Catfish Fishing Gear

Flatheads can be over 50 pounds easily. The most important catfish fishing gear for this type of fishing is the bait. Flatheads are the only variety of freshwater catfish that are not scavengers by nature and prefer the hunt. Therefore, you should always use live bait if possible, with an incredibly strong smell, since as mentioned above, catfish seek food based on their sense of smell. If you don’t have access to live bait, use a strong stink bait, perhaps even something rotten, that will release a strong stench into the waters.

Even larger than the flatheads are the blue catfish. Fishing gear in this case must be extremely strong to avoid breaking and give you the opportunity to put up the necessary fight to reel in the great beasts. Blue cats are not as picky about their bait, and though they have a preference for live bait, they will just as easily hook themselves on cut bait or chicken livers. Cast a strong line into a heavy current with a heavy enough weight to keep it close to the bottom of a swift moving river or lake (this is where you’ll find the big blues). You may also wish to rig up a swivel below the cork because line twists tend to occur as active bait and catfish often spin around after they are hooked. And once again, be prepared to fit a huge fish into the boat – blue cats can easily be over 80 pounds.

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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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