Blue Catfish Fishing

For blue catfish fishing, keep close to warm waters; they occur most commonly in areas where lakes and rivers never reach incredibly cold temperatures, as this particular species doesn’t tolerate cold well. They much prefer a warm location for their entire lives and not just for spawning. For example, while not native to the area, blue catfish have been introduced into rivers in the panhandle of Florida, including the Escambia and Yellow Rivers, where waters stay warm, and the population has begun to thrive.

Unlike the flathead variety of catfish, blues don’t like muddy water. Blue catfish fishing is best in clear waters with swift currents and bottoms of sand, gravel or rock. While they choose to spawn in drift pile, logs, and dark secluded areas (especially near the bank), you will more often find them in clear, open waters. Therefore, during the late spring months, you may be more likely to find a trophy sized fish fishing the shallows from the shoreline, while midsummer months require a boat and navigation into the lakes and down the rivers to target fast moving, clear water.

In order to catch blue catfish, fishing requires hefty equipment. The best tactics to use are to simply try a rod and reel, use bush hooks, or rig up trotlines that you can leave overnight. If you don’t have fresh fish for bait, try something rotting, since catfish seek food based on smell rather than sight. Be sure that your line tests for heavy fish – with luck, you’ll easily pick up a 50-pounder!

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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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