Catfish Fishing In The Winter

Winter is coming, and I’ve never fishing for catfish in colder weather. I’m going to try this year… how do I go about it? What changes in the cold?

Most anglers forget that winter is a great time to catch catfish.  For some reason, lots of fishermen get big ones in the winter, although most people will tell you it’s pretty hit or miss.  It’s definitely something worth trying.

The best days to go fishing in the winter are the days when there is a little bit of warm weather.  On those days when there is a little sunshine, higher temperatures, and preferably some wind, you should head out there for catfish.  The reason is that they’re coming down into the shallows to look for food.  A little bit of wind is good because it will stir up the fish they are looking for. 

This is also true for late winter or early spring days when the weather is just starting to warm up. 

On colder winter days, you’ll have to look for catfish in the deeper waters.  During the winter, they stay at the bottom, and they don’t move around too much.  Always use live bait, and make sure that you can place your hooks way down at the bottom of the lake.

Getting channel cats in the winter is usually good, because a river’s water level will drop, and that means you’ll find more of the big guys in the shallow waters.  They tend to all stick to one area to look for food, so if you can find their hang-out, you’ll be doing pretty good.  Look for an area where the current might be bringing food to them, like a log jam, dam or crook in the stream.  They’ll be trying to stay in one place where the food is easy to find.


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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