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How Do You Catch A Catfish On A Rod And Reel


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#1 Bass-minded

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Posted January 04 2012 - 08:25 PM

I fish a farm pond in Tennessee. It has channel, flathead, and blue cats. The lake is about an acre in size and is twelve feet deep at the most. I usually catch the at night on jugs or throwlines. Panfish is the usual bait that I rig them with. I have tried to catch them with rod and reel but they aren't biting. What an I doing wrong?
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#2 Bluebasser86

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Posted January 04 2012 - 10:36 PM

Catfish in ponds are very sensitive to their surrounds. When you set out juglines at night I'm guessing you leave them overnight and check them again the next morning. Those fish sense nothing out of the ordinary so they go about feeding as normal. A lot of people make way too much noise while they are fishing ponds for catfish or any fish for that matter. Try to keep noise and movements down and cut down as much as you can on anything that is going to transmit vibrations (walking, dropping tackle boxes on the ground, hammering a rod holder into the ground) I like your bait choice. If you're after the flatheads go with live bluegills, sunfish, or bullheads with the lightest sinker you can get away with. I like saltwater livebait hooks because they are strong but not huge like most hooks marketed for livebait catfishing. Put the bait next to some kind of cover and leave it alone! If a fish is there it will find it eventually but it may take some time. In a pond environment a flathead doesn't have to move much to eat because the food usually comes to them. As for the blues and channels I like to use cut bluegill or shad. Cut it into appropriate sized pieces for the fish you're likely to catch. I like Kahle hooks for cutbait, get the right size for the bait and fish but try to keep it fairly small, you'd be surprised how big of a catfish you can land on a 1/0 or 2/0 kahle hook. Cast that out onto flats, at the mouth of any cuts, cover, or incoming creeks and wait. A friend of mine has a pond with lots of catfish in it but it is a very small pond. We often have to wait 20-30 minutes before we get our first bites and it seems to take about that long in between fish because when you hook a fish it will usually swim most of the pond during the fight. Hope that helps!

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#3 Red Earth

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Posted January 05 2012 - 10:14 AM

I fish a farm pond in Tennessee. It has channel, flathead, and blue cats. The lake is about an acre in size and is twelve feet deep at the most. I usually catch the at night on jugs or throwlines. Panfish is the usual bait that I rig them with. I have tried to catch them with rod and reel but they aren't biting. What an I doing wrong?



panfish is a good bait for catfish, but the wait is often longer it seems. try using something like night crawlers or chicken livers to catch them with rod and reel.

#4 Bass-minded

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Posted January 05 2012 - 04:18 PM

Thanks! I caught a 21 pounder on a throwline rigged with a cut panfish. I didn't know that nightcrawlers work, how do you rig them?
I like to stay as busy as possible to take my mind off how much I hate the things I do to stay busy.


#5 Bluebasser86

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Posted January 05 2012 - 07:22 PM

Thanks! I caught a 21 pounder on a throwline rigged with a cut panfish. I didn't know that nightcrawlers work, how do you rig them?


You can just thread them on the hook or run the hook through them a couple times and let the ends hang off. Worms and chicken livers tend to attract smaller fish for me and bluegill steal the bait off the hook before a catfish ever has a chance but they will really catch them sometimes. Nightcrawlers work really well after a heavy rain it seems like. During the summer grasshoppers and frogs work really well at times also.

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#6 Red Earth

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Posted January 06 2012 - 03:51 PM

Thanks! I caught a 21 pounder on a throwline rigged with a cut panfish. I didn't know that nightcrawlers work, how do you rig them?


i usually rig them on a 2/0 hook. like said above just thread them on there, but i like to exit and re-enter the hook a few times or sometimes they will just get sucked right off the hook. when i use chicken livers i like to wrap a short piece(6 inches or so) of elastic thread around the liver to help hold it on the hook, its not necessary but keeps the liver from flying off during the cast. a 21 pounder is nice, now try to catch that on rod and reel, you can also use cutbait for that. oh, and shrimp also works pretty good. bluebasser is right though, baits like nightcrawlers, livers, and shrimps will usually get you smaller fish, good for catching eaters if thats your goal. your bigger cats will most likely come on live baitfish/panfish or cut bait

#7 7mm-08

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Posted January 09 2012 - 12:53 PM

I've had more luck catching cats out of ponds using live minnows than anything else.
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#8 deep

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Posted January 09 2012 - 03:52 PM

I thought catching them was the easy part? Now only if killing them was as straightforward.. :fishing2:
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#9 Bass-minded

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Posted January 10 2012 - 06:14 PM

I took a lot of your advise to the pond the other day. I got there and pounded in a vertical rod holder but then left it there for about half an hour. During that 1/2 hour I caught one bluegill and killed it then cut it in half. Then I rigged it and cast it out as far as I could ( not far ). I then let it sit there for 3 1/2 hours while I continued to fish for bluegill. I also ate dinner during that time. I came back later but there was nothing but my bait. I was kinda disappointed. I had been quiet and all. So what do y'all think went wrong?
I like to stay as busy as possible to take my mind off how much I hate the things I do to stay busy.


#10 Bluebasser86

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Posted January 10 2012 - 07:29 PM

Probably your location or maybe the time of year. Catfish aren't as aggressive when the water is cold so they don't have to eat as often and don't roam around as much. You might try casting out a couple rods at the same time and letting them soak in different locations. This time of year I'd look for a flat close to the deeper portions of the pond and maybe one in the deepest part of the pond itself.

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#11 Red Earth

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Posted January 13 2012 - 10:23 AM

theyre probably all stacked up in a few locations around the pond. take note of where youve casted and where you havent casted. once you find one, youll probably find several more in the same location. i find them like this even in the summer sometimes. cast out 4 rods in different locations, but only one rod will be consistently getting bit. like last 4th of july for me at smith mountain lake. i found one spot that i casted to 15 yards off the dock and caught a bunch of channel cats in the 3lb range with an occasional bullhead mixed in. if i casted 5 yards too far or too short or too far to the left or right, i wouldnt get a bite. atleast when i threw too far i could pull my bait back in the zone. same thing happened to me in september, only one spot i could find that produced decent cats that were fun to catch. seemed like the other spots produced nothing in the way of catfish. other times i can catch them from most any spot.

i think your biggest problem is the time of year. ponds really seem to shut down in the winter, fishing them can be tough. im willing to bet you will have more success once warmer weather comes back around...

#12 lmoore

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Posted January 13 2012 - 11:48 AM

Host a Bass tournament on the pond and throw something you wouldn't think of as catfish bait. I hooked a nice flathead last year on a Craw Fatty, a Channel Cat on a tube, and had a partner catch a nice channel on a squarebill.

Otherwise, use a treble hook, chicken liver, and patience.
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#13 Bass-minded

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Posted January 18 2012 - 06:30 PM

Host a Bass tournament on the pond and throw something you wouldn't think of as catfish bait. I hooked a nice flathead last year on a Craw Fatty, a Channel Cat on a tube, and had a partner catch a nice channel on a squarebill.



Otherwise, use a treble hook, chicken liver, and patience.

Thanks but the lake isn't mine.
I like to stay as busy as possible to take my mind off how much I hate the things I do to stay busy.


#14 lmoore

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Posted January 18 2012 - 07:13 PM

Thanks but the lake isn't mine.


My post should not be confused with legitimate advice :) Other guys who know a lot more about catfishing than I do had some good advice.
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#15 Colton Neal

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Posted March 05 2012 - 06:44 PM

All i know is all those species in a one acre pond isn't good, flathead eat a ton and can decimate a forage population unless you're spending tons of money feeding them.