Catfish are a very versatile kind of fish, and so it is appropriate that the kind of waters they can be found in are also very diverse. One of the reasons why catfish are so popular to fish for is because of the endless variables they offer: you can catch a catfish the size of your arm or the size of your dog. So much of your catfishing experience depends on where and how you do it, and it can vary dramatically from one location to the next. So keep these things in mind when you start out to fish for cats.
What kind of water are you fishing in? Will it be from shore? One of the biggest challenges in bank fishing is being able to understand the landscape of the water. Since you are not right on top of it, as a boat would be, you need to be alert for the signs of the water’s environment. Is it deep? Shallow? Are there logs? Is it filled with vegetation? If you prefer bank fishing, try to walk to shore to get a lay of the land, or even take a boat out just to see what the water is like. Knowing what you are getting yourself into before you pack all of your gear can make a difference.
Think that your rig and what you use for bait is the only thing that matters? Think again. Remember that catfish are feisty and strong. Your rod holders don’t have to be super expensive or anything fancy (some PVC pipes could do just fine) but make sure they are secured into the ground and offer a stable home for your rod. It is a terrible feeling to lose your cat because your rod holder was too flimsy or didn’t properly support your rod.
One of the easiest ways to spot catfish when fishing from the bank is to look for obstructions in the water or current breaks. A current break is where the current changes its normal course, and is a good indication of structures in the water like logs, boulders, or vegetation that change how the water flows around it. The calm water behind this obstruction is called an eddy, and that’s where you’ll find the fish because the water is calmer there. These are spots where catfish and the fish they feed on rest. If you aren’t fishing in a river, still look for structures – that’s often where little fish hide, and catfish know just where to go to get a meal.