What night catfishing rig should I use?

I do a lot of fishing at night – what’s the best rig to use for catfish after dark?

When fishing for catfish, you’ll find that the type of rigging you should use will really depend upon the conditions you’re fishing in. When fishing at night, for example, you’ll want to choose a rigging method that will place your bait closer to the bottom of the lake. Catfish tend to move to shallower waters to feed when the sun goes down.

A good choice is a slip weight. It’s an easy enough rig for a beginner and yet is still used by many of the more seasoned catfish fishermen. This rig will place your hook on the bottom of the lake, hopefully right in front of the hungry catfish. To set up this rig, you’ll need a weight that will actually slide up and down the line. Don’t tie it on, just slip it on. The size of the weight will depend on the current. Your goal is keep the line stationary so use a heavier weight in rougher water. Once you’ve attached the slip weight, pinch a slipshot about 18-24 inches from the end of your line and then using a Palomar knot, tie your hook on the end of the line. The sinker’s movement along the line will help disguise it from the catfish, convincing him the bait is real. The size of your hook will depend on the size of the bait you’re using.


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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