When it comes to rigging for catfish, there are many variables, but the following guide for setting up catfish rigs will help you to get it right no matter the time of year or conditions in which you will be fishing. Perhaps the first thing to consider when it comes to setting up catfishing rigs, is the size differential when it comes to catching cats.
Obviously, since catfish come in sizes from panfish sized to HUGE monster cats, the size you hope to catch will vary the types of gear you choose to use. Just try to match the size gear you use to the size fish you hope to target for best results.
For huge monster cats, heavy sea fishing rods may be your choice, but you might choose a heavy eight footer with 30 pound test line in some circumstances too, just as you might choose a more common spin rig with 10 to 15 pound line in other circumstances when you are fishing for catfish.
If you are pond fishing for some small table fare (particularly if you are teaching youngsters to fish) you might even want to target some really small cats in the two to nine pound size range. You can use really light gear for those and use six to ten pound test line.
The choice should depend on the fish you hope to catch. Likewise, the size bait you use should be relevant to the size fish you hope to target.
If you plan to fish in the heat of the summer, you might find wading in a stream or creek while you fish for catfish a cooler way to catch a fish. Using the lighter gear will also make it easy to be on the move with your pole and every thing you need in hand (or an easy access pocket) while the water keeps the endeavor a bit cooler. Use a light spin rod with a light eight pound test line.
Carry a small case with # 1-4 hooks, split shot, and a bobber or two. If you are fishing bottom cover in slower moving waters, you might want to use a float to keep the bait off the bottom so you won’t get hung up as often.
Another rig that works well is using a little sinker in about a half ounce range. Use a snelled hook about a foot above your sinker. You might also try a dropper with a hook tied on it. Use tiny minnows or worms, crickets, small shrimp, or small pieces of chicken liver for fish in this size range.
If you are fishing lakes, large impoundments, rivers, or smaller reservoirs, and hope to catch fish in the four to fifteen pound size range, move up to a medium weight class of tackle.
All the baits you can use on the lighter tackle previously mentioned will work on the medium sized rigs, but you can also add in good punch bait as another alternative. Use split shot, a bullet sinker that is about a foot and a half up on your line. Either peg it or crimp it to keep it from sliding around on your line. You can also use a Dipsey sinker as well.
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