How to Fish for Catfish

The most common catfish in North America is the channel catfish. You can improve your catch of this fish by following these guidelines.


  • Step 1: Use bait with a strong scent Use bait that has a strong scent. Catfish use their noses to find food.
  • Step 2: Fish near sharp bends Fish for channel catfish where there are sharp bends in a river. The bends are accompanied by undercut areas that catfish like.
  • Step 3: Fish near submerged trees Fish during the day where there are tree deadfalls, stumps, and flooded trees. Catfish are bottom feeders and are frequently found in these places.
  • TIP: Catfish move around a great deal in lakes. Planted catfish may travel in schools rather than dispersing.
  • Step 4: Fish at dusk Fish just before or just after sunset. Catfish are particularly active feeders at these times of day.
  • TIP: Scout the river during the day and note holes with sharp flats nearby. Catfish feed on the slopes of holes and on the flats at night.
  • Step 5: Be quiet Be careful not to make loud noises when fishing. Catfish are particularly sensitive to sound.
  • FACT: The African eel catfish can climb out of the water and stalk prey on land.

You Will Need

  • Fishing tackle
  • Scented bait
  • Sharp river bends
  • Submerged trees

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