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pauldconyers

Need some simple advice on catfishing setup

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Now that my son is 6 and really likes bass fishing with me and asks about catfishing some time. The problem is I know there is no way he would have any success catching them the way I used to and the setup I used. 15 years ago I used to do some catfishing off the dock where my parents kept their pontoon docked at a large public lake. We would sit on the dock and tie a treble hook on the end of the line, attach a clamp on weight 2 foot up from hook on the line and use chicken livers on the hook. Pretty much slowly let it drop until it was sitting right on the bottom about 20 feet down and them slowly reel all slack out until the line was tight. We had a lot of fun but MAN was it a tedious and frustrating process. You would have to sit absolutely still and STARE at the tip of the rod for the smallest twitch. Sometimes you would see the line swim away a bit and you could get them hooked. Sometimes you could just STARE at the tip for 45 minutes and in the blink of an eye before you could even move a muscle it would bob up and down and the fish had completely cleaned the bait off the hook. At 6 years old he could not show the type of attention he would need to make this work.

 

I used to always see guys out on the bank catfishing that would throw the bait out and just sit the pole down and wait. That was SO different than the intense process I had of starring at the tip and holding the line between my fingers looking for the slightest change. I’m hoping someone can give me some tips on how best to go out and catch some catfish. Instruction on what hook and set up to use and more or less “how to do it.” A link to a youtube video or something. I see all the young kids that go out and catch them by themselves and know it is MUCH easier than what I am familiar with.

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My best advice is to start using Circle hooks (I love the Team catfish double action 3/0) and let the cats pick up the bait and run before setting the hook. In other words, don’t let them feel resistance! I use surgical tubing to wrap up the liver so it never falls off the hook during a cast. 

 

When you start getting nibbles, open the spool so you can watch the line swim off. Be patient. Once that cat swims off, engage the spool and reel fast. With a circle hook, no timely hooksets required! 

 

This is takes some practice, but your hooksets will increase tenfold. I promise you. I think a 6 year old will catch on to this technique as what I describe with the surgical tubing or even a pantyhose is worth the frustrations. 

 

Last thing, nibbles could be a turtle or a small cat that is hovering over the bait just being a nuisance. Find the spots with cats that don’t play games! 

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I've only been catfish fishing once in my life, at Lake Powell.  We would moor the houseboat for the evening in a cove with a sandy beach, put out our lines off the back, attach a clip-on bell to the tip of the rod, then drink beer until the bell rang.  I don't even remember what we used for bait.  We did have a good catfish fry the 3rd night out.

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Second the circle hook. You can still tightline with them. Bring 2-3 rods then setup a Carolina rig. 1/2-1 ounce weight. catch a couple bluegill to use as cut bait. When ya rig the hook dont cover the point of the circle hook. Throw all 3 lines out. Bells clipped to the rod tip do help alot with kids.

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My son caught a 26 lb channel cat when he was 8 years old using a slip shot rig and 3" Shad colored reaper. I added a portable rod holder to my bass boat so when he was tired of fishing he could put his rod in the holder and let slip rig drag along behind the boat. You just need to use 1/16 oz weight and keep an eye on the rod so didn't snag all the time when I was working an area slowly. When the big cat struck I thought it was a snag, told Tommy to get the rod while I backed up to un snag it, after about 100 yards I realized the snag was moving!

The lake rig is the same as a Carolina rig and popular for cat fishing, just shorten the leader to about 12" and use a bait holder hook. Fresh cut fish is good for channel cats, use mackerel availble at local fish markets.

Tom

 

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8 hours ago, Dorado said:

My best advice is to start using Circle hooks

Great advice! Circle hooks are a must for cats.

 

Bait is usually an afterthought for me but I only cat fish a few times a year. I grab whatever freezer burned meat is in the fridge, put it in a ziplock and cover it with garlic powder. Raw chicken breast works great.

 

There is a youtuber "Catfish and Carp" that is very informative. Check him out https://www.youtube.com/user/catfishandcarp

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2 hours ago, BuzzHudson19c said:

Great advice! Circle hooks are a must for cats.

 

Bait is usually an afterthought for me but I only cat fish a few times a year. I grab whatever freezer burned meat is in the fridge, put it in a ziplock and cover it with garlic powder. Raw chicken breast works great.

 

There is a youtuber "Catfish and Carp" that is very informative. Check him out https://www.youtube.com/user/catfishandcarp

That link will serve him well. That instructor is a pro and an effective trainer. My favorite bais for cats are as follows (in order): live bluegill on a slip bobber rig, tilapia cut bait, mackerel, and chicken liver sprayed with Gulp! Alive! Shad scent.  

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Catfishandcarp is a great youtube channel and will tell you everything you need to know.

 

In short, run some 50lb or 65lb braid on a MH catfishing rod. The Daiwa Regal Bri 4000 is a great reliable and affordable baitrunner reel for catfish (Luke from Catfishandcarp has 10 and has yet to have any issues). For a rod, try the Rippin' Lips Super Cat will do nicely.

 

http://a.co/fyU2s0c

http://a.co/enPKf9f

 

If you only learn one rig, learn the slip sinker rig which is the Carolina rig for catfish which consists of a flat lead, a bead, and a swivel. On the other side of the swivel, tie 12-18" of 30 or 40lb fluro and then snell knot a 4/0, 6/0 or 8/0 hook depending on the size of the Catfish you're targeting. A 3oz lead works very well most of the time for this rig unless you're in a river with very high current. For hooks, Team Catfish hooks are the best buy if you can find them but Owner and Gammys are good too. http://catsandcarp.com/catfishing/catfish-rigs/

 

You can catch them with hot dogs marinated in vinegar and garlic salt, spam, chicken livers, pickled herring, cut shad, french fries, pizza, corn, that annoying dog next door... catfish are like goats, they'll eat anything. Some people have even caught catfish on ivory soap! Team catfish and Berkley makes a nice spray that you can spray on your bait and add more scent as well, get that and spray it on spam and that's a good day's worth of fishing.

 

There's a couple of store purchased baits you can use as well. On the catfishandcarp youtube channel, he likes the plum boilies from Dynamite baits but they're hard to get in the states, but Magic Bait makes a mulberry catfish and carp that should be similiar. Berkley also makes a few baits as well, try the Gulp! in Bloody Shad or Powerbait in Chicken liver baits.

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One last thing to add. Last year, I bought a baitrunner (see link below) and it changed my catfishing experience. When a cat runs with your offering, with the freespool “on”, simply turn the crank to lock the spool and the circle hook will do the rest. With this set up, I probably have a hook up succes rate at almost 100%

 

http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/shimano-baitrunner-oc-spinning-reel

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I don't know if you're wanting to spend much on catfish setups but I would recommend a round baitcaster with a bait clicker on it. I like the Garcia c3s. That way you don't really have to watch your rod as close and won't worry about it getting pulled in. I've lost a pole because I didn't have my reel disengaged. We would always use a cast net to catch shad and use them as cut bait. 

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I do something I call bass fishing for catfish. It's a chunk of cutbait on a 2/0 Kahle hook on a medium or medium heavy spinning rod and 20lb braid. I cast it along riprap or shoreline weeds and fish it back slowly like you fish a lightly weighted plastic worm. Extremely effective and catches fish of all sizes. No special equipment required either.

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13 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I do something I call bass fishing for catfish. It's a chunk of cutbait on a 2/0 Kahle hook on a medium or medium heavy spinning rod and 20lb braid. I cast it along riprap or shoreline weeds and fish it back slowly like you fish a lightly weighted plastic worm. Extremely effective and catches fish of all sizes. No special equipment required either.

You got my attention. Never tried this  and I’ve been fishing for cats over a decade. Do you pause frequently or it’s a steady slow retrieval? What are the bites like?

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7 hours ago, Dorado said:

You got my attention. Never tried this  and I’ve been fishing for cats over a decade. Do you pause frequently or it’s a steady slow retrieval? What are the bites like?

Sometimes I pause and let it settle to the bottom for 10 seconds or so, other times they want it moving right along. Most bites are very violent. I try to keep a little slack on the pause and watch the line to jump or go screaming off. Most of the fish I catch are quality sized channel cats from about 3 to over 10 and occasionally over 20 pounds, so they're not shy biters when they decide to eat. Catch a surprising number of nice bass, wipers, white bass, and even an occasional walleye doing it too.

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