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Fishing Freshwater

How to Catch Catfish: Secrets of Landing Monster Blues & Flatheads

by Jeff Samsel   |  August 28th, 2013 0

It looked like we were headed offshore. Half a dozen pool-cue-sized rods were matched with big conventional reels, spooled with heavy braid and completed with 3-ounce weights and 10/0 heavy-gauge circle hooks. Instead we were river bound for a day of hunting trophy catfish.

Sport catfishing has gone through many changes over the past couple of decades, most notably in the realm of gear and techniques used to intentionally target outlandish-sized fish. Time has taught serious cat men that big cats behave differently than their smaller cousins. While it’s true that almost any catfish outing could result in a jumbo fish, you’re chances of landing a monster increase dramatically when you know how to catch catfish. This includes intentionally setting up in locations where big cats tend to lurk, using baits that appeal to heavyweight fish, and arming yourself with tackle that can handle giant catfish.

Although channel catfish occasionally reach very large sizes, when the subject is trophy cat hunting, you’re essentially talking about fishing for blue and flathead catfish. Cats of either kind weighing 40 pounds are fairly common in many waterways, and both fish of species sometimes reach triple-digit weights.

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