Catfishing In Clear Water

What’s the best way to catch catfish in clear water?

Catfish are probably the shyest fish out there, and when that water is clear all the way to the bottom, you usually won’t see many cats down there.  They don’t like to be seen, and in clear water, they are extra sensitive to what’s going on at the top.  On the other hand, cats tend to prefer clear water. 

There are some good ways to catch catfish in clear water.  One is to fish at night.  Of course, they can see almost as well at night as they do during the day, but your chances of catching cats in clear water at night is much better than during the day, because they will avoid the sunlight.  They like it where it’s cool and dark.  Still, you have to be extra quiet and careful or you’ll scare them away.

Some anglers say that if you have the right bait, the water conditions doesn’t matter.  It’s true that if you have good, stinky live bait, they’ll come anywhere for it.  One good baiting option for clear water catfishing is to chum the area first.  This will get those shy cats from down in the depths into an area they might not be hanging around usually. 

Other than that, fish as you usually do, but look a bit deeper for them.  In clear water, they will tend to stay down lower at the bottom, so try using a weighted line fishing method where you can have your hook all the way down there.  Don’t go looking for them in the shallows where you can see all the way down.


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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