Catfishing Info.

One of the biggest things catfish anglers need to consider is being prepared for the species they are fishing for, For channel cats you can get away with using light tackle such as bass rod and reels but for big Flatheads and Blues they will put your gear to the test! I like to use  medium heavy to a heavy action rods with a reel that can hold 200 to 300 yards of nothing less than 40# test of mono. In my opinion monofilament line is the best all around line due to the abrasion resistance and the forgiving stretch. I use baitcasting reels with a bait clicker,there are many styles and sizes made for catfishing. There are also many hook sizes and styles. I fish for trophy fish so i use nothing less than an 8/0 J hook or nothing less than an 8/0 circle hook. I also believe that Big Bait also increases your odds on catching big fish. I mostly use live bait for flatheads such as suckers, bullheads, gills and shad. For channels and Blues i use cut or live Shad, these are the baits that ive had the most success on. The biggest thing i can stress while catfishing for trophy fish is Patience, Ive spent many nights fishing witout a bite, When I fish i use very little light and try to keep noise down to a minimum I believe this makes a huge difference especially for Flatheads.  Trial and error is the best way to become a succesful catfisherman, bait choices, location, and just being in the right place at the right time, Every trip out I learn something new.  Also i must stress the importance of catch and release, if you dont release these fish they dont have the chance to grow into a trophy!  So to break it down Patience, adequate gear and getting out there and finding the fish is what makes for a good Catfisherman............. Good Luck!

Changing Flathead bait choices throughout the year

Something that has made me a more sucessful flathead fisherman is change my bait choices throughout the year. At the begining of the year I like to use a more slender bait such as a sucker, shad or even a small bass. I also have figured out that what ever bait is running in the spring is a good go to bait, when the white bass are on the run in the spring that is one of my most succesful baits! During the spawn i like to use Bullheads and gills, they naturally invade a flatheads nest to eat the eggs and by far is my best baits in the summer, I also use what is called a green eared sunfish, They look alot like a gill but with larger mouths and green streaks up the side of there mouth and head, these baits are very agressive and easy to keep alive in the heat of the summer, in the tank and on the hook. Then as the water temp starts dropping in the Fall i start to go back to the slender baits but also use some bass and bullheads also. I also use some cut shad throughout the year but this past year was terrible dealing with the turtles and couldnt keep a cut bait in the water. The type of suckers i have the most luck on is the northern hog nosed suckers. I also believe in the saying "BIG BAIT BIG FISH" I always run at least one monster bait while im fishing and it might set out all nite without a run or it might be the bite to make your year or Lifetime! Good luck to all this year and cant wait to set into the first flat of the year!......smooth

Two Basic Rigs I Use For Catfishing

These are my two most used rigs I use while catfishing,  A  is the three way rig,  I usually use this while im fishing rivers with current and or a rocky bottom.  The line to the hook is usually 10 to 12 inches, I run a 12 to 15 inch drop line to the sinker.  I also use a smaller #test for my sinker line so if it hangs up in the rock i can break it off and still land my fish.  B  is the basic carolina rig or slip sinker rig,  I use a 10 to 12 in leader from the swivel to the hook.  above the swivel i will use a bead or a small section of air line to cushion the impact from the sinker on the knot. I myself use sinker slides to make changing sinkers easy instead of having to retie every time.  You can use these rigs for Channels, Blues, and Flatheads, you just might have to change lengths of line, weight of your sinker and hook sizes to fit your situation.  There are many other methods and rigs that guys may use but these are the two that best fit my Fishing, that has worked for me.....Smooth

Cold Water Channel Cats
As the water temps continue to drop into the 40s here in Ohio, doesn't mean that the catfishing has come to an end. There is still plenty of fishing to be done just have to know were to look.
When the water temps start to drop is when I start changing my techniques, first of all you have to know where to find the fish. I start by finding the wintering holes. A wintering hole doesn't have to be the deepest water in the stretch but with the most suitable conditions. Most of the places I find have little to no current and or a good current break. You find the right hole and the fish will be stacked up.
Next thing I think that is important is downsizing baits. During this time I usually will use a piece of cut bait not much bigger than a quarter. The best baits I've had success with is small chunks of Shad, Sucker or even Chubs. A lot of guys also have much luck with cut Minnows and Nightcrawler. I also will drop my hook size to the bait. I will run a size 5/0 to 6/0 hook, J style. I also like circle hooks but a lot of times at this time of year the fish are a little more sluggish and don't load the rod up enough for the hook to work properly.
Another thing I do is lighten my gear. I will use a light to med light action rod and say 10 pound line. At times the bite is so soft that with heavier gear you might not even feel the bite. Alot of times I will use my bass tackle the colder the water gets.
The last thing is patience! You might have to hit quite a few holes before you find the right one, but when you do find the right one, it can make for some non stop channel cat action.......Smooth