Three Fishing Tactics for the Channel Catfish

Fishing for the channel catfish can be a lot of fun and very exciting. This type of catfish won’t grow to be as big as some of the other types but that doesn’t make them any less interesting. Channel catfish weighing over fifty pounds have been recorded but the average size is four pounds. To catch one of the bigger ones, you’ll need to be fishing in the ideal environment for this species to grow and that is very rare.

Since the average size is around four pounds they’re the perfect size for any angler to seek out. They don’t require any special gear or training to catch. However, they will put up such a fight that it makes them stand out from many other species.

You can recognize the channel catfish by its cylinder shaped body and barbells that protrude outward from the mouth. Four of these barbells are located under the jaw and there is one on both sides of the upper jaw. They also have sharp spines on the pectoral and dorsal fins so be aware of this when handling one to avoid being stuck. They have a spotted body, forked tail and no scales making them unique from any other type of fish found in North America.

Fishing Tactics That Get Results

When fishing for channel catfish you need a few good tactics that will help to enhance your fishing adventure and help you reel in more fish. There are many different ways to fish for this species but some of the most popular ones that have been tried and proven to be effective by experienced anglers are discussed here.

Three fishing tactics for the channel catfish that will normally yield excellent results:

1. Drift fishing- When you drift fish your bait flows downstream with the current in a natural way that easily gets the attention of the channel cat. Use weights to help hold the bait near the bottom so it’ll glide just above where the catfish is waiting patiently for a tasty meal to come by.
2. Casting- This is one of the most popular tactics used today because it can be done from anywhere. It allows you to easily fish from the outside of a school and slowly work towards the center without scaring the fish away. This gives you the opportunity to get more bites and reel in more fish.
3. Still-fishing- Using this tactic will also make it easy for you to get the bait on the bottom where the channel cats are most likely to be.

It’s good to know that the channel catfish is not a picky eater. It will strike at just about anything that gets within its reach. This makes it easy to find bait that can entice them to strike. Nevertheless, some of your options that seem to yield the best results include chicken livers, minnows, crawdads, worms, shrimp, cut baits and prepared baits.

Try a variety of baits during different times to learn what works the best in different situations. This will help you have a wider variety of baits to choose from each time you go fishing. It’s important however, to use the right bait based on the season in which you’re fishing. For example, you wouldn’t use cut bait in water that’s above sixty degrees or the smell would be too overwhelming.

More Information about the Channel Catfish
The channel catfish can be found in all types of lakes, rivers and ponds all across the nation. This particular catfish prefers the slow to medium current but you can still find them in water with faster currents. In the spring, they’ll move closer to shore to get ready for spawning season and then back out to the deeper water again in the summer. During the fall they’ll return closer to the shore and move back out to deeper waters again in the winter.

Search for them around any type of structures such as logs, trees and brush. They can also be found in grassy areas because they feed off of the aquatic vegetation. When fishing in a river try your luck below a dam where the water moves continually. You’ll usually find a lot of baitfish in these areas and catfish like to stay close to a meal.

It’s recommended that you use circle hooks when fishing for the channel catfish. These will set in the corner of the mouth and hold the fish more securely. These are also easier to remove than other types of hooks. Another good option is the two or three way fishing rigs. These help to increase the number of bites you can get each time you fish so it can greatly increase the number of fish you actually catch.

If you want to go after the larger channel cats, you need to use large bait. They won’t waste their time going after small bait. However, it’s important to realize that the bigger the bait is that you use, the fewer strikes you’ll get. This is because the smaller fish won’t go after the larger bait. Use the three tactics above to yield better results and have a great time reeling in the channel catfish.

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