Landing a catfish is a satisfying conquest for any angler. They can go up to hundreds of pounds in size, and have a reputation for being ‘fighters.’ If you learn one thing from this blog entry, it’s that it doesn’t take luck to catch a catfish. All it takes is knowing where to find them, and having the right tools at your disposal.
Catfish are dependable biters all year round. But, there are tips that can give you an extra edge. As catfish spawn in the summer, they emerge to feed at a much lower rate. This doesn’t mean you have zero chance of landing a catfish in the summer. However, don’t be surprised if you have to venture into very deep waters.
Fans of night fishing will have a great advantage for catching catfish. The lack of light does little to hinder their pursuit of prey. This is because their whiskers are packed with scent-detecting sensors. You can use this to your benefit in many ways, some of which will be explained in further detail later in this blog post.
Catfish can adapt to many water depths and temperatures. Like most fish, they like to hunt their prey in deep waters, and near submerged structures. Be sure to thoroughly check any river beds or sunken trees.
Catfish are known to prefer muddy waters. This applies particularly to channel catfish, one of the most common species in North America. When hunting in these kinds of water conditions, catfish are known to pounce on their prey with force. The same goes for taking bait. Be careful yet as firm as you can, otherwise a catfish could yank the rod right out of your hands.
With this in mind, you’ll want a powerful rod. A tried-and-tested rod for catfish is one from the Shakespeare Ugly Stik range. Want your rod to have some sensitivity and balance with the range’s renowned strength? Try the Ugly Stik GX2 Spin Lure Rod made from graphite and fibreglass. It has been described as “the fishing world’s strongest, most sensitive rod.”
Size matters when it comes to baiting up for catfish. If the one you’ve got your eye on is over 10 pounds, you probably won’t stand a chance unless you use fish baits. Smaller fish are a lot less fussy. Catfish are known to eat a wide range of foodstuffs, from luncheon meat and sausages to dog food!
If you want to use live baits and you live in the UK, the Catfish Conservation Group advise, ‘the majority of catfish anglers choose live baits of between 4-10" when tackling UK waters.’ Larger sized baits can cause presentation problems with the right rig or method.
As we referred to earlier in this blog entry, you should play to the catfish’s strong sense of smell to lure them in. A fantastic choice is Berkley Gulp! Nightcrawlers. Not only are nightcrawlers a favourite amongst catfish, the Berkley Gulp! brand is known for products with a highly potent scent dispersion.
Finally, if you prefer to use boilies, the best kinds for catfish are those which have a fishmeal base mix. Catfish respond well to baits with a highly fishy taste and smell. With this in mind, we recommend Nash Bait Instant Action Crab and Krill Boilies.