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How to Catch Catfish

Shrinivas Kanade
Do you know what is meant by noodling for catfish? It is a way of catching this fish. Read on to know more.

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Every angler dreams of hooking a big fish to come into the record books. The Mekong Giant Catfish, found in South East Asia, can grow up to 3 meters.
In 2005, a specimen weighing 644 lbs (293 kilograms) and measuring 2.7 meters in length, was caught in the Mekong river in Thailand. It was big as a grizzly bear, and the biggest freshwater fish ever caught.

All About Baiting the Catfish

Before you set out, it is necessary to know about its habits and habitat. The following list includes few of their species:

► Channel catfish
► Blue catfish
► White catfish
► Yellow bullhead catfish
► Brown bullhead catfish
► Fathead catfish

Common Places to Fish

➼ In small rivers, catfish are commonly found in the areas close to rapids and pools. These are the places where fast-moving water carves the bottom to create deep pools. River catfish, also known as Channel Cats, occupy pockets of the slow-moving water. Here it lie in wait to ambush their food, prey or the bait.
➼ Mostly, these fish prefer sheltered waters found in the vicinity of rocks, boulders, fallen logs or trees.

➼ In big rivers, the structures such as wing dams, sandbars and rocks that causes the current to slow down, offers them agreeable places to feed.
➼ A tributary junction is also a rich place to look for them. The turbulent water, at these junctures, creates deep water pools that are tempting for this fish.
➼ While fishing in a pond, the trick is knowing where to cast your bait. If you are fishing in daylight then you must bait it in deep water such as dams, in creek channels flooded with water, near the mouth of the channel that feeds the pond, behind the rocks, fallen trees and in the empty places among the roots of the trees standing on the edge of the pond.

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How to Fish for Catfish

Fishing is a stay still-and-wait game that can test a fish's as well as a man's patience. The best place to test your integrity in following this ancient code of conduct is to fish from the bank of a water body.
A spot, just after the dam or the confluence of rivers and high enough to enable you to cast in the shallow waters or behind a fallen log at the head of a deep pool, can give you with the day's catch. On the other hand, you can sit in a boat at anchor and go about your business. The trick is to position the boat at the right spot and in the right fashion.
You should go for the sides of channels or look for a large snag along the riverbank to park the boat sideways. This will enable you to cover more area without snagging your line. The list of equipment which may help you in your task.
Bait: Catfish go for any kind of bait, from night crawlers, crayfish, minnows, stinkbaits, chicken liver, mackerel, small sunfish, worms and crawdads to home-made smelly cheese.
However, if you are angling for the big game, then the trick that may click for you is to use a special bait, prepared to lure it to your fishhook. Drain the water and blood from chicken liver and fill it with garlic salt, and let it mature for a day. The salty taste of the preparation will definitely prove irresistible to your game.
Rods: A medium-heavy to heavy stout rod of 6-7 feet in length, is useful in catching this fish, provided you can easily handle it.
Fishing lines: You can choose a suitable fishing line from the many available types such as, a monofilament, braid, or heavy test fluorocarbon fishing line. If you are fishing for the big game, you might consider using fishing lines that can cope with the 30-35 pounds of strain.
Hooks: Circular hooks are more useful than J-hooks, because it hooks the fish in the jaw.

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Reels: Spinning reels and large bait-casting reels, etc., can also be used.
A variety of methods are used to catch fish, from using hands, bows and arrows, fishing nets to detonating explosives in the water to stun and catch the fish. Have you ever heard of how to catch a flathead catfish by noodling for it?
There are some people who consider noodling the best way of having fun. A fisherman inserts his hand in a hole in the riverbank or river bed which he hopes, is harboring a fish or two, and lets it dangle and wriggle there. The hole may contain a snapping turtle or a beaver, a snake or as hoped by the fisherman a catfish.
When the irritated occupant of the hole snaps and takes firm hold of the hand or finger, the fisherman uses his muscle power to drag it out of the hole and to carry it to the bank. If it is a catfish then all is well and good. Noodling is considered as an extreme sport and only those who dare, succeed.