Blue catfish is common in rivers, large impoundments, and in the large water below these impoundments. They can grow extremely large in these forage-rich locations.
What Blue Catfish Eat
The first step in determining how to catch blue catfish is to understand what it is eating and especially what is most common locally. This can vary depending on your location. The upper parts of some rivers are exclusively freshwater, while the lower reaches are brackish and tend to have higher salinity in the estuary.
High-eating, blue catfish eat various types of fish as well as crabs, clams, crabs and snails. Various shade and herring species are a staple food in places where they exist. Blue crabs are also a popular product in brackish environments, partly because they are common. Blue catfish bait includes live and dead natural bait (whole or shredded / cut), even rotten ones, as well as the smelliest stink bait preparations, chicken parts, strong cheese and much more.
Where blues are found
The area under a dam with milled holes and turbulent water is often a prime place to find blue catfish, especially a deep hole just under a hump. The riprap along the coast below a dam is also good, especially at the beginning of the season. Deep holes and pools in a river are the primary habitat for blue catfish.
How to catch blue catfish
At the top of the list of tips for fishing for blue catfish is: Bottom fishing is essential. Yes, this species is sometimes trapped in the water column, but this is far from the norm. Make sure your presentations are below.
Because blue catfish are bottom dwellers and bottom eaters, and are particularly good at smelling food, baits are much less effective than natural or processed baits. While still being fished or baited, it is most likely that fish will be produced.
In a river, most anglers anchor upstream of the location to be fished and fish a bait directly downstream, using a weight heavy enough to stay on the bottom. This is often referred to as bottom bouncing. Different types of sinkers can be used, some of which slide freely on the line. Usually there is a 2-foot leader from the sinker (or swiveling under the sinker) to the hook.
Keep slack out of the line
When a catfish takes the bait, the pressure on the tip of the pole usually eases temporarily. In this case, you should lower the tip 12 to 18 inches, quickly roll it up, and put the hook.
Going cat fishing soon? Make sure you have your fishing license.