Beginning Catfish 101

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by IMADREAMER, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. IMADREAMER

    IMADREAMER New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    IOWA
    Hello to all,
    I'm new to the site, actually I read alot and just haven't posted... I like all the information and would like to try catfishing. I mainly fish for bass, walleyes,and crappie, but I'm open to try somethiing new. Any pointers to get me started?
    Thanks,
    Noel
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Well, you've gotten over the first hurdle which is the desire to fish for the baddest fresh water fish in North America! Now you need to decide if you are after numbers of 1-5lb fish, or the wiley old big fish Blues or Flatheads. If you are going for numbers your current fishing equipment is likely all you need. For bait you can get my old standby chicken liver, or any over the counter stinkbaits, or the trusty night crawler. If fishing a lake, they like the same cover as bass, put a split shot on a crawler toss it near cover and wait for them to bite. If you are in a river it is hard to beat the outlet of a dam or spillway. You have to use heavier sinkers but the channels line up for breakfast til noon.

    Going after the big boys requires some homework and bigger equipment and either live bait or large cut bait. I cannot stress the importance of size. I like to use eating size bluegill and consider my standby bait goldfish, rather small. You can find these near heavy cover, or when feeding at the top (upstream) side of a hole (deeper part).

    This is only a small synopsis but I hope it gets you started. Welcome to the BOC!
     

  3. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    First off welcome to the BOC. If youve ever fished for crappies with minnows and a bobber you can do the same for channels. Just beef up your line and hooks if you can. Let us know what type of equipment you have, reels, line and what not. When you go take several types of bait, minnows, liver, worms or whatever. You can always catch your bait with these for the big cats.
     
  4. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Welcome aboard, just remember you don't have to spend a ton of money to catfsh. A good reel and a ugly stick rod is a hard combo to beat, one of my favorite poles is a tidewater reel and a ugly stick pole. But I also have some that cost less. Circle hooks seem to be the way to go. Atleast use 20lbtest or braid of a higher lb test. Have a good assortment of weights on hand. You can use live or cut bait, but don't forget about shad guts. Skipjack works real well too. Just remember to have fun.
     
  5. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    First of all, welcome to the BOC. We are all glad to have you here. But like the others said, you dont need a lot of money or equipment if you want to catfish. What I like to use for channel cats (the more common species) is a rod and reel (it really doesnt matter too much, since they can be caught on almost any outfit) and some 20 pound cajun red (cast or lightning, doesnt matter)/20 lb. berkley big game. The 20 pound gives you the advantage if you hook into a bigger fish, say something around 15 pounds or so. The hooks I have used so far are 4/0 gamakatsu circle hooks that I snelled. The smaller size lets bullheads eat the bait too, so that way you can catch them instead of having them just steal it off the hook, as well as the circle hook sets on them automatically (by the way, dont do like Shaw Grigsby and stick your finger in their mouths lol. That is some major pain there, and an occassional blood drop.) Where I fish, livers work excellent, but stinkbaits like Premo (I highly recommend) and Danny King's punch bait is reputed to be the king of all small catfish. And then there is the classic fat nightcrawler that works almost everywhere for almost any kind of fish ;)

    :0a26: and it can at least get you out there catching something.
     
  6. AdamL

    AdamL New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    NC
    What everyone has already said is true. If you want to go catfishin, tackle is gonna be the least of your worries, especially on your wallet. Its some of the most simple fishin you can do. If its "eaters" you want to catch all you need is a simple rig to fish the bottom and live minnows. You can catch them until you get tired of pulling them in. But catfishing is addictive and your gonna eventually catch a larger catfish on that little bait accidentally. That only leads to opening your wallet again and going to bigger tackle and bigger, and somtimes hard to come by, bait. When you get into the big cats you aint gonna be able to stop. Pretty soon you'll have a setup able to pull small vehicles from the bottom of your favorite fishin hole. Once you start naming and categorizing your rods its over with. So cancel your appointments, grab your gear, and forget "whats her name". Welcome to the BOC.
     
  7. stickthrower

    stickthrower New Member

    Messages:
    313
    State:
    Possum Kingdom Lk, TX

    WELCOME ABOARD! And the posts above pretty much cover the bases to get you started!

    Frank
     
  8. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    Glad to hear you are ready to step up to the big freshwater fish!!

    Since you know how to catch Largemouth and Crappie, you have learned how to catch bait for catfish. Fillets from these two fish make wonderful bait for bigger catfish.

    If you have a boat you have been using for your other fishing, then you will be able to cover a lot more water and have more opportunities available. You can catch a catfish about anywhere if you anchor up and wait, but the more experienced catfishermen narrow down the search to particular areas that hold more fish such as drop-off edges.

    Anchoring is one way to catch catfish, and trolling or drifting is another. This technique will allow you to cover more water, just as throwing a spinnerbait will allow you to cover water a lot faster than throwing a Texas rigged worm. Trolling can be done similar to what is done for Walleye, except you do not need downriggers or planer boards and you can do it wind drifting or with a small battery operated trolling motor.

    Tackle for cats is relatively cheap compared to the $120 baitcasters and $100 rods that all the bass fishermen want to throw! Generally, you do not need as accurate a rod/reel combo for casting as you do with bass fishing, and you do not as sensitive a rod, because when a cat hits you know it!! You can get set-up with a good Abu Garcia 5000 from E-Bay for around $35 and a Ugly-Stik catfish rod from Wal-Mart for $30. So, $65 for a rod/reel combo and you are set to go. Of course as you get into it more you will several of these.

    Circle hooks are a very good hook for catfish. They virtually eliminate the need to set the hook. Just wait for the rod to fold over and start reeling.

    As for rigs, there are tons of combinations and they all work. It really depends on the type of fish you are doing. Anchoring involves a different set-up than drifting. You can read through some of the posts on this forum and learn more detailed info about the variations.

    One of these nice things about fishing for catfish is you do not have to spend thousands on lures like bass fishing. Your "lures" are swimming around the lakes and rivers where you fish. Bream, Crappie, Largemouth, White Perch, Stripped Bass, and shad all make great bait. Learning to throw a cast net can land you a lot of shad iin the right conditions. Don't throw away the light weight gear, because that will come in handy for hooking some bream for east bait.

    Scroll through all the posts and you will probably be able to put together a good starting technique to take out on the water and fish. From there time and experience will allow you to fine tune that tehcnique into something that works for you on your water.
     
  9. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    A lot of great info here folks. Ditto to the above post. I would like to add a comfortable chair is good too. Catfishing is relaxing to me. Cast, sit and relax is my motto:)
     
  10. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    they have almost covered every thing they just forgot one of the most important things a good rod holder you dont want that new rig sailing into the water its kinda exciteing when it happen then afterward it kinda sucks so remember allways have a good rodholder o yea and welcome to the boc
     
  11. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I would start off with 20 lb test line, a good reel a MH rod, and worms or livers for bait.
     
  12. IMADREAMER

    IMADREAMER New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    IOWA
    Thanks for all the replies,
    I really appreciate them.
    Tight lines,
    Noel
     
  13. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    welcome aboard, just continue reading and and you will be catching more and bigger cats soon. Good luck
     
  14. okiekrawler

    okiekrawler New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    roland ,oklahoma
    welcome to the BOC. about the only thing i can say is go fishing. i'm not sure if anyone has mentioned it but one thing you might want to do is keep a log. if you are new to cattin every trip will be a brand new adventure. might as well start off right.