The Best Tackle For Catching Catfish

What type of tackle do I need to catch catfish?

Unlike other types of fish, you can use just about any kind of tackle to catch catfish, as long as you are going for small and medium sized cats.  By small or medium sized, I mean somewhere around 10 pounds or less.  If you are trying to catch the next world record channel cat, you should use sturdier gear that won’t break.  Catfish are known to be fighters.

Because of the rowdy and rambunctious nature of catfish (they just don’t seem to like getting caught!), many experienced anglers prefer to use heavy rigs.  There are poles made with figerglass or steel cores that will not break easily, and have comfortable cork grips.  This will allow you to keep control of the line when the fish starts fighting. 

You can tell how tough a rod is by its pound test.  A rig with a pound test of at least 10 will be fine for catching smaller cats, but for the big boys you should go for 17 at the very least.  You can go as high as 60.  The higher the pound test, the more fight the rod can withstand before it snaps in half, and that award-winning cat is dashing off to look for somebody else’s bait.

Your hooks need to be extra sharp to catch catfish.  Most catfish anglers sharpen their hooks, even if they are brand new store-bought ones.  This is because catfish skin is especially slippery, and even new hooks won’t always cut through. 

Tackle is important, but you should keep it as simple as you need it.  Don’t go for something super fancy that you don’t know how to use.  Remember that bait is what catches your fish, not the tackle.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

One Response to “The Best Tackle For Catching Catfish”

  1. wesley nichols says:

    Hello,
    My name is Wes Nichols, member of Fairbanks Masonic Lodge 1363. On April 8th and 9th 2011, Fairbanks Masonic Lodge 1363 is holding it’s 3rd annual cat fishing tournament at Sports Harbor Marina( formerly April Plaza Marina) on Lake Conroe. Money raised from the tournament produced by Fairbanks Masonic Library and Museum is utilized by way of scholarships for area youth and to help the library and museum function for the year. Last year we had tremendous success. The tournament grew from 9 participants 54 in one year. This year we hope to have over one hundred contestants.
    My question; would your company be able to make any type of donation toward our raffle as a sponsor. We are looking for fishing gear or any out door supplies to raffle off so this tournament is a hit. We also need sponsors to help pay cost such as t-shirts, hats and trophies. Fairbanks Masonic Library and Museum is a 501c3 tax deductible organization. Through this you will be a part of our sponsors which will be put on the back of our t-shirts and given a tax write off form.
    Thank you for your time.

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