are heavy in terms of weight and is listed among the most challenging fishing across America. These fish are quite tough to tackle single-handedly, hence it is recommended to have at least a friend when you are out fishing. It is for this reason, that beginners must follow certain well-defined Catfish fishing tips to enjoy fishing in scenic outdoor locations. These guidelines mainly include following:
Catfish above 10 pounds normally consume fish for their survival. So if you are planning to nab big sized catfish, then goldfish and minnows can be your ideal baits. You can use extremely popular oily baitfish like suckers, herrings and shad. You can also place live fish to lure flathead catfish. Depending on the weight and food habits of the fish, you can lay your baits to draw its attention towards your sharp pointed hook. Both homemade and commercial stink baits are great for catching a small catfish. If you are eyeing to catch one of the big flatheads then it is recommended to use live fish as these would hardly eat something else other than that.
It is a common mistake which is often committed by many anglers while trying to capture the catfish. They believe that concealing the appearance of the hook with the bait can easily attract the fish towards the hook. But that is not the case with catfish because they are unable to smell the difference between the hook and the bait. But if the end-point of the sharp hook is kept exposed, then it will be much easily slipped inside the mouth of the fish while devouring the natural or artificial baits. Moreover, the hook has to be pretty strong as these fish are very heavy and can give you a hard time.
There is no doubt that summer season is the most suitable time for catching catfish, but there is no logic behind ignoring winters, spring and fall. If you want to catch more catfish with the combination of right techniques, then it is better to engage in fishing activities all round the year. Blue catfish is ideal for capturing during winter seasons as it stays afloat even while the temperature of the water dips down several degrees below the normal. Similarly, during the summer season, you can lay the baits to catch Channel Catfish. While in the months of fall and spring, you can look for Flathead catfish for a delicious dinner. Additionally, the best time to fish for a catfish are the early mornings or the late evenings.
Like any other fish, catfish never feeds on a regular basis. Their feeding habit is based on certain weather parameters which can only be understood by an experienced fisherman. If you fail to understand this pattern, then you will have to return empty handed because the fish will not come out of its hideout to bite on your edible bait item. For instance, during stormy nights catfish never step out of its place to feed other aquatic organisms. So the ideal time to place bait for them is before the arrival of the storm or wait for few days for the storm to have passed.
Catfish is mainly visible in prominent water bodies like a pond, lake, river channels and creek. You can use sonar to track their location in an easier yet accurate manner. Some catfish species normally reside in the upper edge of the channels while some fish prefer to settle below the channel edge. The spot selection plays a very crucial role in deciding the chances of catching one yourself. Hence, if you are not good enough to select the right spot, you might end up coming back home empty handed.
You need to display patience and calmness so as to nab a catfish. Any rush on your part can alert the fish and they will end up avoiding your baits. It is advised to present the bait near or on the bottom and let the catfish find it. One may even fish from the bank or even from a stationary boat. If you choose to fish from the shores, it is advised to setup at the place where the movement of these fish will be at their best. Usually, the area near river dam that is a great place of cat action. Some fishermen prefer setting up their base near river tributaries or at the meeting point of 2 rivers.
A common mistake which many anglers make is sitting at a single spot for hours and waiting for the catfish to strike. Although one should definitely allow a catfish enough time to detect the bait and strike it, but if it’s over 20-25 minutes and you see no movement, it’s time to move. In case you are fishing near the river, then it would be better to stay where you are but move the bait upstream. If it is a lake, then it is better to vary the depth of the bait. Going deeper increases your chances to catch a catfish. Another ideal spot to move to would be a place where there is a cover or structure that can attract the fish.
Fishing is an art and with these basic catfish fishing tips, you can enhance the possibility of capturing this fish. Once you get things in the right perspective backed by effective tools and techniques, catching a catfish can be real fun. It does take some time to master the art but when you do that, it is definitely among the most beautiful experiences.