Mastering Summer Catfishing: Key Techniques & Gear Picks

Summer is prime time for catfishing, and with the right techniques and gear, you can haul in hefty catfish all season long. This guide explores the insights of Forrest Leitch, host of a popular fishing show, who shares his expertise on catfishing over submerged structure on rivers.

Essential Gear:

  • Rod: An 8′ medium-heavy casting rod like the Ugly Stik Catfish Special is ideal for battling catfish.
  • Reel: A sturdy Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish Special casting reel provides the cranking power you need.
  • Line: Leitch recommends using 20-pound or 30-pound Berkley Trilene Big Game monofilament line for its durability.
  • Hook: Berkley Fusion19 Circle Hooks are a good choice, thanks to their circle hook design that promotes easier catch and release.
  • Weight: No-Roll Sinkers in a weight around 4 ounces will help keep your bait near the bottom.
  • Swivel: A VMC Rolling Swivel size #3 prevents line twists.
  • Bead (Optional): Pucci Soft Egg Beads can add a bit of attraction to your bait.

Finding Catfish: Structure is Key

While depth finders can be helpful for locating submerged structure, Leitch emphasizes that they’re not essential. Catfish are drawn to areas with plenty of cover, such as fallen trees, rock piles, and bends in the river. These areas provide catfish with both hiding spots and ambush points for prey. Leitch recommends placing your rods near the bank, around visible structure, and even out in the main channel to cover a wider area.

Fresh Cut Bait: The Catfish Calling Card

This episode highlights the effectiveness of fresh cut bait, specifically Goldeye. Cut the Goldeye into bite-sized pieces, ensuring good hook exposure for better chances of a successful hookset. Leitch emphasizes that catfish have a keen sense of smell and can detect fresh bait within minutes.

Adaptability is Key

Remember, catfishing success depends on where you fish and the time of year. Leitch highlights the importance of adapting your approach based on the conditions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different bait presentations and locations until you find what works best on your local river.

Be Prepared for River Challenges

Fishing in snaggy areas comes with the risk of tangled lines and lost tackle. Leitch advises carrying a well-stocked tackle box with extra weights, swivels, hooks, and leader line. This way, you can quickly tie up new rigs if you snag and break off your line.

By following these tips and using the recommended gear, you’ll be well on your way to catching trophy catfish this summer!

Image/Source: Wired2Fish

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