The channel cat is the most popular catfish in the united States. They are sleek, muscular and one of the best and easiest catfish to catch and have a fun day doing so. Fishing for these widespread catfish is beautifully simple. Yet many cat fans take this a step too far. They have one favorite place to fish, one favorite rig to use, one favored bait and one way to go about it. You can greatly improve your cat fishing success by trying a few new tricks and by focusing your fishing effort on the most attractive catfish habitat in whatever water you do fish. Use favored approaches when they’re producing cats. But when the old method fails, the following pointers could help your catch.
You can catch channel cats on almost every type of bait you can think of, from crayfish, night crawlers and minnows to homemade stink baits, chicken liver and even soap like zote that contain meat fats. If big channels are your target, though, you’d be wise to use cut baits as often as possible. Cut baits are pieces of cut bait-fish. Body fluids from these baits attract cats over long distances. Use a oily fish when possible like shad, herring, or even bluegill and any other fish you would like to try.
Cut bait is prepared many ways. Some anglers fillet strips from the sides or belly of the fish, saving the carcass and entrails for later use. Others cut the bait in chunks even the heads can be used. Vary what you use until you determine what catfish want.
Match the bait’s size to the fish you’re likely to catch. In waters with few cats over 5 or 6 pounds, use 1- to 2-inch chunks or strips of cut bait. Where bigger cats are common, 3- to 4-inch-long baits aren’t out of place.
The catfish won’t be able to resist the taste when they sink their teeth into it. Using the correct hook for your bait is crucial. If you choose a hook that is too small, your bail will fly off during casting and you won’t catch anything. Treble hooks will hold some baits better and there will be less chance of it coming off. You can buy treble hooks with springs that hold the bait on but these can be expensive. If you bait the hook correctly a number 6-8 treble hook is the best.