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Proven Methods For Catching Catfish

Nov 28, 2007
There are a variety of methods used for catching Catfish. It all depends on how you prefer to fish. We'll go into several tried and true methods.

We'll start with trotlining. First you need to make sure it is even legal in your state to run a trotline. You can either build your own trotline or buy a ready made one at your favorite fishing supply store. Most of the ready made ones are fairly inexpensive, running about $8.00, they already have the hooks tied on and it's pretty much ready to go. You may want to go with the pre made one until you decide if you are going to like trotlining.

If you're going for the lunker cat, it's better to either build your own with heavier line or buy a more expensive pre made one. If you do decide to build your own, you will be working with a 150 foot line and 25 hooks. Check your state laws regarding the length and the spacing of the hooks.

Once you've checked your state laws and have your trotline, you will need to buy or make a weight. A good cheap weight can be made by filling a coffee can with cement and a large steel eye bolt that you can buy at the local big box home improvement store for about $4.00. This works great. You will also need floats, for those you can use store bought floats or save some money and use empty gallon milk cartons with the lids screwed on tight.

Now you're ready to set your trotline. Pick a spot that has a channel running down the middle of it, tie one end of the trotline to a tree or a stump on one side of the channel, carefully unroll the trotline and when you reach the other side tie the end to another tree or stump. Make sure to leave enough loose line that the trotline will sink down close to the bottom. Double check your knots! You could end up with 25 fish on this line and they are not going to just meekly sit there and wait for your return, they will be thrashing and twisting and doing whatever they can to escape and you don't want your trotline to come untied.

Once you have your trotline secured, it's time to bait the hooks. Your best bet for bait will be live bait like shad, minnows, nightcrawlers and small crawdads. After you've got the hooks baited, attach your floats to the trotline at about 20 feet from each end then take some good heavy twine or nylon rope and thread it through the eye of the hook on your weight and attach it securely to the middle of the trotline and let it sink.

You should check your trotline, at the very minimum, every 12 hours. Don't leave it sitting for longer than that if you don't want to come back to a whole line of dead fish. Again, be careful pulling the trotline up, you do not want to hook yourself! I've seen inexperienced trotliners end up with hooks in some very bad places that we won't even mention here. You do not want that, so use caution.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best saltwater fishing information possible. Get more information on proven methods for catching catfish here: http://www.askcatfishfishing.com
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