How can I catch catfish in this cold weather?

It’s freezing out here, and they aren’t biting. Anything I can try?

Catfish only come up to the surface or the shallows when the air is nice and warm outside. In cold weather, when it’s freezing outside, cats will stay way down at the very bottom. You probably just aren’t getting down there deep enough. For wintertime catfish fishing, always get your bait way down to the bottom where the cats are. You might try fishing with a tightlining rig. This is a set-up where you attach a small weight to the end of your line, put your hook about a foot or two from the end, and drop it down as far as you can go. This is an excellent technique for catching catfish way down in the depths. You can also wait until it warms up a little and then look for catfish in the shallows. Food is scarce at the bottom, so if it warms up just a little bit, they’ll head to shallower waters looking for food. Usually, daytime is not the best for catching catfish, but in the winter or cold temperatures, daytime is good. They don’t have many chances to come up for food, so they’ll come out during the daytime if it warms up a little. In cold weather, it also pays to look for blues. Channel cats and flatheads will come out if it warms up a little, but blues roam around looking for food all year around, even when it’s chilly out. If you take this into account, use bigger bait, fish deep for blues and have some patience, you can still catch a few big blue cats in the winter.


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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