When fishing for channel catfish, should I go with tight line or slack line, and why?

When fishing for channel catfish, should I go with tight line or slack line, and why?

A tight line is always better when you are fishing for channel catfish. I’ll tell you the simple reason why. It’s because they will come along and hit your bait and you won’t even know what just happened. By the time you realize you’ve gotten a bite, he’s moved on to the next tasty morsel out there in the water! Channel catfish, as well as all cats really, are notorious for just nipping the bait off the line. That’s one of the tricky things about catching catfish. They are known for coming along and grabbing that bite right off the hook before the angler even knows it. That’s why we have lighted poles and things like that, and why some anglers do things like put bells on the end of their rods. With a good, tight line, you will see or feel it when he comes along for a bite. This is especially important for those of us who don’t have a lot of catfish experience. It is almost imperceptible. With your line as tight as it can be, you’ll definitely know when you get a bite. This is why lots of catfishing guys like to fish with weights on their lines. There is a technique called slipweight rigging. It’s also called tightlining. The idea is to put tiny weights along your line so that it holds the line tight. It is also useful for putting your hook lower in the water where the cats are biting, and having lots of control over it. I highly suggest this method of fishing for catching catfish. Yes, the tighter the line, the better!


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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