While for some it may seem like a strange idea to read an article that is specialized to discuss channel catfish fishing. However, for those not as familiar with catfish or fishing in general, reading about what is probably the most plentiful catfish on the North American continent can be a true learning experience that can be put to good use.
Let’s start with the basics. Channel catfish are, in fact, an extremely common variety of catfish that can be found in most parts of the United States. You may hear them referred to as blue channel cats, river catfish, or spotted cats from time to time, as they do have spots, resemble a smaller version of the blue catfish, and often prefer rivers.
However, channel catfish fishing is certainly not limited to rivers, since these catfish are not picky about their home life. You can find channel cats in most types of freshwater, as long as the waters are warm enough (waters should warm to at least 70 degrees in the mid spring for spawning purposes).
How can you tell that channel catfish fishing will be good in a particular spot? Consider the habits of the channel cat. They often do prefer rivers, though unlike their larger cousins, they prefer to stay out of heavy current, looking for a little shelter in natural pile ups, rock formations, and ridges in the river.
In lakes, you’re most likely to find them in shallower water, perhaps near the shoreline, where they can find brush cover and overgrowth from trees and grass to shelter them. Don’t expect to find them hanging around locations with a very muddy bottom; they prefer the sand and rock bottom areas.
You can usually get in some good channel catfish fishing just below dams – these opportunistic feeders can find lots of flotsam and jetsam in the area to munch on.
What sort of equipment do you need for channel catfish fishing? Well, typically channel catfish are small, ranging from two to four pounds, and usually not greater than ten pounds.
However, they have the ability to grow to outrageous weights of around 60 pounds. Therefore, you should have strong, solid equipment that is prepared for anything, including a struggle with a monster channel cat.
In terms of bait, don’t even bother bringing artificial baits; channel catfish fishing won’t accomplish much with such a farce because catfish tend to find food based on their sense of smell rather than by sight.
Therefore, you need some sort of bait with an aroma (or something humans might think of as a stench) that can permeate the waters and draw the fish to your line. This could be night crawlers, chicken livers, pieces of shad, or other fresh fish.
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About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Go to http://www.askcatfishfishing.com/editorials/channel-catfish-fishing.html for more information on channel catfish fishing.