Catfishing On The Mighty Mississippi River

I’m going to fish the Mississippi river for the first time, for catfish. Any tips?

You are about to start off on a great adventure. Catfishing on the Mississippi River is an exciting challenge, and there are some 120 pound or more blue cats prowling around that river bottom. First off, let’s talk about gear. This is a big, wide river, and you’re going to need big, tough gear. A longer rod will help you not only cast farther but keep better control over your bait, which will be easily caught in the current. Most Mississippi anglers use fiberglass because the rod has to be strong enough to fight the current and the giant fish you might end up with at the end of it. Because of the heavy currents, there aren’t as many catfish in the Mississippi as you might imagine. This is why lots of anglers use sonar. Sonar takes some of the work out of finding where they are, and you can bring in big yields using it. When you’re looking for catfish on the big river, look for areas around dikes. There you’ll find channels, flatheads and blues. You can find channel cats also in side channels. If you’re hunting flatheads, look for wood or other debris in the shallows. For blues, the best spots are in the areas just above the dikes where the water is calm and good for feeding. Dawn and dusk are the best times to fish, and the summertime is when the river’s full of cats. Get out on the river where the depth is 40-60 feet or more, and drop your line as deep as you can. You might be the one that pulls that next 100-pounder out of the river.

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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