Catfish are gritty little creatures. They’re not the prettiest of the species with their mud-brown skin and their beady little eyes, but they’re certainly a challenge to catch. You see, catfish, like a lot of other animals, are equipped with their own defense mechanisms, specifically their sharp spiky spines. These spikes can even cause grotesquely large wounds on anyone who doesn’t know how to handle the catfish well. In some cases, the catfish can even secrete a sort of stinging protein, found in the lining of the spikes, to protect itself. However, these catfish, though a bit dangerous to catch, are also quite enjoyable to catch.
To catch catfish, you can use a simple trot line. A trot line is a line that is pulled from one end of an anchor to another point. Both points are usually found in an area of water known to be inhabited by several catch fish. Attached to the line are several hooks that are left to dangle in the water. You can have 25 to 200 hooks attached all in all. The more hooks, the more chances you have of catching catfish. You can leave the line out and do something else while you wait, and when you’re curious, you can simply ‘trot’ out and see how many fish you’ve caught.
You can also use bank hooks, also called limb hooks. They’re almost synonymous to the trot line except that they’re held by poles that are placed on the riverbanks instead of the water. An interesting technique would be to attach some bells on the hooks, so that every time they move, you can be alerted. This also helps by attracting the fish towards the line.
If you don’t fancy the relatively easy-going style of using bank hooks and trot lines, then it would probably be good for you to try using jugs. You have to attach the line to something that floats, preferably a small plastic bottle. The hook is then attached to the rig and set out into the water. When a catfish bites the bait, the jug would go under for a couple of minutes and then resurface. Once it resurfaces, you can start trying to catch your fish by grabbing the jug.
You can also use a fish finder if you are fishing on a boat, Lowrance or Garmin would be a good choice, for more you can read here: https://www.fishfinderhub.com/best-fish-finder/
Funny quote that I once heard from a fisherman was “cats can be found in trees.” Of course, I immediately thought about the cats that go meow and had to chuckle at the statement. In retrospect, though, the wisdom of this statement was very apparent. Once you got past the literal meaning of the word, you’d find one of greatest catfish fishing tips you’ll ever hear in your whole life: Catfish reside in the parts of the water where there are trees or logs. They like staying where the water shifts from shallow to deep and the current is slow. And naturally, when there are obstructions such as logs, this condition is met. The biggest lesson here, however, is to know the locations which the catfish love. Catching catfish is easy if you know how they behave.
Also, if you’re not up for the usual hook, line, and sinker method, you can just try making a trotline. Trotlines are a great way to get your fish and relax in the shade at the same time. All you have to do is to attach several hooks, say 50 hooks, to a line. Then you attach one end of the line to a pole and the other end to another pole. Make sure that it’s placed strategically. Here, the importance of knowing the locations where the catfish love comes into play again. A spot in the water which is known to harbor several catfish would be an ideal location. Just place your line over that ideal spot, wait for the fish to bite, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll have enough to start your own little catfish party. Maybe even enough to spare and to sell for a bit of income. Some variations include the limb lines and the jugs. They work just as well and are perfect when trotlines just cannot be used. Just remember, the trotline method won’t be successful all year round. It’s effective mostly during the months of June and July when the catfish are naturally abundant. The other months, you might have to settle for using the old fishing rod. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because this is where most of the fun in fishing lies.