How To Catch Catfish In A Lake At Night
Knowledge is the key to catching catfish in a lake at night.
Choosing the best location, the right bait, and the right tackle is important for any kind of fishing, but especially so when targeting catfish. They tend to be more active at night, moving around more to feed, which will increase your chances of a big catch.
Where to Target:
Catfish will generally live in the deepest water they can. However, they will come into shallow water to feed, especially under the cover of darkness. Target places where a stream or river meets the lake, as they provide an incoming source of food and, often, a deeper channel. Alternatively, look for places where an old creek or river bed runs through the lake, as they can provide the deep holes which catfish prefer to live in. It is usually the most productive to fish harder bottoms like clay or gravel.
Although they can often be found around structure, such as fallen trees or logs, it can be smart to avoid these place so you don’t lose all your fish to snags. Catfish tend to hang in water with a temperature around the mid-seventies, which means you need to choose your fishing location based on the seasons and where you are fishing.
What Tackle to Use:
The tackle that you choose needs to be matched to the size of the fish you expect to catch. If you are targeting smaller catfish, then light spinning or bait casting rods are sufficient. If you are going for especially large cats (in the range of fifty pounds and up), then heavy saltwater gear is appropriate. A rod around six to seven foot is usually the right size, but make sure that it is a good match with your reel. They are a tough fighting fish, so a heavy rod with medium flex should be used when targeting anything to large.
You want to set your baits on the bottom where the catfish prowl. The preferred method of doing this is to use a medium treble hook attached to a foot of so of leader, with a small sinker on the other end of the leader. Attach the leader to your main line, and your set to start fishing.
Every experienced angler has their preferred bait which they swear by, but in reality, catfish are not fussy. Use a bait size appropriate to the size of the fish you are targeting. There are many pre-prepared baits on the market, many of which work very well. Other favourites include chicken livers, whole live bream or shad, and earthworms. They will also hit a wide range of artificial baits and lures. It can be beneficial to burley around the area that you are fishing, attracting the fish to you and increasing your catch rates.