Catfishing Tips – Catching Catfish in the Summertime
There are few more simple pursuits than fishing for catfish in the summertime, but you still need to know the basics to be consistently successful. It can be a relaxing, enjoyable way to spend a summer evening, so long as you know where to start. In this article, we’ll keep the techniques fairly simple and straight forward, so you can get started right away.
The rod and reel you use is very important. A medium action spinning or baitcasting rod is a good place to start if you just want to catch eating size catfish. Spool the reel with 10-14 pound monofilament. If you want to catch larger fish, especially Blue or Flathead Catfish, you’ll need much heavier equipment. A heavy action baitcasting set up is necessary. 20 pound monofilament is adequate for most pursuits, but if you are after very large fish, you may want to bump it up to 30 pound test. Besides a rod and reel, you will also need several pole holders to prevent a big catfish from stealing your rod!
How you rig up depends on how you want to fish. Sometimes, you will want to let the bait drift down the river, while bumping the bottom on each cast. To accomplish this, all you need is a medium sized split shot and a hook. This is the most simple catfishing rig in existence, and it works very well for smaller catfish. The other common way to rig up is using a three-way swivel rig. First, tie your line to one of the eyes on the swivel. Then, tie a 12″ leader of 8 pound test to another. Tie a small egg sinker to this leader. Use the final eye of the swivel to tie a 20″ leader of 15 pound test. To this leader, attach your hook. If you use this rig, your rig will not float down the current, and you can keep your offering in one place for an extended period of time. This is often the best rig for large catfish.
There is a huge variety of catfish baits. Perhaps the most common (and effective) is a simple nightcrawler. Thread the worm on a size 4 hook, and let it drift down the current while bouncing the bottom. This is quite possibly the best way to catch a stringer of eating size catfish. Live minnows are also a very effective bait. Smaller minnows work very well for smaller catfish, while 3″ to 7″ baits are commonly used to catch very large catfish. Common fish species used for bait include shiners, chubs, carp, goldfish, and sunfish. Cut bait is also a very good bait for all species and sizes of catfish. Almost any kind of fish will work as bait, although shad and sunfish are most often used. Most people fish cutbait on a three way rig. Chicken livers and various homemade and commercial stinkbaits work very well for channel catfish.
However you choose to fish for catfish, it is extremely enjoyable and relaxing. Using these tips, you can catch a lot of fish as well. Don’t forget that catfish are one of the best eating fish around. Brush up on some recipes (find catfish recipes as well as a multitude of other wild game and fish recipes)so you’ll be ready to head to your nearest river, lake, or pond, and try these tips.
Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website Family-Outdoors. His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.