So you want to know how to catch catfish? You can cover yourself in algae and chase down the fish like these three guys but I don't really suggest as the best or preferred method. This does however, look close to catfish noodling. The two ways we will be looking top learn how to catch catfish is noodling and several methods that involve hooks.
What is Catfish Noodling
Catfish noodling is something that you will typically see performed by rednecks from the South. It is a method of catching catfish with your bare hands. Biggest things to watch out for when retrieving a catfish with your bare hands are the snapping turtles and moccasins. Some people greatly enjoy the hunt and catch using their bare hands. I prefer the old fashioned rod and reel myself.
This is a little more my speed when it comes to catching catfish. There are plenty of rigging methods and types of bait to use when it comes to how to catch a catfish with a hook. You can set up a trotline for catfish or us the old rod and reel.
For those of you that do not know what a trotline is I will give you a short intro. Trotlines are made of heavy fishing line that is stretched between two points. This could be weights with some floating markers on each end or tie between two fixed points like trees. There are several hooks attached to each trotline and baited. The trotlines can be set out and left to check latter.
Best Catfish Bait
You will need to know a little bit about the catfish that you are trying to catch to know a little more about what bait to use. One good example is farm raised catfish. Farm raised catfish will bite just about anything you through at them. Catfish are bottom feeder scavengers with a really good since of smell.
All catfish love a good stink bait. They can't resist it. You can buy stink bait from the store or make up some of your own. Most of the homemade recipes contain rotten minnows and chicken liver mixed with other ingredients such as cheese, molasses and corn syrup. If you decide to make your own stink bait make sure you use an old blender and not your blender that you use for your own food.
If you do not wish to use a stink bait you can buy some chicken liver and for larger cats you can use some cut shad or sardines as bait.
Other Great Catfish Baits are as follows.
Night crawlers are great especially a group on a large hook to catch a monster flathead.
Crayfish are another good bait for flathead.
Best Methods for How to Catch a Catfish
If you are targeting flathead catfish it is best to use a method with some movement such as drift fishing or trolling.
For blue and channel catfish I typically rig up with a weight and leave about 2 to 3 feet of line beyond the weight and bottom fish.
If you are in a pond were the fish get fed then you will want to through on a cork and set the bait about 3 feet deep when you are around feeding time. One I was young my Grandfather had a pond that was stocked with catfish. We would load up on catfish using this method when it was getting close to feeding time. If it was outside of feeding time we would fish the bottom.
How to Catch a Catfish Wrap Up
There is some variation in baits to use depending on what type of catfish you are targeting but most of the catfish love a good meal of shad and stink bait. It never hurts to take a variety of baits with you to test what the cats are biting. I have even caught them on hotdogs in the past.