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Author Topic: Basic catfish setup  (Read 18613 times)


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Basic catfish setup
« on: Mar 17, 2005, 04:32 PM »
What type of setup do you use for cats? I'm not talking about rod and reel, I have a good one for that. But what lb. test do you use and style of rig do you use? Also for cuttbait, how big of a piece do you use? I knows it a lot of questions but I need HELP!

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Re: Basic catfish setup
« Reply #1 on: Mar 17, 2005, 05:10 PM »
what i do is take a serated filet knife and cut the head off the sucker then cut a 1.5-2'' steak and put it on a three-way rig like this but i use a 30-34'' lead to the hook.I use a 6/0 mustad ultra point Big Gun bait hook.Chubs work too TFB.


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Re: Basic catfish setup
« Reply #2 on: Mar 17, 2005, 05:15 PM »
I've done some catfishing and never caught nothing huge, but i have never had trouble catching numbers. i like cutbait, as fresh and oily as possible - we have herring that run up our river from the ocean, and they are really good, but are only seasonal.  I will usually load up on the herring in the spring and freeze enough for the rest of the season.  Cut bait caught the same day though is always better than something frozen then thawed.  I like to cut up herring into cross sections as they are a smaller fish...for larger fish like big shad, i will fillet them leaving the skin and ribs on a fillet, and then use  3" x 2" strips...but experiment with bait size, sometimes they like bigger, and sometimes smaller

I use 30lb fireline for main line, and then i like a soft braid for a leader, like tip up dacron.  I think catfish can feel the hard mono and it turns them off versus soft braid.

for hooks i like eagle claw L042 in size 2 or 2/0.

in terms of rigs, for drifting and really snaggy bottoms i like to use a dropper at the leader and crimp some big split shot on there.  If the bottom isnt snaggy and current isnt a great issue,  i will use a slip sinker rig with an egg sinker, and a bass casting sinker when current is an issue.  I will also try 3-way rigs (like in TH's illustration above) if it seems they want the bait off the bottom or are active.

oh yeah, i am targeting white and channel cats.

i also dont like to let the fish take much slack line...i just set it when they bite.

there is an excellent book on catfish in the in-fisherman series.


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Re: Basic catfish setup
« Reply #3 on: Mar 17, 2005, 06:00 PM »
I fish for Channel Cats but my river, the upper Colorado, has a few rare Blue Catfish that have spread from downstream.
Usually I use 15 - 20 pound mono and a medium heavy spinning setup. I rig a 3/4 ounce to 4 ounce bank sinker, depending on how heavy the current is, and just tie it to the end of the line. I then make snells out of my hooks, usually using a size one to 4/0 Gamakatsu or Mustad Needle Point Hook. I will make about a 10" snell, and tie it about 2 to 3 feet above the sinker, using a dropper rig style setup.
On the hookset, when the cat has the bait, I set and seldom if ever miss.
When a fish is tapping the bait, it's usually a chub or small catfish and I don't want those fish anyway. Just in case I will be near a rod getting a nibble and if he's consistantly nibbling and not really stopping I will set. Very occasionally it is a decent cat, but usually even fairly small cats (2 - 4 pounds) pick up the bait and run.
My favorite bait is chicken liver though it is a pain to use. The extra blood and oils help draw in fish better in the large, deep, murky Colorado. Fresh oily cutbait works too, as do nightcrawlers. Also crawdads and live baitfish.



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