Catfish Stopped Biting: Why?

What factors will cause catfish (channels) to stop biting for days on end? we have always caught channels on this particular small lake for years, but this spring/summer they have not been hitting any bait ,anywhere on the lake. No others have been getting them to bite either. The weather has been normal for the area, warm days with a few rainy days now and again. But it has been 2 weeks since a channel was caught. We have tried several locations and every bait you could think of. PLEASE HELP !!

As much as I hate to say this, sometimes cats just get off their feed. Particularly when it is very hot and there has not been much rain or relief from the heat, the metabolism of the cats goes down, and it just takes some cooler weather to wake them up. The good news is that when they do wake up, they are going to be some hungry catfish, and you should be able to make up for lost time. Consider fishing at night. Night fishing for catfish in the summer months really is the single most productive time to catch catfish. They come to the surface to feed though, so don’t try to fish the bottoms at this time. Also, consider not fishing with a bobber at all. Just fish your line, some good bait, and keep a finger on your line so that you can feel the first hint of a nibble. Also, you might want to check out some other species of fish normally in the area. Are they off the bite as well? If they are, you might want to speak with someone at the Corp of Engineers and see if there could be an over abundance of predators in the area or some other external factor inhibiting the bite of your catfish. Catfish make for some interesting fishing, and challenging fishing, but when they stop biting, that often means something’s changed.

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

4 Responses to “Catfish Stopped Biting: Why?”

  1. Doug Barcroft says:

    In my limited experience, channel cats bite during the day quite well, but middle of the afternoon is the slowest. Spots where they may be located in the lake in the morning or evening are not where they are located when its hot in the middle of the day. Another factor not mentioned that can make cats stop biting for a while is the spawn. The person didn’t say where they were located, water temp, etc. but if the conditions are right for the spawn that can mess up what would regularly be a really good fishing spot. It happens to me every summer and takes a couple of weeks before the bite picks back up.

  2. Jimmy says:

    when catfish bed down how long do they bed down

  3. Charley Dunham Jr. says:

    I fish in a 177 acre resorvoir on the banks for catfish. I go about 1 hour before sundown and stay til 3 am and never even get a bite. I use a slip rig method for fishing the bottom with some 2 day old chicken liver. Even tried useing a chum bag. Tried nightcrawlers and doughbaits but nothing. I am positive that my rig and bait are set up right. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  4. Jb says:

    hello, i have a really shallow half acre horse lake and some how over time catfish got into it (keep in mind there is no natural water except rain) and the deepest point in summer might be 5 ft but ive fished with chicken livers etc and i can see them circle the bait since its so shallow but no takers.. any suggestions or why this is happening would be appreciated


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