Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Do you want to learn how to catch more catfish? Do you know that catfish is one of the most popular fish in the U.S.? They are plentiful, can grow to be very large, and are delicious. If you want to take more catfish home, we discuss catfishing tips to help you be more successful with fishing for catfish.

Catfishing Tips
Catfishing Tips

Catfishing Tips

1. Trolling

Trolling is one of the popular fishing methods used by anglers to fish for catfish. Trolling is done from a boat in which it is moved slowly over the water with the bait and the line attached to the back of the boat. You can place the fishing rod in its holder. When a fish strikes, you grab the rod and quickly reel in the fish.

2. Casting

Casting can be used to fish for catfish. Casting from a boat is the usual way anglers cast for catfish. Cast at different areas to find where the catfish are located.

3. Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is another fishing method used to catch catfish. It is mostly used by anglers with more experience and skills.

4. Still Fishing

Still fishing is also used to catch catfish. it is a very simple yet effective way to catch fish. When still fishing, you drop your line with bait into the water and don’t move it. Just sit and wait for a fish to strike.

5. Night Fishing

Night fishing can be very productive when fishing for catfish. Most fish are more actively feeding at night as the danger from predators is not present. This makes them less wary and helps anglers catch more fish.

6. Drift Fishing

Drift fishing from a boat is another fishing method used to catch catfish. Drift fishing allows you to cover different habitats and gives you the opportunity to catch different species of fish. Use a bobber with your bait when drift fishing.

Catfish Fishing Tackle

A 7-foot or longer fishing rod with a 20-pound test line will work for fishing for catfish. When choosing a fishing rod, you want one that will allow you to cast the bait at a good distance, is strong for the fight, and is sensitive to pick up a faint bite. A bait-casting reel or a spin-casting reel will work.

Types of Catfish

There are four different types of catfish in the United States. They are the Channel catfish, flathead, blue, and bullheads.

1. Channel Catfish

The channel catfish is the most common type of catfish. It feeds on minnows and small fish as well as crawfish. It is smaller than the blue and flathead catfish.

2. Flathead Catfish

The flathead catfish features a long body and a square, flattened head.  The flathead is hard to find as they are solitary. They prefer live prey and will put up a serious fight when they are on the hook.

Tips For Catfishing
Tips For Catfishing

3. Blue Catfish

The blue catfish is the biggest catfish in the United States. You can quicker land a blue than any of the other catfish as they are more of them. Blues grow very big and not solitary as flatheads. You can find them around strong water currents as they try to ambush their prey. They can also be found in deeper waters in lakes and sections of main rivers.

4. Bullhead

Bullheads are smaller than other catfish and therefore are not usually the target of anglers. You can find them in rivers, ponds, and lakes. Bullheads eat almost anything and stinkbait, nightcrawlers, and many other bait types can be used to catch them.

Ideas For Catfishing
Ideas For Catfishing

Catfishing Tips

1.  Live bait is what blues and flatheads like especially fish. This is one of the best catfishing tips to implement.

2. Blues, channels, and flatheads are low-light predators and they depend on smell more than sight.

3. Always use the right line for catching catfish. They can put up a serious fight when on the hook. Therefore, make sure you have a quality line. Most of the time, you will learn this from experience. It is one of the catfishing tips that you will know but not realize its importance until you experience it firsthand.

Catfishing Tricks
Catfishing Tricks

4.  Be sure that your hooks are strong and sharp to catch and hold big catfish. They should also be the right sizes. Quality hooks will also make you more successful when fishing and this is one of the best catfishing tips to remember.

5.  Use baitfish like shad and perch for blues and flathead. Don’t use stinky baits. 

6. Be aware of the laws in your state concerning fishing and what is legal to use as bait. There are many catfishing tips to catch more fish but you want to not do anything illegal. It is not worth it.

Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish

7.  You can use stink bait on channel catfish. Sponge baits or dip bait worms on a treble hook can also be used for fishing for channels.

8. Make sure you are using the right bait. Catfish weighing in excess of 10 pounds eat fish. Hence, use fish baits like minnows, goldfish, shad, herring, carp, chubs, goldeyes, and sunfish.

Catfishing Ideas
Catfishing Ideas

9. Use stink baits like dough baits, dip baits, sponge baits, and tube baits for small catfish.

10. Whisker fish weighing a few pounds can be targeted using night crawlers, minnows, and crayfish.

11. A treble hook may be better for holding bait such as liver or cheese, but a circle hook is effective for practicing catch and release.

Catfish Ideas
Catfish Ideas

12.  Channel catfish are very active at night. But that should not stop you from daytime fishing. They have a ferocious appetite and if you find where they are in the day, you can get them.

13.  Use Google Earth to locate deep creek channels, deep holes, and flats. Then you can focus on these areas to catch some of them. Catfishing tips like this will make it easier to find fish.

14. Catfish feed by smell and touch in murky and muddy waters. This makes it ideal for stinky baits. Try to get your bait off the bottom. Try floating jig heads, inline floats, or bobbers.

15. If you are not getting much response from catfish in one area, don’t remain there until you get a bite. Move to other areas when the fish are not biting. Many inexperienced anglers make this mistake all too often. If you don’t remember any of the catfishing tips, this is one to always remember and observe how long you spend in one location without any bite.

Catfish Tips
Catfish Tips
How deep should you fish for catfish?
You should fish for catfish between 15 and 20 feet in lakes.
What size hooks for catfish?
The standard size of hooks for catching catfish is 1X gauge while you can use 2X gauge for large blues.
What is the best time of day to fish for catfish?
The best time of the day to catch catfish is early morning up to 10:00 am.
Where do catfish hide?
Catfish can be found during the day in muddy waters. You can also find them in river bends, deep holes, humps, deep weed edges, drop-offs, etc.
How far should you cast for catfish?
You should cast about 100 yards or more.
How do you find a catfish hole?
Holes on big rivers are usually below dams, near river bends, and near tributary mouths. For smaller rivers, you can find holes below shoals where the current washes away the bottom substrate.
Are circle hooks better for catfish?
Circle hooks are not the best hooks to use. They result in more hook-ups.

The Bottom Line

Catfish are found in almost every state in the United States. Most of them grow to be very large and they are tasteful. In this guide, we discussed some of the best catfishing tips that you can learn to help you catch more catfish.

Unlike bass fishing, fishing for catfish involves some fighting when they are on the hook. You must have quality hooks and lines to withstand the onslaught. You can read this article on fly fishing tips to be a better flyfish angler if you also fly fish. You can also read bass fishing tips, trout fishing tips for beginners, redfish fishing tips, pike fishing tips, and bluegill fishing tips.