Are You Ready For Late Spring Catfish?

Lets us begin this entry by first understanding the fish we peruse, the catfish.  If you are fishing for blue catfish, channel cat or the Flathead the nature of the beast have similarities. The catfish fry are hatched at the bottom of the food chain by their size and many never make it from fry to fish.  Both blues and channel cats feed on their young. Even wounded fingerlings end up as meals for the larger cats. Even larger fish are sometimes caught displaying evidence of being tasted by larger fish. Despite this from the smallest of fry, these cats can grow to be some of the largest freshwater fish. This is partially by their natural defense of their sharp spines in their fins.

Tips on how to catch the biggest catfish

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One characteristic of catfish is that they are survivors, carnivorous scavengers that survive by nipping at the carcasses of less fortunate fish. This cycle seems to change in most catfish once they reach a size weighing more than a pound, then the fiddlers as they are called begin to scavenge less and become hunters. Catfish from one to three pounds become fantastic hunters feeding on smaller fish that they can catch. The smaller cats under three pounds are the most common caught on prepared baits and dough balls. Using a cotton ball mixed with commercial baits or dough will help keep the offering on the hook. Placing raw liver or cut bait scraps in a bite size panty hose sack also helps this. But for the trophy hunters seeking a big cat, they can increase their chance of catching a large catfish by taking advantage of the changing season of the fall, and November is one of the best months to catch a big cat.

A very experienced angler suggests

As the water temperature begins to cool down in the fall, catfish, like many other fish can sense the impending winter approaching. Food sources the fish are accustomed too begin to disappear in some form or another. Catfish must eat enough to maintain their weight or in some cases the superiority of their species and get even bigger. Catfish by nature are the most efficient feeders, they eat almost anything, relying on it’s physical characteristics such as taste buds on their underside and stomach, they hover taste and smell before engulfing and swimming off. Louisiana is a perfect place to start your catfishing adventure. Where as other fish rely on sight, smell and vibration and sensors in the lateral line along their body such as bass to locate forage.

How to lure catfish

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If a current is available as in rivers, creeks catfish will face the current and are constantly receiving clues of a food sources upstream. Natural forage is what is indigenous to the waters they inhabit. Skipjack, shad, bluegill and other fish are what the larger cats are searching for. The scent and oil of these fish is the natural attractant to lure the big cats in. This knowledge is a key to catching large catfish. Commercially prepaid baits and homemade concoctions also account for a large number of fish that have been caught, but cut bait from natural local forage has proven to be by far the best to catch trophy catfish. The use of circle hooks or in some cases treble hooks increases angler’s chances of boating a large cat. The circle hook is not traditionally set as with a barbed traditional hook. Once the angler sees the rod tip drop, he will grab the rod simply begin reeling. The design of the circle hook impales the corner of the fish’s mouth.

The cold-water catfish bite will continue throughout the winter months in most of North America. This seasonal “lack of forage” makes fishing for blue, channel and flathead catfish a favorite target for cold-water anglers seeking a thrill and a trophy of a lifetime.

Happy Fishing!

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Martin Garagher
Martin was born in a fishing village near Baja peninsula. He knows the art of fishing since he was 6 years old. He is now an accomplished fisherman with many decorations in his belt. He currently works as a professional fishing trainer and an author in many international fishing magazines.

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