Catfish

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Catfishing
Small Catfish out of the water.

Small Catfish out of the water.

Catfish are an obsession with many anglers in North America.  They live in all types of water and can grow to good size.  They are good fighters.  In the US, there are three main types of catfish; Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish.  White Catfish and Bullhead Catfish are not as sought after.  Channel Catfish are scavengers while Blue and Flathead tend to be more predatory.  You can catch Channels and sometimes Blues with various cut baits or dough mixtures.  Flathead Catfish like live bait.

A catfish can bite with a sudden strike or it can slowly sit there and suck your bait till you have an empty hook.  They are attracted by the sense of smell more than reacting to movement.  Some catfish are taken on lures in a reaction bite, but they are usually the exception to the rule.  Catfish can be solitary or in large groups.  When in groups, feeding by one will make the whole group more aggressive and the strikes will become more pronounced.  Chumming is sometimes don’t to attract catfish in numbers.

Most people who fish for catfish use line with a high tensile strength.  Braid is by far the favorite because it can be much stronger with a smaller line diameter.  Braid also sinks well.  This line should be chosen with your fish in mind.  10 pound line does little to help the angler to bring in a 50 pound catfish.  It can be done but a bit of planning and research on the waters to be fished will avoid many headaches later.  Small catfish can be taken with spincast reels.  For the larger fish, your reel and pole needs to be designed to handle big fish.  The action on a pole made for trout or bass fishing is very different than that of a catfish pole.

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