If you had already tried fishing in the past, you would understand that fishing is not just a skill but an art. Though you need to learn the rudiments of fishing to develop fishing skills, you still need to hone your fishing skills to raise it to the level of an art. One way to learn the rudiments of fishing is by learning to catch catfish. Catfish, of course, is one of the most popular fish in the United States.
There are several reasons why catfish is popular. One reason is that you will find catfish almost in every state, and if you’re a beginner at fishing, you can learn fishing by catching catfish. Besides, catfish have species that could weigh in double digits. Moreover, they seem to be constantly hungry. Plus, their meat is quite delectable. So, if you want to kickstart your fishing activities, it will be best to start with the catfish.
Many believe, however, that the best time to catch catfish is during nighttime. Yet, this is far from the truth, for you can surely catch catfish even during the daytime. Besides, not many will have the luxury of engaging in nighttime fishing. The key is just to find the appropriate locations where catfish usually assemble to eat.
Best Techniques and Practices to Catch Catfish During Daytime
The catfish is exclusively a freshwater fish, for you will only find them in ponds, lakes, and rivers. If you want to increase your chances of catching catfish, it will be best to learn the following different techniques and tips on catching catfish:
Be Mindful of Drift Fishing
One effective way to catch catfish is drift fishing. During the daytime, catfish exhibit less mobility. They tend to be a bit stationary. Hence, drift fishing works well when catching them during the day. To engage in drift fishing, you only need to take a controlled and slow stroll along the water while readying your bait when crossing paths with a catfish.
You need to learn the drifting rig, likewise. Pinch two lead shots, depending on the current’s length on the line, about six to twelve inches above your hook with fresh cut bait. Such a rig is perfect for drifting along shallow flats in ponds or lakes.
You can also invest in fishing finding technology or sonar to do away with guessing games. Using sonar technology, you won’t get frustrated, especially when fishing for catfish during the day. Besides, you can quickly get to the best spots when using sonar technology.
Choose the Best Location
As mentioned above, finding the right location is crucial to your success in catching catfish. If you can locate the catfish in the murky waters, you will surely get enough chances to catch one. Yet, if you are fishing in the wrong location, you will not catch anything and end up empty-handed, even if you have employed some of the best fishing techniques and practices. So, the use of sonar will come in handy to find the best location for catching catfish.
Use Proper Bait
Another crucial factor to consider for catching catfish is the selection of the right bait. Even if you have figured out the right location to fish, you will still end up empty-handed and frustrated if you’re not using the right bait.
When choosing a lure, you should select those natural and living bait that the catfish love to eat. Stay away from using artificial baits.
Catfish seem to be constantly hungry. They can grow even if they are feeding on the same type of food for a long time. So, it will be best to find the food type they usually feed on. These foods include sweet corn kernels, dog chunks, and worms.
Relocate if You Got No Bites
Location is crucial to success when fishing for catfish. So, if you don’t get any bite within 45 minutes of waiting, move to another location. You will find catfish spread out over the waters, searching for food during summertime. So, you need to be patient and wait for 45 minutes before moving to another spot.
During winter, however, catfish congregates in small areas. So, if after fifteen minutes, you don’t get any bit, move to another spot. You don’t need to tarry longer in a single location if you don’t get any bite within that period. However, it will take longer for the catfish to find your bait at night. So, it will be best if you give them more time.
Use Electronic Fish Finders
Gone were the days when you would only rely on your gut feeling to locate the fish you would like to catch. Nowadays, you will find modern technology that could help you locate the target in the waters. One such gadget is the electronic fish finder.
Remember that finding the right location is crucial to your fishing success. Electronic gadgets can help you figure out the water depth, temperature, and contour. It will also help you find deeper holes and vegetation.
You can also use these gadgets to find catfish. Moreover, you can use them to find schools of bait. Electronic fish finders can either be boat-mounted or castable fish finders. Both are effective, however, in finding your target.
Follow Your Bait
Catfish are preying on fish. They also hunt their food, and if you can follow the food trail, you will locate the catfish. So, the best way to locate catfish is to find their food trail. Catfish, as voracious eaters, will pursue their food wherever they go. If they feed on shad, you should locate the schools of shad.
Shads are not difficult to locate during the daytime because often, you will find shads skipping near or along the water surface. Hence, you should only follow the shad trails, which will lead you to catfish. If they feed on bluegill, you need to get nearer the shore and look for catfish near the docks, drop-offs, and laydowns.
Fishing entails figuring out the behavior of your target fish. Catfish, for example, love laydowns. These laydowns are anything that has fallen over onto the murky waters of the fishing ground. One example of laydown is a fallen branch of a tree or a fallen tree.
For example, if you go fishing on lakes, you will quickly locate these laydowns. These laydowns are usually eight to thirty feet deep.
Schools of baitfish and bluegills love to aggregate under the shade and protection of these laydowns. Hence, the big catfish will not be far behind. So, you need to be on the lookout for these laydowns to facilitate the locating of catfish.
The Ideal Time to Catch Catfish
To be successful in catching catfish, you need to know the ideal time for catching it. Many fishing aficionados will tell you that nighttime is the best time to catch catfish, especially if the weather is great and decent. However, catfish will take longer to find your bait during the nighttime. So, you need to be patient and wait for the bite longer.
Nevertheless, you can still catch catfish during the daytime. The best times of the day will be in the early morning and late afternoon. If there is a predicted storm system in the coming days, the hours and days before the rain will be the best time to catch catfish. After-storm fishing might not be the ideal thing to do. Yet, it doesn’t mean you will not catch catfish after a storm.
Guide on Fishing for Catfish During Cold Months
Fishing activities are greatly altered during the changing of seasons. During cold months, for example, the behavior of catfish becomes highly predictable. Nevertheless, finding catfish during this season is still not easy for some anglers.
Of course, catfish during cold months tend to assemble or congregate in specific locations. You’ll find them in massive numbers in these locations. The reason for this is that they want to feel warm. So, you will find them in areas where they could get the warmest possible temperature for their bodies.
The warmest part, of course, of a body of water is in the deep water. Hence, when catching catfish during cold months, search for deep holes near shallow water of the lakes. Look for feeder streamers and look for their mouths.
However, in rivers, you will find them in the river bends where rushing water carves out deep wintering holes, perfect for catfish to thrive. You will often find them there, and they are barely moving.
Besides, the ideal time of the day for catching catfish is mid-afternoon to late afternoon. You can also catch them in the early morning. The warmest temperature during winter is in the daytime. As such, you will find catfish active during the day.
Catching Catfish During Summer
During warm months, catfish seek the areas of the waters where the temperatures are the coolest. Nighttime, therefore, is perfect for catching catfish during summer. Early morning, as well as late afternoon, will be ideal if you engage in daytime fishing, provided you engage in deep fishing.
The reason is that larger catfish will seek the deeper water to escape the hot upper level of the lake. Likewise, they would stay in laydowns and drop-offs because these are the locations where the bluegill and shads thrive during summer.
Which is better to Catch Catfish: Nighttime or Daytime?
Many experts in fishing would tell you that the night is the ideal time for catching catfish. However, there will be some who would argue that daytime is best. As mentioned above, there are factors to consider when fishing for catfish. One factor is water temperature. When the water is warm, catfish will tend to slow down and only become active during the day’s coolest hours.
Nevertheless, they would seek out the warmer locations when the water gets cold. Besides, they will be actively feeding during the warmest hours of the day. Experts would say that the nighttime is best for fishing during warmer months because, during the night, the water temperature will be at its coolest. Moreover, they would say that you can fish in the early morning if you don’t want to fish during the night because the water temperature is still cool.
However, during cold months, it will be best to fish during the day because catfish will be seeking the warmer temperatures of the day. Daytime will provide them with the best chance to warm themselves.
But deeper water will also provide them with warmer locations than shallow water during winter. So, you will often find them amassing in deep water during cold months. The water temperature will dictate how and when you should fish for catfish.
Bank Fishing for Catfish During the Day: Is It Great for Catching Catfish?
When bank fishing in daytime, you might find it hard to catch catfish. Besides, you will not catch them via the drifting method. You can find a cover from the river or lake bank and from there, you can begin bank fishing.
It will be best to find a rock ledge or overhang from where you can engage in bank fishing. The thing about bank fishing is that you will not have cover using your boat, and you can’t even utilize sonar technology.
Yet, you can always use sonar fishing technology like Deeper Sonar Pro. Such gadgets are castable and will let you map the underwater structure and determine the best spot to fish.
Catfish might be an underrated fish in the United States. Yet, they offer great meat, and they grow huge over time. Besides, they can put up a hell of a fight. So, catching them is perfect for those who want to learn the rudiments of fishing. Moreover, catfish of different species behave differently. So, you need to know which catfish species you are tracking or trolling.
Catfish has three main species: Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. You might find these three species in the same waters, hunting for similar prey. So, knowing how to deal with each of these main species of catfish will help you gain success in your fishing endeavor.