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Catfish At Night: Bigger cafish are caught at Night

Fishing For Catfish At Night

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Suggested Night Fishing Catfish Equipment:

  • Boat
  • Good Set of Boat Anchors
  • 12v Auxiliary Power System
  • External Night Lights
  • Submerged Lighting
  • Bait Live Well
  • System For Chumming
  • Boat Rod Holders
  • Heavy Bait Casting Or Spinning Rig
  • Insect Repellent

Big Cat
Creative Commons License photo credit: Chasqui

Night fishing for catfish can be a very rewarding fishing trip. Trust me If you do it correctly you will catch fish, not only will you catch fish but some will be lunkers! Catfish feed at night and are very active, and when they get into a feeding frenzy fishing action can be incredible! Catfish have a very keen sense of smell and are attracted underwater fishing lighting. If you can put yourself in the catfish’s nightly habitat location there are some simple methods you can use to entice the cats to feed more aggressively. But first you must be setup and prepared for night fishing it is totally different at night then in the day. Things you take for granted during the day, don’t apply at night.

How To Set Your Boat Up For Night Fishing

There are some key items that are a must if you are planing a night fishing trip for catfish. The Items are as follows:, Lighting to hang inside the boat ,either battery or Coleman fuel type lanterns with two mantles. Set up your lights so they distribute light evenly inside the boat. I personally fish from a 20 foot pontoon and I have 3 halogen battery powered lights hung 2in the front, left and right and one hanging from my canopy in the rear.(You could replace battery powered lights with propane lights, just remember the propane lights attract a ton of insects)

I also recommend you purchase a small light you clip on the visor of a ball cap. This light is used for re-rigging your fishing poles. Trust me , no matter how prepared you are before your trip you will loose some tackle, from line crossovers, or snags, or fish snapping your line. (you can limit this by using heavy tackle and making sure your line is fresh) I personally use a led light that clips to the visor on my ball cap.

Your Next light source is to illuminate the surface of the water. A 12v halogen that you can clip onto the side of your boat and pivot the light source at different angles, and hook to a external 12v power source does nicely here. I personally use and adjustable halogen that I can clip to the railing on my pontoon. Direct the light at a 60 degree angle from boat to water. This will illuminate the surface.

You will need a submerged light source. You are probably asking your self right now why do I need submerged lighting?The underwater fishing lights will attract bait fish by the hundreds, and I am sure you already know the baitfish attract the cats. The reason the underwater fishing lights attract bait fish is because they generate what is called a plankton swirl, of which the baitfish feed from. Once the bait fish start schooling The big cats will come attracted by the schools of bait fish. Submerged lighting rigs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The one I use is 36″ long about 4″ in diameter.You want to place your underwater fishing light in the center of the light pattern that you surface light is generating. Anchor your submerged lighting about 12 ” off the bottom, (without an anchor they will float on top of the water).. make sure the light completely submerged under the water. I recommend you use a 5lb weight as an anchor. If possible, anchor the submerged light about 2 to 3 ft from the boat.

I haven’t mentioned much about the secondary 12v power source that you will need to have on board your boat to power your underwater fishing light,other secondary light sources, and your bait aerator. “do not use your boats power source” This will drain your battery.”you don’t want to get stuck on the lake at night right? If you take a well charged 12v marine battery as your second source it will last through the night.

I recommend you have minimum of three catfish poles pre-rigged and ready to cast out into the water.The reason I suggest this is because it’s real pain the “blank” To re-rig at night.You won’t get away without re-rigging poles, but you want to avoid it as much as possible.

The Importance Of Knowing where the catfish are at night

It is very important that you do some pre-planning and research the body of water you intend to go night fishing for catfish on. I would like to identify one key common observation I have made over the years of night fishing for catfish. It has been my experience the bigger cat’s roam the shore lines or back waters in search of food at night, but everybody of water is always slightly different. I highly recommend you do some research on the body of water you intend to night fish for catfish on. At Minimum Get a topographical map of the area before you attempt your trip. These can be attained at any of the local bait and tackle shops in the area. (I recommend you visit one of these shops to get the local scoop anyway, if you dig deep enough these guys can pin point on the map Where to start fishing. This will save you lots of time.)

Arousing The Catfish’s Senses For A Better Catch.

Once you have your water surface lights and your submerged lights set up and ready to go you don’t even need to do the next step, you are ready to start fishing. The submerged lighting will get the schools of bait fish coming , but I take it step one step further because if you play on the catfish’s extra sensitive sense of smell you can drive the Big cats into a feeding frenzy! Ok You say how?

Chumming will perk any catfish’s keen sense of smell, it can actually drive the catfish crazy because they are a curious fish by nature and because they are constantly foraging for food at night. “Chumming” releases a slick of dead fish smells and particles of fish guts that both the catfish and baitfish feed on. I use a simple very in-expense and easy to setup method of chumming. You can also purchase commercial chumming systems that you can set up.Find yourself a nylon netted bag that you close tight with a string. If you can find a netted bag that holds golf balls they work very well. This is what I use, works perfect , very inexpensive.Get yourself some good size freezer bags, at least 3 for a one night fishing for catfish trip.

I always cut up small bluegill if I can get them, or I i purchase about 2 dozen chubs an cut them into 1″ to 2″ slices, and put the guts pieces and juices in a pan that won’t drain. Fill the freezer bags pieces and juice all together, and let them sit outside in the sun all day long. Yes it will stink to high heaven by the end of the day, but that is what you want! Now stick the freezer bag in side the meshed bag that can close. Close the bag tight and tie a line at the bottom of the bag about 2 feet long. Attach about a 2lb anchor to get the bag to the bottom . Now tie a line at the top of the bag with enough lead line to get the bag on the bottom. Now before you lower the chum bag to the bottom take an ice pick, or something sharp that will puncture the bag , but not tear the plastic. Punch the freezer bag numerous times, then lower to the bottom an tie it off on the side of the boat.

Now its time to fish! But before we go there lets re-visit Your catfish rigs. There are many catfish rigs you can use, and they all work in situations they are designed for. Your rigs do not need to be setup for long casting, keep in mind you will be placing your line only a few feet away from the boat, at the edge of your underwater fishing light source.

You will be fishing only a short distance from the boat, so your rigs need to be set up to fish in close proximity to the boat. You could fish tight line with a basic catfish hook and a small sinker. Or use a slip bobber system. I prefer to use the slip bobber system.

ok I use the single hook rig. Both rigs work fine but I just have preference for the single hook rig. I do use the double hook rig when fishing for other types of fishing rigs for night fishing are all heavy duty. I have all open face spin cast reels spooled with 30lb test. When you do get a lunker on your line you want the tackle set up to handle the fight. You miss some smaller cats, but it’s well worth it when you catch your first 10lb plus catfish.

Baits To Use

Both Channel and Blue catfish will eat just about any small fish like Suckers, small shad, or bluegills both live or dead.When I am set up for a good night of catfish fishing I will use both live and dead cut bait. I will normally set one pole up with a small live gill no more that 3 inches in length. My other poles will be baited with cut bait , normally LARGE suckers 6″ or longer cut in 1″ to 2″ chunks.

Now Bait your rigs,Get Your Boat Setup and get ready for an exciting Night fishing for Catfish Trip! Once you catch a lunker 10 pounder + You will be Hooked for life! So have fun and good luck!

Mark Fleagle Webmaster. 30+ Years Of Fishing Experience Expert Author At Click This Link To Find Out More About Catfish At Night Fishing Webmasters , Need 100% Free Automated Fishing Content Instantly? Click This Link: Free Fishing Content

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