Night Fishing for Catfish

When night fishing – are the Catfish going to be in deep or shallow water?

Yes, summertime is prime time to fish for catfish. Not only is the cooler air more tolerable with the sun down but the lake or river is a lot less congested due to the fact that the skiers and jet skiers have gone home. And the fish are often far more likely to take the bait after the sun goes down.

During the day the hot sun pushes channel cats deeper in the water, but after dark they are far more likely to be up in shallow water of just two or three feet. Like a lot of fish, they will linger and feed in a prefered temperature zone.

The baitfish are also active at night and you can often hear them slapping the water. This tends to get the attention of the catfish. Obviously, this makes a good spot to cast to.

You should also look for submerged structure in the cool water. That is always a good bet for foraging cats. Get yourself a good topographical map before you head out.

Another good spot is a dock, especially one that has been fitted with lights. The light will attract the baitfish and the baitfish will attract the catfish.

Speaking of bait, what should you use? Catfish are not noted to be particularly finicky eaters but like all species, they do have their favorites. They will take cut bait, night crawlers and liver readily. When I was a kid we used to take chunks of white bread, drizzle a little bacon grease on it, mash it down between our fingers into a little ball about the size of a marble and use that for bait. Caught many a cat that way.


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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