Catfish are found in freshwater systems such as ponds, lakes, and shallow rivers. Fishing for catfish is a fun and exciting activity. To catch catfish, you must understand their habits regarding where they dwell in different seasons, what they eat, and appropriate techniques to utilize to entice catfish to take the bait.  The following is an easy-to-follow guide on how to fish for catfish. 

Essential Catfish Gear

Fishing Reel, Line, Fishing, Equipment, Tackle, Angling

You’ll need a basic kit for catching catfish. The essential gear for catching catfish include a 6-to-7 feet fishing rod and reel, bait hooks, bobbers, lures, swivels, jig heads, and a net. The size of your fishing rod, reel, bait, and other equipment should match the size of the fish you are targeting.  Choose lighter fishing rods if you’re targeting small fish. But if you’re targeting heavyweights, you’ll need longer, sturdier and heavy-action fishing rods and reels.  

Learn the Basics

The time of the year determines where catfish will most likely be. The best season to fish for catfish is spring. This is the time when water levels rise, and the water warms to about 50 degrees.  

The best time of the day to fish for catfish is early in the morning when catfish are more active. Catfish tend to feed before sunrise.  Fishing for catfish at night can also yield a good catch. 

While catfish can be found pretty much anywhere in a freshwater system, the best spots to fish for catfish are; covered areas, near structures, and where a current meets a still area.

Once you have assembled your fishing gear and chosen the best spot where you want to fish for catfish, it’s time for the action.

How to Fish for Catfish 

The most popular method of catching catfish using a slip sinker rig. This method is effective when targeting catfish in deep waters. A slip-sinker rig is made by threading a sinker on the mainline and a bead. Tie the mainline to one end of a swivel. On the swivel’s other end,  ensure you have a 1–to-2 feet monofilament leader which is followed by the hook. You can leave the rig at the bottom or let it hover above the floor when drifting an area.  

You can also fish for catfish using a jig head tipped with bait. Simply lift and drop the equipment along the bottom while holding it still from time to time as you wait for a bite. 

Another way to fish for catfish is by using a float rig whereby you’ll add afloat above the weight on a slip sinker rig. Use the rig to drift the bait gradually through catfish lairs. You may also do so over weed without snagging on the bottom or in cover. This method is also effective at covering water from the bank. 

Woman in Red Striped Shirt and Blue Denim Shorts Holding Fishing Rod

Fishing for catfish is an adventurous outdoor activity you may want to try. To increase your chances of landing a good catch, make sure you use the right gear, understand weather effects, and know catfish’s movements. By doing that, you’ll enjoy the success in your quest to fish for catfish.