Five Catfish Tips

Time of Day

The nighttime is the best time for fishing cats. The fish is a night predator and will sleep during the day and look for food at dark. Some catfish do come out during the day hours, but the best time to catch the catfish is at night after the sun sets.

Water Conditions

Water conditions play a role in catching a catfish. if the water is only about 15 deep and not moving at all on  a hot day, the fish are not going to be on the bottom. The catfish will be closer to the top of the water where there is enough oxygen to breathe. Catfish as well as other baitfish will look for areas underwater where the water is being oxygenated by something such as a stream or impoundment with trickling water. Of course, at night, the fish will come to the top of the water looking for food if you are baiting the top surface.


There are three ways to fish the cats. You can cast, drop or troll very slowly. Some anglers will cast and slowly bring the bait in or they will troll with the motor at about two miles an hour. These techniques work if you don’t want to drop and sit. The vertical drop is good if you know where the fish are hiding.

You drop to the bottom and bring the bait up about six inches. The suspended bait works the best even those catfish will scour the bottom looking for food. They will come to the smell of the bait no matter if it is on the bottom or suspended in the water.

If you want to catch the catfish, you should follow some of these tips and try different baits or techniques. The fish will be hungry during the spring, summer and fall months. The winter catch will be almost none, except in areas where the waters do not get extremely cold. The cats like all fish, go deeper in the winter because the water temperatures get to cold for them in the shallows.

If you fish at night and keep the boat motor quiet, you should have some success getting some bites. If you are fishing the big cats, you want to remember that you need a strong test line that will not snap during the fight after the fish is hooked.

To get the full “Five Catfish Tips” article you’ll need to download it here.

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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