Catfish Course Day #3, The 8 Great Truths Of Catching Catfish
Same goes for the "tips" they throw around aimlessly.
That's why I try to talk to guys that have been catching catfish for years... the quiet guys - most of whom are a LOT older than me. They won't often approach you, but if you give them a friendly "hello" - you'll probably come away with some of the best catfish fishing advice you've ever heard.
The truth is, I've talked to hundreds of fishermen... and I only listen to the guys who have earned respect - the guys that have seen it all. I'd like to dedicate Day #3 to the guys preaching the "tried and true" methods of catfish fishing. I've boiled all of their tips down to the "8 Great Truths Of Catching Catfish", and here they are.
1. When fishing catfish with a rod and reel (like most of you will do), nothing beats 2/0 eagle claw baitholder hooks. You'll rarely miss a good strike from a cat - but it's important to keep them sharp. If you do, they will almost set themselves. The reason for a smaller hook is you will get more strikes from catfish, and if the hooks is small, it will still be hidden by the bait on the hook. (except for flathead...see #4)
2. As with most species, find underwater shelters such as man-made submerged object, fallen trees, piles of rocks, and any other underwater structure... and the best? Underwater BRUSH piles! Talk about a massive "plankton bloom" - you are talking thousands of minnows, shad, and other bait in your area... and that will bring the catfish in droves. Find out where these spots are, ask around, look for 'em. It will be worth your while, big time.
3. When river fishing for catfish, don't mess with store bought bait. It is important to use bait that is natural to the river. Using anything else will usually only bring disappointment. Also, you want to fish around structure upstream like brush piles, rock piles, log jams, etc.
4. Hook size for flatheads is best when it's 6/0 or 7/0 straight trotline hooks. Trying using a perch and hooking it right above the spine.
5. After talking to lots of old school catfishermen, here are the best baits - in order starting with the best:
6. Don't waste your time with bait that has been frozen. Only fish with live bait if you can - it will be so much more productive.
7. Contrary to popular belief, catfish are not always a bottom feeder. If you fish in somewhat shallow water, less than 20 feet, and the water is pretty still, and it is hot, the oxygen level at the bottom will be very low. The catfish, rather than suffocating on the bottom, will suspend to the shallow water so that they can breath better. You'll have to suspend your bait to catch them.
8. Try this drift fishing technique for catfish: take your bait to the bottom, and let your boat drift. Let the bait drag along the bottom. The bait will leave a scent trail for the fish to swim across, making it easy for them to find your bait - but make sure there isn't a lot of bottom structure to get hung up on! This works best with cut bait or stink bait.
And of course, the best "secret" to catfish is to find that zooplankton bloom. And the best way to do that is to have a Catfish Fishing Secret Weapon on board to create a large bloom of zooplankton instantly, almost anywhere.
Some guys refuse to use it because it makes things "too easy" - and they are catfish fishing for the challenge. Well, if you are one of these - that's fine, don't use it to catch catfish... use it to get natural live bait. In about 3 minutes will just a small net, you'll have all bait that you can handle.
Check it out here:
It's another long
one, but here's another snippet from the next secret weapon case
"...In about two minutes several dozen small minnows started to lazily swim in the around the secret. In just minutes there were hundreds more, and larger minnows swirling around. By then everyone had parked their rods and were leaning over the railing watching the developments. Then a small dark image darted from the darkness then deeper out of sight.
By now there were literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of minnows streaming in a large circle around the boat..."
Next up, 4 days from now, I'll talk about the best "technique" for catching your own bait - and later, how to use the Catfish Fishing Secret Weapon to actually catch catfish. You'll love these insider "techniques"...
The Catfish Fishing
P.S. Have a buddy
that would like to read this? Tell him about it here:
Catfish Fishing Secret