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i need help catfishing

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by bigcatman, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. i need help catfishing meaning what tackle,baits,rods &reels, rigs and best types of places to look for big cats like do i fish in current or in shallows i just dont know what works best thank you for your help
  2. monsterKAT11

    monsterKAT11 Team Fatty

    depends on if your going to fish in rivers or lakes. usually catfishermen use stout rods. if you are fishing rivers, look for bends and eddies. habitat is key as well. look for trees that are down in the water, and snags along river bends. i know alot of the fellas' here use cut or live shad.

    hope this helped a little.

  3. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Several OGF members have websits that walk you through this. Try DOC's & FLATHUNTER's sites first.
  4. Well Bigcatman, you ask a pretty wide open question but, fortunately for you I have a wide open answer! Well, first off you will start with rods, depending on what you want channels or flatheads I will describe rods that will handle both. I use the ugly stick catfish series rods in the 8ft range, they're affordable, very tough, and they have a great action to them. Next, you will need reels, you will have to decide between baitcaster or spinning. Most catmen prefer baitcasting reel for their higher line capacities and tougher drag systems. But, there are good options in the spinning reel department you can look into, the larger models in brands like Shimano or Penn depending on the money you have to spend. I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy tough quality equipment. The quality of your equipment directly transfers to the quality of your fishing experience! Then, you have line to buy, there is three answers only to this! I prefer Power Pro, Trilene Big Game, or P-Line exclusively in 20-80 lb test depending on the species you're pursuing and the type of structure you may encounter. You can achieve more yardage in heavier lb test ratings by using Power Pro because of it's incredible strength to diameter ratio. Next, you will need terminal tackle, starting with hooks I recomend using Mustad Ultra Points for my j-hooks and Daichi or Eagle Claw Lazer Sharps for my circle hooks. Make sure that you buy a range of sizes to match different baits and fishing situations, for channels use sizes 1/0 thru 5/0 and for flatheads use sizes 5/0 thru 10/0. Then another absolute must would be barrel swivels in 50+ lb test and you will also want some three-way swivels in the same test rating. Your lines break strength can be decreased by up to half it's rating just because of line twist due to twisting baits or catfish. Third, would be your weights, you must also buy a range of sizes and shapes. For current situations you will need No-Roll sinkers or pyramid sinkers in sizes 3/4 oz to 3 oz +, For lake bank fishing you will need bank sinkers in same sizes listed above, and for drift fishing you may want to invest in bottom bouncers. Then purchase a small assortment of foam bobbers for different rigging situations as well as a few pole floats( remember to purchase slipknots and beads as well as 1 oz egg sinkers to make them stand). There is alot of detailed rigging information on this site to explain how to put together rigs using the tackle listed above.
    Then theres bait, I use fresh or live shad, bluegills, green sunfish, bullheads and of course chubs. To catch shad you must have a cast net, you can buy them at Wal-Mart for less than $20. Then you have to learn how to throw it but thats a topic for another day. You can also use the cast net to catch everything else listed except for bullheads. I prefer to use a rod and reel to catch most of my baits. Just use a size 10 hook with a couple of split shots attached about a foot above the hook and a few maggots to catch just about any of those baits except for shad or bullheads.
    Last but not least, you have to find catfish to catch. This year the water has been slow to warm and you will probably have another good couple of weeks from now to find most of your good night fishing action in the shallow coves of lakes or reservoirs in the area in 2-6 feet of water for flatheads and channel cats. Generally coves that have creeks flowing into them, heavy cover or deep water nearby will produce more and larger catfish. Any one of those three factors alone or in combination will attract catfish to the area. Also look for baitfish concentrations because the cats won't be far behind. You may also want to start focusing around spawning from this point until about the end of June this year depending on water temp. Catfish like to spawn in rock crevices, undercut banks, heavy log jams, muskrat or beaver holes, and anything else they can back themselves into to provide security and this excludes nothing in my experience! I believe channels begin to spawn when water temps are between 70-73 degrees and ends when water temps are between 75-78 degrees depending on the body of water you are fishing. My experience has shown that catfish generally spawn from 2-8 feet deep depending on water clarity and quality of spawning cover. You may also find cats feeding on or near the surface many nights while they forage for shad. I use a pole float and a live shad or bluegill on these nights and it is deadly on channel cats and flatheads! And there is no real way to tell where the catfish will be unless you pay attention to the baitfish. If you see alot of baitfish feeding near the surface at night you can bet thats where the catfish are primarily foraging. If you see no baitfish or few baitfish on or near the surface begin fishing near or on the bottom. During daytime hours your best bet is to fish the first major drop-off from the mouths of productive coves, creek channels or road beds adjacent to large flats that are in 5-20 ft of water. Many times in lakes that do not offer a large amount of cover in deep water channel cats will suspend many feet off of the bottom and at that point you will need the pole floats again and adjust different depths working up and down the water column until you find the fish. During the summer months (post spawn period) when the water is approaching or surpassed the 80 degree mark, catfish will seek cooler water and this is generally found in the deeper portions of the lake day and night most of the time until the water stratifies in the fall.
    Well, it's getting late and my fingers are exhausted now that I have written a summarized version of the catfish bible from my head. I hope that this information is very helpfull I would advise writing this information down or copy it and make a list of what you need. I know this may seem overwhelming to some but just so you know I'm not rich and I did not go out and buy everything I needed all at once because I could not afford it. Just buy what you can when you can. Catfishing is all about patience and learning in every aspect of it. You may spend many hours fishing before you ever land a trophy cat but, if you study what I have typed , expiriment, and keep trying you will eventually find what you're looking for sooner than most who did not have this information summarized for them. If you need more information on anything just ask and if you'd like I can share some of my river information also. Good Fishing
  5. Thank you and WOW that is a lot of information.
  6. I enjoy giving people good information. Your welcome and anytime! I wish catfishing was this big when I first began 12 years ago. It is truly a great thing to see this sport grow in popularity and I'm glad I can make a contribution. I have worked very hard to learn what I have and would have been thankful myself had this information been available when I began. I have been single for the last three years and I get to fish almost everyday! I also live 100 yards from the tusc river and I have about 3 miles of river all to myself and its great fishing for Channel Cats, northern pike, and bowfin! And to give credit where credit is due, you should be thanking the people who created this site. Good Fishing