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Catfish Fishing Tips

When one thinks of freshwater fishing, fish such as bass and walleye usually take the spotlight.  Often overlooked, catfish provide a great fight and can even be great eating.  Even better, they can be targeted by beginner fisherman looking for a family outing, or experienced anglers out to catch world records.  With this list of catfish fishing tips, we can have you reeling in the small ones with your kids, or the giant blue cats that provide hours of fight.  Just follow our list of catfish fishing tips and you will be catching your targeted fish more often.

Use the right baits.

When it comes to catfish, the nastier the bait, the more likely you are to catch a big fish.  Due to the fact that catfish have poor eyesight, they use their sense of smell to find food.  If you have even seen or smelled a commercial catfish bait, you will know exactly what I’m talking about; they smell horrible.  If cost is not a factor, these commercial baits work great.  one of my favorites is Team Catfish Bait.  These are pretty cost effective and are guaranteed to catch you fish.

Another option is to make your own catfish bait.  While this is very cost effective and will probably catch you more fish than any commercially bought bait, it takes some time and can be messy.  Nonetheless, here is my favorite recipe that i have found to be most effective over the years.

  • 1 pound melted cheese
  • Eight ounces of raw pork
  • A head of garlic and/or garlic salt
  • 1 can of dog food and 12 minnows
  • Mix in a blender, store in the refrigerator or freezer if not used soon.

If you can handle the smell/overall nastiness of making this recipe, props to you.  I’m sure you will be rewarded with some fish.  If you do not want to go through this effort and do not want to buy commercial catfish bait, and raw meat will usually work.  I have found that chicken fat or livers work great, most of the time just as well as any commercial bait.

Fish at the right times.

When most people think of catching catfish, they think of nighttime fishing.  While it is somewhat true that catfish fishing is best at night, many huge fish are also caught during the day!  The trick is knowing how to fish during these different times


Day fishing for Catfish

Daytime fishing for catfish is a little trickier that nighttime fishing.  During the day, catfish like to sit at the bottom and sleep.  If a bait is presented to them at the bottom of the water, they have no problem eating it.  They being said, they are very unlikely to go out and pursue a moving bait during the daytime.  This is why a sinker or weight is absolutely essential during the day.

Night fishing for Catfish

During the night is when catfishing truly gets interesting.  Often thought of as a lazy fish that sits at the bottom, the reputation of the catfish completely changes when it gets dark.  Awakening from their sleep, the catfish becomes very aggressive, often searching the surface and shores of the lake for food.  This is why live baits can be very effective once it gets dark.  A sinker is not required like it is during the day, though you will probably still catch fish if you use one.

Justin Anderson

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