Some folks say the largemouth bass, with its hard-hitting, high-jumping fighting style, is our finest sport fish. Others believe itâ€™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 themâ€”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 wonâ€™t frown while youâ€™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 youâ€™ll hook and land more catfish (and who doesnâ€™t?) itâ€™s important to realize that while catfishing isnâ€™t a complicated sport, neither should it be oversimplified. You canâ€™t just plop down in a lawn chair by the waterâ€™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 itâ€™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 resumĂ© listing more than 3,800 magazine, newspaper and website articles about fishing, hunting, wildlife and conservation, Keith â€śCatfishâ€ť Sutton of Alexander, Ark., has established a reputation as one of the countryâ€™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 heâ€™s written are available through his website.