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How to Use Cat-fishing Baits Properly- The Ultimate Guide

 How to use cat- fishing baits properly

How to use cat- fishing baits properly

Cat-fishing is a lot of fun because catfish will eat a great variety of foods, so the chance to find your success and different cat-fishing baits are easy. However, you need to make sure you are bailing the catfish properly if you want to catch a large catfish. With so many different kinds of baits, how do you bait catfish correctly?

The Time of Day to Bait

We will start by focusing on the best time of the day to go cat-fishing. Technically, you can go cat-fishing anytime but the best times of day to go cat-fishing is late in the evening or early in the morning. Just like many animals, catfish come out in search of food in the morning, rest near the ground of a lake or river during the day and then come out again for more food in the evening.

Weather and Season as a Baiting Technique

Overcast clouds and rainy days are great times to cat-fishing. The clouds cause early morning, midday and early evening to look the same and you can be successful baiting catfish all day. In the same way that weather is important, so is the season. Cat-fishing is most successful in the fall or the spring because water levels increase and catfish become highly active.

Be Still and Mobile

It is important to keep your bait as still as possible. This will ensure the attraction of catfish to your bait. You don’t want your bait moving or bouncing if you can help it.

While it is important to keep your bait still, it is also important for you to stay mobile. Watch the water for a current or something that suddenly sticks up out of the water. You can find out if fish are in the area by throwing a fresh, sad head by an area that might have catfish. You will soon be able to say if any fish are residing in the area. If you don’t get a bite in about twenty minutes, you should go in search of a new spot.


To find the right cat-fishing spots to bait, you also need to look at the environment. Baits are useless if you aren’t fishing in the right spot. Because catfish like to disappear, look for hiding spots such as sunken logs or deep holes. Follow currents to spot deep channels. Study the waterways before fishing to learn of alcoves, river entry points and other areas where you may find catfish lurking. Catfish bait will be pointless if you don’t have the right fishing spots.

Flood Water Opportunity

Use Cat Fishing Baits

Use Cat Fishing Baits

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the benefit of flood waters. Flood waters cause lakes and rivers to rise, flooding those waters with fresh vegetation and food. The vegetation and food then cause the catfish to feed heavily and become very active. I am suggesting bluegill or shad heads as catfish bait.

Cat-fishing is Exercise

When your wife or doctor tells you to get more exercise, you can go cat-fishing. It is quite a workout to reel in these strong fish, and you will probably break a sweat and have your heart pumping on more than one occasion. Remember that people have drowned when noodling by being pulled into the water by the catfish on their arm. This can be a real workout!

Just to remind you of the proper cat-fishing baits and techniques:

Early in the day or early in the evening
Overcast or rainy days are ideal
Spring or fall are the best seasons
Keep your bait still
Move on every 20 minutes, if you don’t get a bite
Know your waterways

And my last tip for you: try to locate the fish instead of waiting for them to come to you.…


“Bring Your Lunch – Catch Your Dinner”

Sailfish Charters is located in the beautiful, historic seaport district in Old Town Key West. Just half an hour run from prime fishing waters, you are sure to get the most out of your charter fishing trip.

Sportfishing at its best on a newly customized, air conditioned, twin-engine, fast Chris Craft in beautiful Key West, Florida. World renowned for it’s excellent sportfishing all year round, the waters around Key West consistently produce Trophy fish. Don’t let your vacation pass by without experiencing the excitement and beauty of our Coral Reef and deep blue ocean!

Whether it’s hard core fishing or a family atmosphere your’re looking for we can make your day a memorable one.

We can also take you snorkeling with your own private group or family to avoid the crowded boats and enjoy the spectacular Tropical fish. Equipment is supplied.

One of our most prized of trophies are Mahi-Mahi. The 48 pound Bull pictured was caught on light tackle. These aggressive fighters should produce enough fillets to feed your party at one of our many restaurants that would love to cook your catch.

Be sure to visit our “Local Food and Lodging” section with links to local restaurants and lodging in Key West to assist you in planning your stay.

Reef fishing can produce Grouper and Mutton Snapper, like the ones in the photos, plus a larger variety of different fish including the Barracuda who will give you a fight to remember.

There are many fish that keep us fishing from month to month, all year long. If you want more information about the fish and when they are heaviest, make sure to visit our “Fish Types and Seasons” section with facts about fish and their high seasons.With Sailfish Charters you will find a family atmosphere that we have prided ourselves on for over 25 years. Come fishing with us and we’ll try to hook you up the “big one”.

If you are interested in Backcountry fishing or Snorkel Trips don’t forget to ask us about these special packages as well.

Email us at to book a charter and mention that you found us online to receive a special discount.