The Secrets Of Catching Giant Catfish

A trotline is a heavy line strung between town trees, or anchored on the bottom at one end, with 25-50 dropper lines with 2/0 hooks and live bait. The lines are left unattended and run periodically to re-bait and remove fish.

Both juglines and trotlines are great ways to catch a lot of fish in a relatively short time. A variation of the trot line is the rubber band line, where the deep end is anchored with a rubber sling on the end, and the other end is attached to a tree or other anchor point on shore. They can be run by pulling in the line, which stretched the rubber band on the other end, re-baiting and removing fish, then slowly allowing the contracting rubber sling to pull the line back out. They are a bit more dangerous to use, because if you let the line slip while running it, you run the very real danger of having a multitude of large, sharp hooks impaling you, and possibly dragging you into the water. You should always have another person with you when using these types of lines.

If you want to go one-on-one with these organic attack submarines, the best place is in the fast waters below tailraces. You need a heavy rod, large hooks, and heavy weights to hold the live bait against the current. Toss your bait into eddies near the gates and HOLD ON. Tailraces can be dangerous. Stay aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to move quickly should the water start to rise.

No discussion of catfishing would be complete without a mention of the dubious practice of noodling. Noodling is simply wading along rip-raps and other structure, sticking your hand in and physically pulling large catfish from their lairs, or allowing them to bite you, and pulling them out. This is cave-man fishing at its best, but not for the faint of heart. A large catfish can hurt you, especially when you are in its element, ie; the water. It is legal in many states.

Flathead Catfishing is a separate activity. Most are caught on trotlines set in slow moving rivers. Again, heavy tackle is required, but rather than the active procedures used to the other species, a more passive method is used.

Simply cast your line out near suitable structure, with a live fish on it, and let it sit, and sit, and sit. Flatheads are moody and take their time to bite. Patience pays off when fishing for these monsters.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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