Some folks say the largemouth bass, with its hard-hitting, high-jumping fighting style, is our finest sport fish. Others believe it’s the colorful, acrobatic trout, the good-things-come-in-small-packages bluegill, the scrappy crappie, good-eating walleye or numerous other game fishes, each of which holds a special attraction for its own group of fans.
For millions of anglers, however, Mr. Whiskers, the catfish, is the undisputed monarch of all pole-benders.
There are good reasons folks love catfish, chief among them the fact that cats always seem hungry and eager to bite. Everyone can catch them—young anglers and old, skilled and unskilled. And fun catching it is. A muscular catfish will do its best to throw a hook, and that bull-doggish ferocity puts smiles on the faces of all anglers.
Catfish are widespread, abundant in many waters, grow very large and are quite delicious, too. And your fellow catfishing enthusiasts won’t frown while you’re cleaning small fish for the table. For most catfish anglers, eating the catch is part of the joy of fishing.
If you want to increase the odds you’ll hook and land more catfish (and who doesn’t?) it’s important to realize that while catfishing isn’t a complicated sport, neither should it be oversimplified. You can’t just plop down in a lawn chair by the water’s edge, make a cast and expect to catch cats.
Instead, you should study the habits of your quarry and learn how to present the right bait, in the right place, at the right time, to entice the fish you hope to catch, whether it’s an eating-size channel cat for the dinner table or a trophy-class blue or flathead that will test your tackle and determination.
With that in mind, we offer the following 10 tips that can help you be more successful the next time you go catfishing.
About the Author
With a resumé listing more than 3,800 magazine, newspaper and website articles about fishing, hunting, wildlife and conservation, Keith “Catfish” Sutton of Alexander, Ark., has established a reputation as one of the country’s best-known outdoor writers. In 2012, he was enshrined in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Communicator. The 12 books he’s written are available through his website.