A Beginners Guide to Catfishing -- Part 1

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by SubnetZero, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

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    State:
    Sherman IL
    You don't need to speed alot of cash to start chasing Mr. Whiskers! If you are switching from fishing for other types of fish (bass, carp, etc), then you are probably already setup with what you need to get started. If you were primarily into panfishing (bluegill,crappie,etc) and used ultra-light tackle, you will most likely need to upgrade your tackle some. Keep in mind; Old timers were using willow branches they would cut out of the nearest tree and use any kind of cord, string, or rope they could get their hands on that they thought they could use. The main thing to remember, Just have fun, Relax, Enjoy getting out, and if you catch fish your way ahead of the game :)

    This is by far a NOT a complete list of tackle, rigs, or baits you can use. These are the most commonly used and most recommended by the members here on BOC from what I have seen. There is a ton of really good information in the BOC Library . If you have not visited it yet, you are truly missing out on some great information that could help put you onto bigger fish.

    Reels: Abu Garcia and Penn's are by far the most BOC recommended reels for every species of catfish.
    For Channels, Abu Garcia 5000 and 5500's seems to be the order or smaller Penn Models. You could also get by with a Zebco 33, or Small-Medium Spinning reel..
    For Large Blues and Flatheads: Abu Garcia 6500 or 7000 or a Large Penn such as a 209 or larger. Large Spinning Reel will also work. I hear some are having success with the Tidewater series from Shakespeare for a cheaper route.

    Rods: The Ugly Stick and Ugly Stick Tiger is by far the most recommended rod I see here on the BOC. Most that use them love them. They are tough, can handle even the largest of fish and can be picked up for a fair price from large dept stores or a sponsor here: www.catfishconnection.com .

    Rigs: Rigging for catfish usually consists of some type of “slip rig”. The weight is thread onto the mainline, a bead, a swivel, then a leader with the hook. The BOC Library has a lot of good information on rigging and pretty much everything else. I would suggest checking out This Thread in the Library for Basic Catfish rigs.

    Tackle:
    Hooks in various sizes for different size of baits. The circle and the kahle seem to be the two most used by BOC members. The main thing to remember is match the size of hook to the size of bait you are using. You don’t want too small a hook when trying to use large bait.

    Swivels are your standard barrel swivel. A #5 or bigger should be plenty. I would stay away from the snap swivel for large flatheads/blues. Many “fish that got away” stories have been told from the snap failing in the middle of the fight.

    Weights/Sinkers: No-Rolls, Bell, Bank, “No-Snag” and more. It is enough to make the new anglers head spin. There are many different types of sinkers because there are many different ways to fish. The main thing to keep in mind when selecting sinkers is try to match the size and style with the type of water and size of bait you are fishing. So be sure to have an assortment of sizes. A heavy river current with a large live bait will require a bigger sinker than fishing cut bait in your local pond. Experience and your first couple of casts into your fishing spot will dictate what you should be using.

    Line: Berkley Big Game/Big Cat (color solar green) is very popular and highly recommended with the BOC members for a Mono. 20# -40# appear to be the most talked about strength used. Very popular for nite fishing, as its quite easy to see with blacklight.
    Most of the more popular super braids in 40-80# tests are also used. Use a mono line to start the spool on a baitcaster, or the super braid will slip on the spool.

    Bait:
    For Channel Cats, its hard to beat a good Stink/Punch bait. Sonny’s, Junnies Super Sticky, and Danny Kings Punch bait are reported to be producing nice numbers of channel cats consistently.. Worms, Crickets, catalpa worms, Chicken Livers and a huge selection of home concoctions are used. While you may occasionally catch a large cat using dip baits, you will mostly catch channel cats 10# or under

    BIG Channels and Blues: Cut bait is the name of the Game for these large fish. Cut Shad, Skipjack, and creek chubs are most widely used with success. You will consistently catch bigger catfish with large chunks of cut bait or live bait.

    Flatheads: Flatheads prefer LIVE bait. Shad, Skipjack, Creek chubs, Bluegill, GoogleEye, Goldfish etc are feature baits on this menu. Whatever bait fish that is local to the water your fishing is the most recommended. While you can catch flatheads on stinkbait, livers, cutbait, and even odd stuff like chewing gum, you will have far better success catching them using live baits.

    Getting live baits or fish for cutbait, use a cast net. You will see Shad “flipping” the top of water. You can usually find them near Damns, bridges and coves. They show up as a cloud on a fish finder. Bluegill, Googleye, etc. are easily obtained using a tiny hook with a small piece of worm fished next to rip rap or log pile/blow downs.
     
  2. pursuit

    pursuit New Member

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    Thanks, this is really helpful for convert such as myself. This should be a permanent sticky.
     

  3. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

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    Tim: good post, we sometimes forget some are just starting
     
  4. catfishingabber

    catfishingabber New Member

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    California
    this thred was a great help thanks for posting it it will be a good help for a greenhorn like myself
     
  5. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

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    Kentucky
    Good read! As most things I get into the equipment aspect is one part of it I really enjoy!
     
  6. elphaba7

    elphaba7 New Member

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    Mo'town, WV
    Tim, that is a great post! It's like a compilation of all the great advice offered here. :smile2:
     
  7. PapaBear6801

    PapaBear6801 New Member

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    Indiana
    Great info. It will come in handy since I'm wanting to get some new gear soon.
     
  8. Gabowman

    Gabowman Member

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    State:
    Georgia
    Glad I ran across this post. For a newbie I'm still trying to learn myself around the site and this post was helpful. Some great tips.
     
  9. Ellis

    Ellis New Member

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    State:
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Great guide. Im going out to buy some of this stuff tomorrow:big_smile:
     
  10. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

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    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    This is more of Part --1

    I was reading Through Tim Hagan's section here on the BOC and it made me realize something I should have included in the first part. If you are just starting out, booking a trip with a good guide can be worth its weight in gold.
    Now, you may be thinking that booking a trip to just to start catfishing may be expensive, consider this. You will most likely learn more in that one trip than hundreds of trips on your own or countless magazine articles or even BOC threads you may read. A good guide has spent thousands of hours and small fortunes fishing/scouting/learning their local waters and sorting through untold amounts of tackle and gear on their way to becoming an expert.

    Using Tim Hagan as an example, lets see what it really costs to go out for a full 8 hour trip. For BOC members, Tim offers an 8 hour trip for 2 people at $200, or $100 a head. Generally, most guides provide you with everything, boat, bait, gear,etc. except maybe drinks. Think about that. You will get to see/learn what gear they use, how they have their boat setup, what bait they use that produces, etc. Your already learning some of the most important information for getting setup correctly and you haven't even left the dock yet. For equipment, guides want/need something that is easy to use, will handle the fish they are after, and will hold up and last to day in and day out fishing. They can't afford to always have equipment failure. It's bad for their customers and expensive for them.
    After getting out on the water, watch and ask!, how he targets fish. Watch how he uses his fish finder. Watch how he targets structure, rip-rap, cut banks, etc. Most guides are more than willing to share their knowledge. They love fishing too, and most will take joy in passing on their experience to a new angler. There's nothing better than talking fishing with a fisherman :big_smile:
    If your really new to fishing, ask him to show you how to tie a knot, how to rig your line, etc. Pay attention to the techniques he is using. Are you drifting, are you fishing back sides of drop offs, throwing into a shallow flat, fishing the edge of a deep hole, is he primarily jumping from logjams and blowdowns.... All this information is gold when chasing Mr. Whiskers. Also, Just because your on a boat doesn't mean you can't use the same patterns and principles if your a bank fisherman.
    Reading through some of the trips Tim has this year, he has helped quite a few people break their personal best catches. So, for $100 you get 8 hours with an expert with over 20 years experience, you didn't have to worry about gas, towing the boat, bait, gear,etc. and will more than likely have a trip that will provide memories for years to come all the while gaining knowledge and insite on what does and doesn't work. Sounds like a bargain to me...
     
  11. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

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    3,780
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    Nice post Tim!
    Rep points for sure.......
     
  12. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

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    4,303
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    Thats some good ifo, Tim.
     
  13. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

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    State:
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    www.catfishconnection.com is no longer a sponsor of the BOC. Great library material, we can remove CC when it hits the library. :wink:
     
  14. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words Tim just happy to help out and maybe make a differents in someones fishing.
     
  15. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

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    there is one thing missing that my wife needs to learn and that is patience. she cant keep her liver in the water. she brings it back in every 3 minutes with a wad of water salad instead of letting a catfish find it.
     
  16. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

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    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    Just bumping this thread back up for new members..:cool2:
     
  17. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

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    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Tim, is there gonna be another installment? Part 2? I saw 1a, but thought I'd ask. I'm gonna get this in the library in the next few days and want to make sure I get all of it. Thanks for a great post. Don't know why I haven't seen this before now.
     
  18. BigOlGooduns

    BigOlGooduns New Member

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    Texas
    That is some good info, thanks for posting!
     
  19. cashcat

    cashcat New Member

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    nebraska
    thanks for the good read!!!
     
  20. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    I planned on writting more parts to this, but life been keeping me busy :sad2:

    If/when I write some more up, ill PM it to ya ...