Catfish is probably one of the most underestimated fish species in the world. Not that they can be really big, most of the time catfish makes you fight until the end, and last but not the least, catfish have a great taste. If the lake near you has catfish in it if you learn some of the basic catfish fishing tricks you could end up with many memorable hours by the lake.
This guide will provide you all the information you’ll need to learn how to catch catfish in the lake.
The bottom of the lake plays a significant role in your success. Although possible to find catfish basically anywhere, even in the shallows when they get there to eat, finding the area with the hard bottom will most often result in more bites. Of course, you should check every place you can, but it is more likely you’ll catch a catfish at the hard bottom, like clay, gravel, or rock, than at the mud bottom.
Depth And Temperature
Catfish prefer certain temperatures, so as the weather changes, they’ll move, too. During winter, they love to hang around as deep as possible, looking for a temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When the spring comes and the spawning time along with it, they’ll move up to the shallows until the temperature drops again.
It is not impossible to catch a catfish during winter, but it is not a regular occurrence, because they’ll basically go as deep as possible, as long there is enough oxygen, to stay warm.
The Best Bait
This is something you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking of, as they will eat basically anything they could lay their mouth on. Their favorite food is liver, earth, and mealworms, crickets are a special treat, but have no worries if you don’t have those within a hand reach, sometimes even a hotdog or a ham will do.
You could also use artificial baits like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms, but if you have an option to go with the natural bait, do it.
The Bait Size
This is directly correlated to the size of the fish you’re looking for. If you want the small ones, go with the worms or minnows. If you would love to get one of the bigger fish, use shad or bream. Another trick you’ll find useful – take your time to pre-bait the hole. It will draw their attention and gather them where you want them, so there will be more fish in a smaller area.
You Find Them – You Get Them
Lazy is probably the best word to describe catfish. They don’t love to roam around so much, so once you find where their shelter is, there shouldn’t be much of a problem to catch them. Check out the best fish finders to help you locate them.
The Bigger Fish, The Bigger The Rod
Again, the best rod and reel depends on the size of the fish you think you’ll catch. Ask around about the area and get the information about the size of the fish most often caught in a specific place. For instance, if you’ll be fishing for smaller catfish, go with light spinning rods. It will also be more fun this way. On the opposite end, if you expect to catch some big representatives, get an action-ready rod, make sure that the reel has a good drag, and that fishing line is also strong enough to endure the fight.
Finding The Best Tackle – Be Creative
When buying a tackle, you should consider one thing – the hook sharpness. There are a few different catfish tackle options, but basically, any tackle will work as long as the hook is sharp enough. The reason comes from a catfish mouth. Unlike most other fish species that have a soft mouth, catfish has a thick and hard mouth that is not easy to penetrate. That’s why it is recommended to have a hook sharp enough it could penetrate deeply.
This is also the opportunity to get creative, if you love to try out different things, and make your own tackle.
The Other Recommended Gear
For a successful lake catfish fishing, there is some other stuff you’ll need to make yourself comfortable.
No matter if you’ll be fishing during winter or summer, sunglasses should be a “must-have”. They will remove the effect of a sun reflection so you’ll be able to see under the surface. This becomes especially important in shallow waters. Check out our suggestions for the best fishing sunglasses.
Although the vast majority of the population has cameras on their phones, it is always a good idea to purchase a proper digital camera that will help you capture the most important parts of your trip.
If you’ll be away for a few days, you’ll need a cooler to stash your food and your drinks to keep yourself full and hydrated.
And you could use it to keep your fish from going bad until you get back home.
Additional Clothing And Cold Weather Gear
If you plan to go ice fishing, check our guide about cold weather fishing gear. Even if you’ll be fishing during summer, make sure you have extra clothes, just in case you take an accidental swim, fully clothed.
Easy, lightweight, and cheap, neck gaiters will keep the sun away from your neck and face during the hot summer days and it will serve as an extra layer that will keep your neck warm if the temperature is low.
Remember, it is important to protect yourself from sun rays, so don’t joke about it. While you fish the sun reaches your skin, so to avoid any problems, be responsible, have sunscreen on, and enjoy your trip stress-free.
Globo Surf Overview
Fishing a catfish is not complicated, but you’ll have to follow some steps. This article should serve you as a good starting point on how to how to catch catfish in the lake. The rest is up to you.