Fishing for catfish is an all-time favorite pastime. You can expect to break some sweat as catfish can put up a good fight, with some growing to over 100 pounds. Catfish are also easy to cook, and they’re tasty, packed with protein, and low in fat.
When baiting catfish, whether for sport or just to enjoy a great meal, understanding the species and using a great fishing line is key to having a remarkable fishing session.
What are the Types of Catfish?
There are over 2,000 species of catfish in the world, flourishing in various bodies of fresh water. In the United States, the most commonly consumed are channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. If you're aiming to level up your fishing proficiency, knowing the difference between these types goes a long way.
Channel catfish are the smaller kind, averaging between 10 and 20 inches in length, and most won't exceed 20 pounds. They abound in deep pools of small or large rivers with slow to moderate currents. They have an olive-brown to gray color on the back and sides and a white belly, while the forked tails and an upper jaw projecting beyond the lower jaw set them apart from other species.
It's sometimes difficult to distinguish the blue catfish from the channel catfish since both have forked tails and similar coloration, but a closer comparison of the anal fins will give both away. Channel catfish have rounded fins with up to 29 rays while blue catfish have straight or flat fins with 30 or more rays. Blue catfish are abundant in deeper waters like lakes and sections of rivers with solid currents, where they wait for their prey.
Blue catfish also grow tremendously large, with the largest recorded at 143 pounds. Their size makes it a challenge to reel them in.
It’s easy to identify flathead catfish with their broadly flattened head and a projecting lower jaw. They are usually pale yellow to light brown on the back and sides and have a cream-colored belly. Typically solitary, adult flathead catfish prefer deep pools with turbid water and slow currents and could grow to over 50 pounds.
These catfish are protective of their eggs and will fight hard.
What's the Best Time to Catch Catfish?
Any time of the day is a good time to hunt for catfish. The results depend on where you’re fishing and what kind of fish you want to get.
Many anglers go out at night when it’s colder and when catfish go to shallower waters looking for food. However, catching catfish in the daytime is just as rewarding. During the day, it’s easier to go into deeper waters on a boat, and if you cast your line out correctly, you can also fish from the shore.
When you decide to go and what methods you employ is up to you.
What Fishing Methods are best for Catfish?
There are a variety of ways to catch catfish depending on your personal preference, needs, and the fishing experience you want to enjoy. Popular fishing methods include noodling, jugging, trotlining, and the rod and reel.
Noodling involves catching fish with your bare hands, jugging employs lines attached to floating jugs, and trotlining uses baited branches of a fishing line to catch multiple fish at the same time. It’s important to note that these techniques are illegal in some states because of the harm they bring to the fishers, the fish, and other animals. It’s best to check with your state’s guidelines.
The most popular and versatile method of fishing is perhaps the use of the rod and reel. This style of fishing is straightforward, and anybody can quickly learn to do it. The real point of debate with the rod and reel usually lies in the type of fishing line used.
What are the Best Braided Fishing Lines for Catfish?
Braided lines have incredible advantages over standard fishing lines available in the market right now. A key feature is that a braided line has no stretch, so the hook is set immediately when you pull the rod. It also has a smaller diameter, making it glide easily through water. And unlike monofilament, a braided line has no memory, so it sits on your rod for extended periods without appearing warped.
The best braided fishing lines identified below have undergone serious line strength tests and abrasion resistance tests, setting them apart from other types of fishing lines.
FINS XS Big Game Fishing Braid 50-80lbFINS XS Big Game Braid 50-80lb is a high-tenacity 8-end composite braid designed to withstand intense abrasion, giving anglers the strength and structure they need to catch catfish all day long. It's also a great choice for the following:
- Trolling in freshwater/saltwater
- Bottom fishing
- Applications that require extreme durability
The FINS XS Big Game performs best on conventional reels and can hold 50 to 80 pounds. It comes in blue, white, orange, and green and can be purchased in a spool of 150 yards to 4,000 yards.
FINS Windtamer Fishing Braid 12-30lb
From small ponds to larger waterways, using the FINS Windtamer Fishing Braid 12-30lb is the way to go. It's the most versatile FINS braided fishing line, featuring a round 4-end braid that performs well in every fishery you may encounter. The Windtamer braid packs tightly onto the reel without digging into itself.
The Windtamer comes in white, slate green, high-visibility yellow, and high-visibility pink. Just like the XS Big Game, the Windtamer braided line can be purchased in a spool of 150 yards to 4,000 yards. Unlike other lines, the Windtamer does not have a waxy feel, and it eliminates wind knots, rod tip wrap, and any sort of twisting.
Reel In the Benefits
Having the basic information about fishing for catfish and using the most reliable gear is your ticket to an exhilarating fishing experience. Check out our incredible selection of fishing gear for anglers of all experience levels. If you want to learn more about our braided fishing lines and other products, contact our team today.