Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Tips For Catfishing in Ponds
This is a bit different from fishing in streams and rivers - pond catfishing. You can leave your boat at home and cast your line from the banks of the pond. Usually, you'll find three types of catfish in ponds - the smallest being the channel catfish which is probably going to be the one you'll be catching most often. The flathead and blue catfish are there too and they can grow to enormous dimensions. They're all bottom feeders, but the channel catfish prefers scavenging along the banks, going after surface bugs and dead forage fish - very important to our managed catfish ponds, as they help to keep them clean. These are also easier to catch and land and are able to survive the "catch and release" activity as channel catfish are pretty tough guys.
So for these smaller catfish, use a tackle which is very light - and consider taking several rods with you too because that means you can keep more lines in the pond at the same time. That way, you'll certainly catch more fish and you'll have a wonderful day pond catfishing.
We all know that flatheads are the hogs in catfish country. Always ravenous, they have a highly developed sense of smell and will go after anything - and that means anything at all as long as it smells like food. The blue catfish generally stay out in the deeper areas of the pond and are a bit more selective in what they'll eat, preferring live bait like perch, chub - or goldfish.
So, what's the best kind of tackle to use when going after the bigger catfish, like the blues or flatheads? A medium-action rod should do the trick if you use a spinning or bait-casting reel along with it. Rig it with a treble hook because these big guys can easily grab your bait from a single-point hook and disappear into the wild blue yonder before you know what's happened! But if you use a treble hook, your big cat has to take it into its mouth to get at the bait and by that time, he's hooked himself.
Let your lines soak and make certain that you set your drags loosely - then, as your cat grabs your bait and runs, he'll ensnare himself. Then, when you see that your drag is smoking, you can tighten the rod until you feel the pressure building sufficiently to start fighting your fish. And this will keep the cat on your hooks.
These catfish are not too difficult for you to catch if you give your bait enough time to soak. Try chumming the water too - irresistible because your fish will be tempted to approach - you can use dog food, crushed corn flakes, sweet corn or whatever bait you've found to be successful in your previous catfishing in ponds experience.
Why not try pond catfishing at night? You'll have a better chance to catch the bigger beasts because they prefer to go exploring at night. Use the same catfishing rig but attach larger bait - the smellier the better.
Here are a few tips that many people who go pond catfishing are inclined to forget. Ponds are smaller than streams and rivers and those catfish can hear you. You need to be particularly quiet - move slowly and quietly, keep conversation to a minimum and don't make noises with your fishing tackle. If the catfish hear you, they are so gone. Stay on shore, find a good spot to cast your line and try to get your bait as close to the bottom as you can - pond catfish stay close to the deeper areas so you need to get your bait down to where they are.
Look for structures, such as a tree in your pond - or some other obstruction. Very often, you'll find your catfish right down there because the water is cool and darker which is what they prefer. A pile of rocks, logs, tree-stumps, a fallen tree - that's where they are. And consider tightlining - attach a small weight to your line, get it right down in the deeper parts and keep the line tight so that you can sense what's going on and feel those bites sooner. And remember, just because you're catfishing in ponds does not mean you can't land a big one. Every pond is different and they all have that big catfish down there just waiting for you to come along with some live, stinky bait. And he's willing to fight you for it - make sure you win!.