Catfish General Information
A number of catfish species can be found in the west coast states including the channel, white, blue, flathead and bullhead. Fish up to 20 pounds are common in larger bodies of fresh water. Sexual maturity is reached at between 3 and 4 years. Catfish spawn when water temperatures are above 70 degrees F. The eggs are laid in a nest which could be anything from an old tire to an underwater animal burrow. The male guards the eggs, which can number up to 70,000, until they hatch about a week after spawning. The fry are guarded for a week or two after that.. The average life expectancy is 10 years but catfish have been known to live up to 40 years in their native habitat.
Catfish feed primarily feed at night but will snap up an opportunistic meal anytime one floats by. They inhabit shady spots during the day, seeking shelter from the sun. The diet of the catfish is varied consisting of insects, larvae, carrion, small fish, dead fish, frogs, fresh water mollusks, and even certain seeds carried into the water.
Although catfish can be caught by trolling minnows or minnow imitation lures, 99.9% are taken on bait of one type or another. Liver, shrimp, nightcrawlers, clams, hot dogs, mackerel, minnows, red worms, fish belly strips and minnows are all used as bait. Bait is usually sent to the bottom but if the bottom is weedy, the bait can be suspended by a float, or a marshmallow for smaller baits. Terminal tackle used is dependent on the type of bait and the currents encountered fishing.
If you are shore fishing the best time is at night when the fish are feeding.
If you are boat fishing during the day, anchor on a known catfish location. Catfish congregate in the shade of underwater mounds. Cast into the sun and retrieve slowly, about 6-8" per minute. Your rod tip will bend as you drag your sinker up the sunny side of the mound. When the rod tip straightens you are on the ridge of the mound. Prepare for the strike as you slowly work the bait down the shady side of the mound. Catfish are slow eaters so be patient before you set the hook.
Another technique is to sight fish. This method requires a good pair of polarized sunglasses, amber is the most popular color. By studying the terrain and daily migration patterns of the fish, or knowing where they rest or nest you will know where to go looking for them. When you can see one, cast a nightcrawler about two feet in front of his nose. Works every time!
Catfish Articles & Reports
Written By: Roland Aspiras,
Cold temperatures have pushed the majority of the bass into deeper water, where anglers working finese presentations are landing fish.
The top two lakes this week, according to Mickey Clements at Coyote Bait and Tackle, were Calero and...read more ››
Written By: Garry Erck, Dan Bacher,
(Ione) “We put in 300 pounds of trout each day this week and we plant to stock 1,000 pounds each day next week,” said Debbie Grayson of Lake Amador Resort. “The trout fishing is very good.”
The resort has stocked a total of 13,000...read more ››
Written By: Dan Bacher,
(Lafayette) Lafayette Reservoir temperatures are still dropping, and now it’s about 60 F all the way down to 30 feet. Trout fishing continues to be very good, and bass and catfish fishing continue to decline.
“However, the...read more ››
Tips & Tactics for Catfish
Written By: Paulette Kenyon
For many of us, life seems to becoming more complicated instead of easier. We have created all these gadgets that supposedly make lives...read more ››
Written By: Cal Kellogg
Just the other day I found myself setting on a deer stand on a ridge high in the Tahoe National Forest. The hunting was great except for...read more ››
Written By: Headwaters Fishing Team
What I experienced today was akin to courting a girl for months and upon meeting her family - oh my goodness; hot for sister! Big sister...read more ››
- I had to work til 4 yesterday, let my kids go with their mom, the girfriend was at her families and I didn't wanna go to my parents soooooo I figured...
Fri, 29 Nov 2013 18:11:44 GMT
- Hey ladies and gents new subscriber but been following the forum a long time!
Anyways last night me and two friends were catfishing off the...
Thu, 28 Nov 2013 10:05:57 GMT
- Katfish board is dead...
Lets get some kitty reports me fellow cat fisherman.
Here's a small 3.7 pound kitty I caught on the feather river...
Sun, 24 Nov 2013 08:41:51 GMT
- Thinkin about banking it there next week and never been. Always hear about it so wanna give it a try. My buddy and I fish at night from 9pm til 2am...
Sat, 16 Nov 2013 03:28:34 GMT
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