How to Catch Catfish (Best Time, Night Catfishing and Kayak)

Catfish, as most people know, are hard-fighting and tasty. Catfishing is a cheap hobby, and Amazon has all the supplies you need for catfishing. We’ll go over some of the essentials of catfishing, as well as some of the most popular catfishing techniques, in this post.

There are tackle-specific baits, different types of rods and reels, a boat vs. a pier, and the list goes on. However, the fishing line is common to all these techniques. This blog looks at the different species of Catfish, the fishing lines, ways to catch them and what makes its species  to be unique from each one.

how to catch catfish

How to Catch Different Types of Catfish

Catfish are a group of fish with diverse morphology found across all continents, except Antarctica. There are many different species of catfish. However, catfish are one of the strangest creatures, scientifically speaking. They are called Catfish because of their ‘cat-like’ appearance. There are over 200 species of catfish living in freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater.

So, you need to know that you cannot use a single method to catch each type. Instead, you have to use different tactics for the different types.

Generally, these fish have bodies covered with a slimy substance, an underdeveloped or missing jaw, and whisker-like filaments. Some are even without scales! When choosing a catfish species, you will find some of them to be mild-mannered and others to be vicious predators.

While they are freshwater fish, they have similarities to other fish species, and they indeed are unique in appearance.

  • They have multiple pairs of whiskers on their snouts.
  • Some species can be as long as 10 feet with up to 50 feet in length.
  • Additionally, some large catfish can weigh more than 300 pounds.
  • Catfish inhabit all the continents.

However, to assist you in selecting your prey, we’ve included a short description of each species.

Also check best baitcasting reels for catfish so that you might also have a good chance of catching them as well if you have the passion for fishing.

The Flathead Catfish

Catching this type of Catfish is quite a challenge because it’s tricky. They’re lonely, challenging to locate, and will put up a fight if you manage to catch one.

Moreover, they can be found from North Dakota to Lake Erie, Florida Panhandle, and Mexico. In general, flatheads don’t get much bigger than 100 pounds. However, these monsters have weighed as much as 120 pounds. They have a long body and a square, flattened skull that distinguishes them from other species.

how to catch catfish

How to Catch Flathead Catfish

There are two things that Flathead Catfish enjoy: current and cover. The edge of river bends, where trees and rocks have been washed away, is their preferred hunting zone. When fishing for flatheads, it’s essential to position your bait just a few feet off the riverbed so that they’ll see it and strike it.

First thing you gotta do is get a load of bluegill, you can use shad or some sunfish. So, if you are going for night fishing I suggest getting 12 to 15 fishes as bait.

Now, hook them through the back and throw them far away from the boat in deep water. Bluegill are probably favorite bait for fishing for flatheads, they just survive a lot better than shads do. They’re tougher and they swim more aggressively that draws in the flat heads a little bit better.
Flat heads tend to eat more bluegill than shad while blue catfish tend to eat more shad then bluegill

The Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish is the state fish of Arkansas. In Arkansas, the Blue Catfish is known for its large size and its fighting ability on the line. In addition, blue Catfish are known to reach weights of over 100 pounds and lengths of seven feet.

However, there is a most important thing to remember about Blue Catfish is that this Catfish is typically a solitary fish. They are known to be predators and can have a diet consisting of other fish, small mammals, and even birds.

how to catch catfish

How to Catch Blue Catfish

For the most part, Bluefish prefer open water over the bottom, so if you’re having trouble catching any, experiment with different depths. When searching for big ones on a river, bends and confluences are the most significant areas to look at. Use several locations and drop your baits just upstream of deep holes to see if you may find success.

The Channel Catfish

The blue and flat-headed relatives of the Channel Cat are much more significant. This type of fish seldom exceeds 20 pounds, and anglers are more interested in catching a large quantity of fish than a single large one.

Nevertheless, fish in the 50 pound range may only be found in record books. The Channel Catfish may not be the giant one on the block, but they certainly get around. However, Eastern North America, including Mexico and Canada, are excellent places to find Channel Catfishes.

How to Catch the Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish will position up in areas where they can escape the current while pinging out for fish scudding through the water. In addition, these locations are much more enticing to Channel Cats because of the logs and boulders.

First trick for catching catfish was finding bait. Now, you can choose the bait of your choice but live shad is preferred. So to catch bait go out with a cast net and try to catch anywhere between 12 to 20 live shads. Then put them in the live well as quickly as possible and they all go belly up as soon as you put them in the live well but you let the water circulate and they’ll kind of revive along.

Secondly, anchoring your boat properly is really important with catfishing. If your boat swings around you’ll drag your gear you’ll snag your gear and you just won’t catch anything. It’s just a mess. So what you have to do is, throw two anchors, one off the front and one off the back then tie it up.

Now take a three ounce inline lead, a swivel 80-pound monofilament leader and a taut Gamakatsu circle hook.

If you are  fishing with live bait in stillwater, hook it behind the dorsal fin about half an inch into the flesh. It keeps the bait really Lively and it’s right in the center of the body mass where the fish like to strike. But be careful to check the point for scale so you don’t want a scale stuck on the tip of the point. This will prevent the fish from hooking up so always make sure the point is clear.

Best Time To Catch Catfish

As a result of some misconceptions, Catfish are often called “night fish.” Catfishing usually takes place at night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch these monsters during the day as well. Most people go catfishing at night while others go in the daytime. However, the fishing locations and the species you’re targeting are also factors to consider.

The Flathead Catfish is active mainly at night. They’re more willing to leave their hiding place at night. So, finding Flatheads in the shade is also a good option if this is your preferred targeting fish species.

Regardless of the day, Blue and Channel Catfishes seem to eat at their own pace. Remember that gigantic Blues will be more active if they hunt in solid currents throughout the day. Instead, they like to hunt at night in slow-moving waterways.

Therefore, you can catch them in lakes and rivers. Catfish are usually lazy and will wait for food to come to them. They also don’t have perfect eyesight, so they can’t see very well, making it easy to catch them. However, the best time to catch a catfish is at night, but it does not mean that you can see them only at night.

Night Catfishing

How to catch catfish at night is quite different from the day. If you’ve ever gone night fishing, then you know that it’s not just about the fish you catch. It’s about how you feel being out there. Fishing at night is very relaxing. You can walk along the shore and enjoy the night air. But, moreover, you can also enjoy the peace and relax. And then try to catch some catfish.

Catfishing at night has two advantages: colder, and the fish are more likely to come up in shallower water. Why? It’s as simple as that: Catfish follow their stomachs; their stomachs follow the food they consume.

So on a hot summer day, the topwater becomes unsuitable for catching catfish. They also feel more secure in the water at night. But on the other hand, Catfish are nocturnal hunters with no issue finding food in the dark.

Why to Catch Catfish at Night?

It is the time when they are the most active. In the daytime, catfish are mostly hiding in the mud or in the bottom of a lake or river. That’s the best time to use live bait.

Catfish will eat everything. It doesn’t matter if the bait is a worm, a fly, or a minnow. It’s all good to a catfish this is why they are relatively easy to catch but you will need the right equipment and bait. Most Catfish will eat a piece of chicken, but the giant Catfish may also take a frog or a portion of chicken liver.

How to Catch Catfish in the Daytime

Using a boat to fish for Catfish during the day is much more convenient since you have access to deeper water. If you can throw correctly into deep water, you will get your target quite quickly.

Then, work your way out to shallower water until you find an ideal depth by fishing ledges and humps in the river or lake’s deepest sections. First, however, it takes a greater understanding of the seas in which you’re fishing.

Best Catfishing Season

Spring and the summer seasons are optimal for catfishing. However, catfishing can take place all year too. Most Catfish anglers have a narrow understanding of when to capture the fish. As a result, Catfishing may seem like a seasonal pastime.

So, you can catch Catfish throughout the year, but summer is ideal for targeting them. You can even see Channel Catfishes through the ice, which is not unheard of! Moreover, the catfish love slow-moving water in the winter and fast-moving water in the summer.

Catfishing Tools

Choose the best catfish rig for catching your target efficiently. Here are some most important recommendations for you so that you can go catfishing fully prepared and fully equipped with just the right set of tools.

Right Rods

To effectively place the hook, you need a fast-action rod with many backbones and a bend at the tip. A 6′ medium-power rod is ideal for tiny Channel Cats.

On the other hand, you’ll need a 7-foot medium-heavy or even heavy-power rod for huge Blues and Flatheads. Moreover, a longer rod may be required if you’re casting from the beach.

Best Hooks

Catfishing is almost always associated with the use of treble hooks. In particular, they’re well-suited to use in dip and punch baits. However, another alternative is to use circle hooks. For gigantic Catfish, they’re much more effective. So, make sure your tools are razor-sharp to pierce the Catfish’s strong jaw.

Perfect Lines

Because catfish are rarely seen in gin-clear water, using a braid is unnecessary. Monofilament is less expensive and easy to utilize. Furthermore, you can use it to lower the chance of ghost fishing.

Flatheads and Blues should be hooked with 20–30 lb line, and Channel Cats should be tied with 12–15 lb line. However, the minor hits on your baits will be easier to detect if you use brightly colored stripes and bobbers.

Right Baits

How to catch Catfish? Of course, you have to pick up the right bait for this purpose. Catfish are picky, and you have to know what they like to feed on to see them. They are scavengers and will eat just about anything, but some baits work better than others. For example, live bait may work better for flatheads, while the cut bait works well for blue Catfish. Moreover, there are stink baits that work for the channel catfish.


Catfishing lures are similar to those used for deep-sea fishing, except for smaller Catfish. However, catfish are carnivorous fish that feed on smaller fish. Therefore, these lures resemble small fish that catfish love to eat. One of the best things about catfishing lures is that they are incredibly detailed, with a flashy design that gets the attention of even the most cautious Catfish.

Additionally, the scent-enhanced or noise-generating/vibrating lures work best for luring Catfish. Catfish may be enticed by basic lures like spinners, jigs, and soft plastics, which can be spruced up as needed.

Catfishing From a Kayak

This technique has gained popularity nowadays. In addition, kayaks and catfishing gear are becoming more popular among anglers. It’s pretty tempting, but kayak fishing is entirely different.

Your fishing trip’s success or failure might depend on the type of kayak you use. For fishing, a sit-on-top kayak is essential.

Moreover, you need enough space to store your fishing gear and bait and walk freely. With a sit-in kayak, you’ll be unable to move about and have very little to work with. As a result, many people have been using sit-on-top kayaks as fishing kayaks for years.


Catching Catfish is a fun activity for the entire family! It’s a hobby that many people enjoy and can be fun. However, this activity is great for anglers and other people. Therefore, we have tried to cover all the aspects of how to catch Catfish. And we hope this descriptive guide has helped you enough to know everything about Catfish, their types, species, tools for catfishing, and much more.

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