A Beginner’s Guide to Catfish Fishing


Fishing or catfish is not only fun, but the catch makes good eating. There are some things a novice needs to know about catfish before they set up their rod and reel and head down to the lake.

About Catfish
Catfish are a huge family of fish that belong to either the Nematognathi or Siluriformes order. They get their name because most but not all of them have barbels around their mouths that resemble the whiskers of a cat. They help the fish find its food. Most also lack scales though some are armored. There are marine and fresh water species of catfish. One of the most popular families of fish are the bullheads, which are native to North America and usually don’t weigh over 5 pounds.

How They Operate 
Most catfish that are caught in North America are omnivorous bottom feeders, and a lot of them feed at night. They prefer water that is turbid, still or slow-flowing over muddy bottoms that other fish avoid. Even when the pools dry up, bullheads have been known to survive in the mud. An exception to this is the blue catfish, which can weigh over 50 pounds. This catfish likes fast flowing, clear water that flows over rocks or gravel bottoms as opposed to mud or silt.

Catching Them 
One of the delights of fishing for catfish is that they will take just about any sort of bait. It does not even need to be edible, for these fish are drawn in simply by the sight of a shiny fish hook. However, the best way to catch them is with bait that’s been allowed to become a little overripe. This invludes clams, chicken guts, chopped up animal livers and coagulated blood that’s been left out for a day or two. They also like worms, smaller fish, cheese, shrimp, snails and even bread that’s been soaked in scented salad oil.

The best techniques used for catching catfish are float fishing and legering. With float fishing, a float or bobber is put on the fishing line, which lets the bait sink below the surface and lets the fisherman know when the fish has taken it. Float rods are very long, yet very light They can be as long as 14 feet long, which gives the fisherman more control over the float.

Legering is the best way to catch a bottom feeding cat fish. The leger rod allows the fisherman to place a bait on the bottom of the body of water. It doesn’t use a float, but uses a weight on the rod’s main line. Leger rods are a bit shorter than float rods, and many have a quiver tip. Some of these tips are white to make sure the fisherman can see them in low light.