Five Fishing Tips for Missouri Catfish

Anglers in and around Missouri enjoy some excellent catfish fishing because this state is the home to the flathead, channel and the blue cats. You can find catfish in most any lake or river and a number of ponds too throughout the state. With so many bodies of water where the catfish can flourish, it’s one of the best places in the US to fish for this species.
Anglers seek out the blue cat for its size, since it is the largest and because it will put up an amazing fight when hooked. The channel cats are a good choice for those who want to spend a relaxing day on the water just fishing. The flathead is a great one for the angler searching for a real challenge because they are much harder to find than the other catfish and they will fight hard when hooked as well.
If you’re interested in catching trophy fish, Missouri is the place to be. Some of the catfish in this area can grow so large they can weigh over one hundred pounds! Can you imagine catching one that size? It would certainly make an amazing story to tell.
Here are five fishing tips to use on your next Missouri catfish fishing trip:
1. If you’re seeking out the flathead, one of the best places to fish is the Missouri River and the adjoining tributaries. If you have the opportunity, fish the main river found above Kansas City because this is the perfect habitat for the flathead.
2. Bottom fishing and drift fishing are two excellent techniques to use when fishing for catfish. To bottom fish, anchor your boat in a prime location and drop your line to the bottom. To drift fish, start above the location where you expect the catfish to be and cut your motor. Drop your line and the current will carry the bait along the bottom enticing the fish to strike as your boat moves downstream.
3. Look for any type of underwater structure where the catfish can make a home and fish around these. Some of the things to look for are sunken brush, trees, logs and around rocks and ledges. The catfish like to get into structures that obstruct the flow of the current and wait for the baitfish to go by so they can strike.
4. Night fishing is usually very productive especially if you’re after the flathead because they tend to be more active at night. However, this is not the only time you can catch them. You’ll also find that fishing for catfish in the early morning and the late evening is very productive.
5. Use the strong sense of smell of the catfish to your advantage by fishing with baits that have a strong odor. Stink bait and cut baits are excellent choices unless you’re fishing for the flathead. This type of catfish is more attracted to live bait than anything else.
Catfish are known as being a lazy scavenger fish but when you begin learning about them, you soon realize this isn’t exactly accurate. There are times when the catfish won’t strike at anything unless it’s directly in their area. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are lazy. It could simply be that they are not hungry when they don’t strike. However, when you get your bait in their territory, they strike because they have a predatory nature and don’t like anything invading their space.
Another thing that shows the catfish may not be as lazy as once thought is the fact that they can easily catch a fast moving bass lure when hungry. Many bass fishermen can attest to this. In fact, many of them get very annoyed with the catfish because it interferes with their bass fishing trips.
If you’re visiting Missouri or new to the area, you may be wondering where you can go to catch catfish. The good news is that you can find this species almost anywhere within the state. From small ponds to large rivers, the catfish flourish in the waters of Missouri. However, there are a few places well-known for being excellent when it comes to finding some of the biggest catfish in the state.
Here are a few great places where you can find the catfish in Missouri:
* Missouri River
* Nodaway Lake
* Big River
* Lake Elk River
* Mississippi River
* Blue Springs Lake
* Crane Lake
Once you choose the body of water where you want to fish you can start making plans and gathering up your gear.
When night fishing, you need to be extra careful to reduce your risk of having an accident. Your limited vision makes the water more dangerous. Carry along flashlights and lanterns with fresh batteries and check the lights on your boat to make sure they are in good working condition. Always have a reliable form of communication with you and let someone onshore know where you plan to fish and when you should be home.

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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