Catfish Setup Options | Best Catfishing Gear
Catfish are one of the most sought after gamefish in North America. The popularity of the species is well deserved, catfish do well in a variety of waters and conditions, they grow to impressive sizes, and are efficiently managed by wildlife and fisheries biologists. Fishing for catfish offers anglers a variety of options with many proven techniques, baits, and with a variety of equipment. Plentiful in most waters, it’s easy to see why so many fishing enthusiasts pursue catfish each year.
Catfish are strong, tough, and hard fighters especially when hooked on the end of a fishing line. Equally good as table fare as they are a sporting fish, anglers seek out catfish both for food and for sport. You can expect successful fishing in shallow muddy waters, along clear and deep rocky banks, in turbulent rivers, fishing from the bank, or fishing from a boat. Hooking up with a large catfish in a lake, reservoir, river, or stream can really put your gear to the test. Catfish are known for their strength, stamina, and rolling fighting style on the end of a line. Here are some considerations when you are putting together gear for pursuing catfish, and rigging up your catfishing setup.
Catfish Rod Requirements
While catfish can be caught on most any rod, including cane poles and bank lines, fishermen have a variety of excellent options available today when it comes to catfishing poles. There are a variety of rods suited perfectly to fishing for and catching catfish available to anglers. There are a few details to keep in mind when you are gearing up the right rod for catfish.
A catfishing rod should be heavy at the butt, balanced in the hand, and made from a rugged material. It’s important to use a heavy rod for strength when turning and fighting catfish, but sensitivity is also important. Choose a rod with some flex and feel in the tip, with large smooth eyelets, and a medium to medium heavy action.
Fiberglass rods really shine when it comes to catfishing. Although they are on the heavy side for casting and jigging, most catfishing techniques require little casting. Fiberglass rods offer plenty of backbone for fighting large fish while still providing plenty of sensitivity for detecting bites. Look for a rod between 5’6” and 7’ long, paired with either your favorite spinning or spin cast reel, and you will be on your way to a stringer full of catfish.
A few excellent rod choices include:
The Zebco 33 combo is a great all around rod & reel combo pairing a sturdy fiberglass rod with the famous Zebco 33 workhorse reel.
Catfish have a reputation for putting gear to the test. They fight hard, roll, and run into cover if they can. It’s a good idea to lean on the heavy side for gear when it comes to catfishing, and the reel on your rod is no exception.
Look for a reel with plenty of line capacity that is well constructed from quality materials. Both casting and spinning reels will work well for catfishing, it comes down to personal preference. Spinning reels are easier to cast when you are throwing larger baits and heavy sinkers, while casting reels offer sensitivity for detecting bites and some offer a bait clicker to detect runs if that is important to your style of fishing.
Some excellent Catfishing Reels Include:
Best Bait and Tackle for Catfish
Known for their fight, and ability to test tackle, catfish will put your gear to the test. Keep in mind their brute strength and fighting ability when you are putting together a tackle box with catfish in mind. From hooks to sinkers to fishing line, don’t be afraid to lean on the heavy side. There are some fantastic choices on the market today when it comes to catching catfish. Fishermen use straight single hooks, circle hooks, and treble hooks in pursuit of catfish. Catfish are typically caught on or near the bottom, making the right choice in sinkers critical. Here are some terrific options to put in your tackle box.
Fishing Line for Catfish
Hooks for Catfish
Sinkers or Weights for Catfish:
Bait for Catfish
There are many methods and baits that are productive for catching catfish. Many anglers have closely guarded secret recipes for their favorite catfish bait, while many anglers are happy to use commercially available baits on their hooks. On the market today are dough and dip baits with names like: Sudden Impact, Catfish Charlie, and Secret Seven. Catfish readily bite live bait, worms, cut bait, chicken livers, and even hot dogs too!
With so many tackle, rod and reel, and bait options out there for catfishing; there are no excuses for not getting out and wetting a line. Catfish are one of the most sought after fish in North America, if you haven’t yet, try your hand at it! Catfish are plentiful, fun to catch, and great to eat. Rig up a heavy action rod, tie on a sinker, a stout hook, and go catch a catfish or two!