Does catfishing require expensive tackle?

I’d like to take my sons out to fish for catfish but we’re all beginners – do I need a lot of expensive tackle?

Absolutely not. As your experience level increases, you’ll probably want to add new items to your arsenal but quite honestly, all a beginner needs to catch smaller catfish is a 6 foot long light to medium rod with a spinning reel. For fish under 18 inches long, a ten pound test line will be more than enough. The most important thing is choosing the bait you’ll use and catfish bait is also fairly inexpensive. You can actually send the boys out to harvest worms or catch grasshoppers if you really want to get them involved. Catching your own minnows is also a fun and inexpensive way to gather your bait. If you’re fishing in an area that might pull in a larger fish, you’ll want to invest in a heavy action pole and a baitcaster reel. You’ll also want to move up to at least a 20 pound line. You can purchase a good lightweight pole, reel and line for under $50.00. If the boys are really young, an inexpensive children’s pole will work as well. When you’re out buying your tackle, the best investment you can actually make will be in the hook itself. This is often an item that is overlooked by many beginners but can make a world of difference. Catfish are tough and are known for being able to throw off a hook if you don’t get it set deep. Spend the extra money for good quality and sharp hooks and sharpen them regularly. If anything will make a difference other than bait, this will.


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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