Catfishing Tips and Tricks...

Don't use light: Stay away from fishing jugs which advertise a constant light or attaching any glow sticks to your jugs.  Jugs which use a constant light like glow sticks will attract bugs and baitfish, in which will capture the attention of the catfish instead of the bait on your hook.  Lights are often attached to help you find your jug easier at night.  You will find your jug, but more often without a fish on the line.

Don't fish in currents:  When using jug lines, don't set the lines in currents to where your jug will travel away from where it was set.

Fish deep water structures with current: Catfish will use these places year round to feed. Look for ledges, points, deep holes, etc.

Use a Carolina Rig: It fights off snags and presents the bait in an unrestricted manner. This rig is great for most anglers. Tie a few extra leader lines before you hit the lake if you want to speed up reties while on the water.

Use Cut Bait for Blues, Live Bait for Flathead: This is pretty straight forward, but this rule can be bent. As a catfishing guideline, this rule holds true most of the time, especially for larger catfish.

Use a Circle Hook: You don’t have to set the hook, and they are nearly impossible for the fish to shake off.  It helps to introduce young kids to fishing when they don’t have to worry about losing the fish.

Pick Right Size of Hook: I prefer to start about 4/0, but a number of guys like 7/0 hooks. Play around on your own and see what you like best.

Use Monofilament Line When First Learning: It has enough stretch to help correct a mistake when fighting a big fish, and it’s inexpensive.

Fish Close to Cover: Fishing on structure is great, but to get more precise and catch more fish, you should have your bait close to the stumps, rocks, trees, etc. that are on that structure. The closer you can get your bait the better chance of catching a catfish.

Follow Seasonal Patterns to Know Which Structures Will be Best: It’s your guide to finding catfish all year.

Fish with Confidence: If you believe you will catch catfish, you will. Though it sounds like a phrase that people just say, confidence affects your focus and presentations, which counts for more or fewer catfish.

Fish Early, Fish Late: The time when the sun is rising and falling is called low light periods. In these periods catfish have the sight advantage over their prey, which increases their chance of eating, making them more aggressive.

Use Equipment in Your Price Range: You can pay more for a better piece of equipment but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessary. I’ve watched my dad fish his entire career with rods that cost less than $20.

Use a Large Sinker, Keep Your Bait on Bottom: Whether it’s heavy current or light, you don’t want the weight to be moving and getting hung in the cover. Start with a 1-ounce and move your sinker weight up by an ounce at a time until your rig doesn’t move.

Use a Flat Sinker: It’s more current resistant, which means that it stays on bottom better. Practice Boat Positioning for Anchoring Techniques: Practice setting your boat up within casting distance up wind or up current from your target. Practice casting your bait close to the cover on the structure. Practice the presentation as a whole.

Use a Depth Finder to find Structures and Cover: Learning to use a depth finder can greatly increase your catch rate and understanding for what you’re doing because you can see what you’re finishing better.

Fish with a Friend: Other than the fact that you’ll have a much better time, you and your partner can test different rigs and baits. Plus if your fishing buddy is catching fish doing something that you have never used, you will quickly pick up a new technique.