Catfish Fishing 101: How to Catch Catfish Like A Pro

Catfish fishing is a fun experience for anyone who wants to enjoy a good fishing trip every weekend. Catfishes are the most popular fishes in the U.S. as they are spread across the country, and they fight hard. They thrive for a good meal and tend to get huge in size, which gives anglers a rush whenever they try to catch one.

Although you only need a simple rig for catfish fishing, you need to consider their behavior, look for a good spot, and prepare multiple things. This post explains everything you want to know about catching catfish with the easiest fishing methods and expert tips. We recommend Jackery Solar Generators as your power companion, specifically the Jackery Solar Generator 1000, which is ideal for fishing trips due to its lightweight, portability, and 1002 WH capacity.

Jackery Solar Generator 1000


Jackery Solar Generator 1000

- 1002Wh capacity to power all of your fishing equipment

-  Only needs 1.8 Hours to fully recharge and offers 1000 recharge cycles.

-  It only takes you 60 seconds to set it up and start powering your equipment.

-   Its foldable handle and lightweight make it easy to carry, and its pure sine tech provides stable electricity to your appliances.

Catfish Fishing Basics

Before you set out on your fishing for a catfish trip, you need some basic information that can help you figure out what specie you want to catch and how you are going to prepare. When talking about catfish, you should know that there are over 1000 species worldwide, and 26 of those are found in the United States. As there is abundance in the variety of catfish, you find them in different sizes.

The smallest catfish is only an inch in length, while there are catfishes that are also called river monsters and weigh well over 300 pounds. All species of catfish share one thing in common, and that is the fight they put on when you get one hooked. Catfish have whiskers that help them locate food by sensing vibrations. They can also follow scents.

catfish fishing

What Do Catfish Prefer to Eat?

Catfish like to eat everything that goes in their mouth. They can eat small fishes, homemade mixtures of rice and pineapples, dog food, small marshmallows, chicken livers, wieners, or anything tasty that you can use as bait. As they are not much picky about what to eat, anglers don’t have to worry about finding the ideal bait when catfish fishing. These fishes like to dwell at the bottom and look for opportunities to eat. Being omnivores, they can eat any type of food they encounter and grow to huge sizes.

Species of Catfish

The three popular species of catfish in the USA include bullhead, blue, and flathead catfishes. You can find bullhead catfishes in every state as they are of the most plentiful variety. They are not as big as their cousins, and you can find them in all rivers, ponds, or water reservoirs, making them the least desired species among anglers. You easily identify them by looking at their upper jaw, which hangs over the lower one, and their adipose fin, which is not connected with their tailfin.

If you want to catch something during your catfish fishing trip, your target should be a blue catfish. They are the largest species of catfish found in the USA and can grow over 100 pounds. These catfish are not only bigger than their cousins, but they are also numerous, raising the chances of you encountering a giant. However, you only find them in deep waters in lakes and river sections.

Flathead catfishes are big and solitary. You don't encounter them often, but once you get one on the hook, you are in for a bitter battle as they put on a good fight. These fish are not active during the day and rarely come out in the open, so you have to have good experience and a grasp on their resting location before you try to catch one. However, if you are fishing during nighttime, you can use tasty bait to lure them to the surface.

Catfish Fishing Gear

When you are catfish fishing, you don’t have to make a lot of preparation in terms of your fishing gear as it only takes a simple rig to catch these fishes. Here is everything that you need for your fishing trip.

Rod and Reel

If you only want to catch small or average-sized catfish, you don’t need special equipment. Having a medium-heavy spinning 6-to-7 feet rod and a 14-pound spooled reel will do the trick. If you are after 100 pounds of catfish, you need a strong rod that is specifically built to catch large fish.

Hooks and Line

If you are using live bait, you need to use circle hooks as it makes the task of setting up the hook much easier. When the fish takes the bait, it doesn't even feel the circle hook and tries to swim away while the hook settles itself in the mouth. You also need a 20 and 30-pound test mono and braid fishing line to catch big catfishes.


If you are after channel catfish or any other species of catfish, using live bait is the best option. Channel catfish mostly hold near the water current to eat the small fishes that are caught in the current. With live bait, you can imitate the same act and can get an easy bite. You can also use cut baits, stink bait, or prepared dough based on your preference.

Portable Power Station

Whenever you go on a catfish fishing trip, you need a portable power station to accompany you can’t access grids when you are out fishing in the river. Having a portable power station can not only charge your phone and power some appliances; it also powers sonar fish finders and electric fishing rods. Jackery Solar Generator 1000 is the best portable power station that you can bring on your fishing trip. It can power all your gear and charge itself with solar energy. It also provides clean and stable energy, which runs your equipment for free.

catfish fishing solar generator 1000




Recharge Time

Fishing Equipment

Solar Generator 1000


AC Output(x3):110V, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Peak)

USB-A Output(x2):5V⎓2.4A, Quick Charge 3.0x1, 18W Max

USB-C Output(x2):18W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V up to 3A)

Car Port(x1):12V⎓10A

AC Input: doesn't support direct A.C. charging - use external A.C. charger provided

D.C. Input: 24V⎓7.5A

Solar Charging - 1.8 Hours

Wall Charging - 1.8 Hours

Car Charging – 12 Hours

Fishing Reel(60W)=14.2H

Fishing Rod(10W)=85H

USB Lure(2.5W)=340H

Fish Finder(150W)=5.7H

Fishing Cooler(60W)=14.2H

When & Where to Catfish Fishing

If you are looking forward to a successful fishing trip, you need to make sure that you are fishing at the right time and in the right season. You can catch channel catfish during the daytime. However, if you want a big catch, you probably have to fish from dusk to dawn. That's when flatheads get active and come out to eat. Although you can catch catfishes in the summer and the winter, the best-reported success is during pre-spawn April-to-June and post-spawn August-to-October. You can also go catfish ice fishing in winter.

How to Find Catfish

When you go catfish fishing, you don't need a specific area to find them as they are everywhere in rivers and lakes. However, most of these fishes hold near some sort of structure, like a bridge, rocky bottoms, and fallen trees. You can also look for them near dams, holes, and other hiding spots. They frequently move up and down the river and live to be around the water current. Your chances of catching catfish increase a lot after rain as they get more active.

Catfish Fishing Methods & Tips

  • Angler Rig: You can use a slip-sinker rig to catch catfish at the bottom. It involves threading a sinker through a mainline and a bead. After that, tie the mainline to one end of a swivel and a monofilament leader on the other end, and a hook. You can leave the rig at the bottom and hover it above the surface when drifting an area. You can also attach a float to turn it into a float rig.
  • Noodling: It is a simple and crude method of catching catfish without using the equipment. It involves putting your hand in the water and holding the bait, and waiting for the fish to swallow your hand with bait. At the right moment, you capture the fish and forcefully take it out of the water. It presents some risks and is illegal in some states, so check before using this method.
  • Limb lining: It is an efficient way for catfish to fishdown small rivers and creeks. The setup includes a limb line and set poles along the bank. You can use a nylon line with the hook for your choice based on the size of the catfish you are after. After your bait the hook, all you do is tie the line to a strong tree limb. Make sure that the tree is not brittle, as it will break as soon as the fish pulls the line.

What Size of Solar Generator Needed for Catfish Fishing?

When you go out on a fishing trip, having a portable solar generator with you to power your equipment and appliances helps out a lot. Solar generators provide off-grid energy for free. When it comes to solar products, Jackery is the world’s leading manufacturer with multiple solar generators and power stations. Jackery Solar Generators are portable, lightweight, and come with rechargeable batteries that you can charge with solar energy. You can use them to power outdoor appliances like fishing refrigerators and other fishing equipment. Check out the specs of Jackery solar generators for fishing and pick the one ideal for your energy needs.

Jackery Solar Generator 500 for Catfish Fishing

catfish fishing solar generator 500




Recharge Time

Fishing Equipment

Solar Generator 500


3*USB-A Output

2* D.C. Output


1*AC Output

SolarSaga 100W: 9.5H

Wall Charge: 6.5H

Car Charge: 7.5H

Fishing Reel(60W)  7.3H

Fishing Rod(10W)  44H

USB Lure(2.5W)    176H

Fish Finder(150W) 3H Fishing Cooler(60W) 7.3H

Catfish Fishing FAQs

1) What is the best bait for catfish fishing?

Local live bait is best for catfish fishing. Catfish like to hang out near water currents to eat the small fish stuck in the current. With live bait, you can attract lots of catfishes using the same method. If live bait is not an option, you can also use cut baits, stink baits, and dough bait.

2) What is the best time to fish for catfish?

It depends on the specie of catfish you want to catch. Flathead catfishes are more active during the night, while channels are active during the day. When talking about the best season to catch catfish, you can try your luck between April and October. When winter comes, you can still go catfish ice-fishing.

3) How to catch different types of catfish?

Catfish fishing doesn't require you to have a special rig. All you need is a heavy-duty rod and reel, and you are good to go with some bait and a circle hook. Although there are different types of catfish, you can use the simple angler method to catch them. Find out their hiding spot, throw your bait, and wait patiently.  

Final Thoughts

Let’s conclude our guide on catfish fishing here. If you know about various types of catfish and you have a specific target in mind, you can easily make preparations to return with a big catch. First, you need to prepare the required gear, such as rods, hooks, and bait, and then you have to find the best spot and wait for the ideal time. After that, you need to throw the bait and wait with patience. When you are out on a fishing trip, having a Jackery solar generator will help you out a lot. You can use it to power your equipment and appliances and even jump-start your boat.