Catching more and bigger catfish hinges less on adding new tactics to your arsenal than on simply eliminating mistakes from your fundamentals—namely the seven deadly sins covered here. Once you’ve rid yourself of catfishing’s seven deadly sins and you can move on to purging yourself of the following lesser transgressions.
Burying Dull Hooks Deep Many cat fans have no problem finding fish——but plenty of trouble hooking them. Banish hooksetting woes with sharp, exposed hooks. Run your hook points over a fingernail. Sharp ones dig in; those that skate across the nail without catching should be honed or replaced. And instead of burying your barbs in bait, leave ‘em exposed. The catfish won’t notice, but you will——when your hookup rate soars.
Using The Wrong Rig It’s important to learn a variety of rigs and use each when appropriate. A simple egg-sinker rig may work great in a pond but not a river. Drift rigs get the nod when cats are scattered. Specialty rigs such as the float-paternoster are best when fishing large, lively baits. Learn more rigs, catch more cats.
Not Using Sonar A good sonar unit will show you big fish——suspended, hugging structure and relating to cover——you’d otherwise miss. Don’t leave home without it.
Fishing The Wrong Waters Creeks, ponds and small lakes seldom produce monster cats. It happens occasionally, but not enough to merit your attention. When seeking a true heavyweight, focus your fishing efforts on large rivers and lakes with healthy cat populations.
Being A Quitter Persistence is one of a trophy hunter’s most important qualities. Learn everything you can about your favorite big-fish waters, then stay at it——day after day after day, learning more. Catmen who do that stand the best chance of catching the fish of a lifetime.