Catfish Fishing Tips, Fishing tackle for your catfish rod setup should consist of enough lead or weight to get the line down and hold it on or near the bottom of the lake or river.  Catfish are mostly bottom feeders so you will have much better luck when your catfish bait is on or close to the bottom of the body of water you are fishing. There are two main choices that make a good fishing tackle setup. 

A simple, easy fishing tackle choice is to place the lead or sinker at the end of your leader.  When you do this you will need to use a dropper for your hook and catfish bait.  Another option is to use a sliding sinker at the end of your main line or on a three foot leader with a barrel swivel on each end of the leader. Locate the sinker between the swivels.  Using the leader will help prevent loss of fishing tackle. The hook is located on a leader at the very end of your line.  The sliding sinker will allow fish to take the catfish bait without feeling any resistance and you will feel the bite very easily as well.

My personal preference is to use the sliding sinker .  I use this type rig for most all of my bottom fishing unless I want the bait suspended above the bottom.  However catfish don’t normally drop the bait just because they feel resistance. 

Another one of my catfish fishing tips is to use the dropper mentioned above
 with more than one hook dropper. You can use two or three hooks depending on what is allowed in your state regulations. The best reason to do this is to test more than one catfish bait at a time. Sometimes the catfish may be drawn by one bait smell but bite on another. 

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Fishing Tackle Recomended Line Weights

These Catfish Fishing tips will help you to retain most of your fishing tackle or at least keep you from loosing your main line from your catfish rig.

Selecting the correct line weights for the various parts of your catfish rig will determine how much fishing tackle you will loose when snagged on a log or in the rocks on the bottom of the lake or river. 

As a general rule to prevent fishing tackle loss you should drop the strength of your line by 20% between your main line, leader and bottom weight dropper.   This will insure that when stuck,  most likely the only fishing tackle you will loose is your bottom weight.  However if your hook is stuck into a log or between rocks, depending on which rig you use, you may loose both your hook and bottom weight but your main line will not break.  

The line holding the sinker should be the lightest weight line used.  Your leader holding your hook should be about 20% stronger than your sinker line but 20% weaker than your main line.  As an example:  if your main line is 25# you could use a leader for your hook at 20# and a dropper for your sinker that is 16# or less.   

One thing to consider is the weight of your leader;  I like for it to be greater than the weight of the fish you are likely to catch.   Set up your fishing tackle so that the leader, located between the hook and main line swivel, is strong enough to hoist a fish by hand.

However this is not always possible when catching very large fish.  In this case use a fishing net or slip your hand into the gills of the catfish to hoist it on bank or into the boat.

As an example If fishing for channels weighing about 10 lbs. in a river or lake near snags. For my catfish rig I would use a main line weight of 20-30lbs,  a hook leader at 15-20 lbs.  and a dropper for my lead at 10lbs.  This would prevent me from losing my main line and most of my fishing tackle should I get my lead snagged.

Another great catfish fishing tips is to use a short length of light line on your catfish rig sinker.  Purchase a slider that has a clip for your lead.  Place the slider on your main line or your leader.  Instead of attaching the lead directly to the clip, use a light line in the weight  described above to attach it.  The light line will break when you are stuck so that the lead is the most you will loose.

Catfish fishing Tips about How Catfish bite; Catfish are normally very aggressive.  They are not shy and heavy fishing tackle does not prevent them from biting.  Also they will usually not waste much time playing with your catfish bait.  Generally a few pecks to get your attention and then off they go.  I prefer to let them run a little ways giving them all the slack line I can before setting the hook.  Depending on the type of fishing tackle you are using this can be done by opening the bail on your open face fishing reel, or leaving the lock off, and click on, for a bait casting fishing reel.  

Catfish Fishing Tips for gear; For large catfish I prefer using a catfish rig with a bait casting type fishing reel on a fast action heavy fishing pole about 6 to 7 feet long.  The bait casting reel is made to handle a heavy fish and the fast action pole has a light tip which makes it easy to see the bite but a heavy butt to handle big fish. Whatever type of catfish rig, fishing reel and fishing pole you prefer to use as your favorite fishing tackle setup, It’s best to set the hook after the catfish runs about 10-15 feet. 

Here is one of the most important of Catfish Fishing tips:  One other piece of fishing tackle you will want to carry with you is a pair or long nose pliers or a plastic hook remover.  Catfish bait is often swallowed along with the hook making it difficult to remove.  If you forget to bring your hook remover it may be easier to cut the line than to pull out the hook especially if you want to let the fish go. Otherwise you may kill it trying to remove a hook that has been swallowed, but don’t forget to retrieve your hook if you take the catfish home for dinner.


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