The catfish (also: sheatfish) is a predatory fish that prefers to live in the deep locations in freshwater. It can be noticed in ponds and lakes, but all the same it opts for the riverbed. This fish has sedentary life, and it can live for several years in the same places. Only in the spring and during floods, the catfish goes out into small plots flooded by overflow water.
Habitats of the catfish are rivers and deep lakes, reservoirs and open pits. The catfish is mostly a nocturnal predator, and contrary to popular belief that the catfish is a scavenger, it is a ruthless devourer of all living creatures that crawl into its mouth.
It consumes Crayfish, shellfish, fish, amphibians, birds and small animals. To rest, it selects reservoirs, deep pits with snags, riverside sunk logs where it spends most of the time going on a hunt at sunset. During the summer months, it battens as it is useful for it in the winter, since the catfish does not eat in the winter but prefers to rest in the pits deeply asleep.
Selection of bait and tackle
In the summer time the catfish can be offered with multiple-choice menu. First, the most affordable and effective bait is worms. From variety of worms, you should give preference to nightcrawlers for their large size and muckworms for their extraordinary flavor. The nightcrawlers can be extracted even at night under the trees having a flashlight. Muckworms should be looked for near livestock farms with round-pointed shovel. Since several worms can be baited, there should be plenty of bait. Similarly, leeches can be used.
The next efficient bait can be large insects in the summer — for example, locusts and mole crickets. But it is difficult to get such bait. Locusts live only in warm regions, massively destroying farmland, and it is hard to dig out mole crickets out of the ground. Search mole cricket in the gardens under the remnants of last year’s manure. The whiskered predator can also be caught on live bait. This can be large fish, frog or crawfish. The best option would be to catch live bait in the same pond or river where you hunt for the catfish.
If the water is rich in shellfish, you should use various shellfish as bait. This can be shells, mussels, etc. But first you need to open carapace of a shellfish with a knife, and only then put bait on hook.
Catfish: tips and and fishing tactics
There are some sound pieces of advice how to catch the catfish which will help you to catch the large fish and not to be left without harvest.
Time and period of fishing
The best option is from the beginning of May until the end of the summer, and sometimes even in the middle of fall. In late spring, bite will likely not be very intensive, but it is quite clear — the fish is not yet fully awake and feels incongruous. But in June and August it is the hungriest, however, if you use appropriate bait.
In late August, bite gradually decreases, and then becomes completely minimized. One should also consider the fact that it is worthwhile to hunt for the catfish all night — exactly in this period when it is the most active, therefore, can be caught on spinning.
It has been known for a long period that in the light of the day the catfish hides in holes or rhizomes of sunken trees. It leaves its sheltered locations only in cases of search for livelihood or competition with its relatives. Therefore, it cannot tolerate the presence of other similar individuals, so your try to catch more than one catfish in the same place is immediately doomed to failure.
The best bait is chicken liver
Chicken liver is justly considered to be the best bait for the catfish, but it is poorly kept on the hook if it was kept in the warmth and became soft. When you catch fish from the shore or from a boat, keep the bait in a portable refrigerator. In case of walking fishing, put liver in a plastic package and canvas bag for the fish with ice packed in polyethylene.