In most areas of the United States, the main species of catfish available are blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish, though you can also find white catfish and bullhead catfish in some areas.
Therefore, when seeking out catfish fishing techniques and other general information on the sport, these are the breeds on which you should focus.
Channel cats, being the smallest and least picky of these three varieties, require less specialized techniques in order to reel in a number of them during an afternoon excursion. This breed can be found in just about any freshwater source – lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, reservoirs, and any other formations – and is definitely categorized as an opportunistic feeder and scavenger, more so than even other catfish breeds.
You can use almost any type of bait, though less sizeable night crawlers and small bits of chicken liver tend to be quite attractive to these fish. Rigging options are a personal choice, with just about any type of rigging producing great results, though some anglers actually recommend a Carolina rig. Channel cats often gathered near dams, where they can find bits and pieces of fish disposed of by a drainage or a turbine at a factory.
They also prefer cover brush and other underwater cover, so one important catfish fishing technique to consider is to fish the shorelines with lots of shallow water and brush cover.
However, for a much different approach, consider the flathead catfish. Fishing techniques in this area should be well honed for best results, as flatheads can be elusive if you are not prepared. Few species of fish grow to be larger, with only the blue catfish, white sturgeon, and alligator gar being bigger. When you find your flathead catfish prize, it is quite likely to put up a hard fight.
For the best chance of catching a whopper in daylight hours, fish during warm months, targeting waters between May and October. Focus on large rivers or lakes with moving water that doesn’t have an extremely strong current, and stick to areas with fast-breaking structure where flatheads like to find cover here.
The best flathead catfish fishing technique that actually allows you to avoid the necessity of fighting your fish to shore is to fish at night with the use of trotlines. Your catch will be hooked and held overnight, and you’ll simply collect what you’ve caught in the wee hours of the morning.
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About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Go to http://www.askcatfishfishing.com/editorials/catfish-fishing-techniques.html for more information on catfish fishing techniques.