Catching Channel, Blue and Flathead Catfish

A great time to catch blues is during their spawning season in the early summer months of June and July.  Blues like to hide deep down in out of the way places, but in the early mornings or late at night, you will find them wandering the open waters.  Night time is usually the best time to catch them.

Blues rely almost completely on their sense of smell, not sight, in looking for food.  This means two things – one, they don’t go for artificial lures.  You can almost never catch a blue cat with anything other than live bait.  Two, they love any kind of bait that stinks.  Catfish are known for this, but blues especially love tuna, shrimp, other fish and even other catfish.  The bigger blues will eat nothing but live fish, so this is the bait to use.

When fishing for blues, use a good, heavy rod and reel.  They put up a good fight, and you might have to really wrestle one to the shore.  You should go with a shorter line, so that it is less likely to break.  Trotlining is also a great way to catch blues easily.

Flathead Catfish

Flatheads are known by their distinctively shaped head.  Usually they are orange or brown in color.  They are the second largest species of catfish to blues, and make great trophy fish for you to show off to your buddies.

Look for flatheads in big rivers and streams.  They live in just about any big body of water, and prefer to stick to areas where there is lots of cover.  You might have to poke around a bit before you find out where they are hiding.  Flatheads can be pretty elusive fish.

Flatheads have a wide, smooth mouth, and the best way to catch them is to use big, extra sharp hooks.  You should always sharpen your hooks when catfish fishing, but this is especially true for flatheads.  Lots of anglers get one on their line only to watch it swim away and disappear because their hooks aren’t sharp enough.  You should also be sure you have a good, strong pole, because flatheads are fighters.

To get the full “Catching Channel, Blue and Flathead Catfish” article you’ll need to download it here.


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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