Shore Fishing For Catfish: The Bait & Rigs You Need To Have

I’ve never done a whole lot of catfishing before simply because they aren’t in my area. It’s something I really wanted to do and that’s why I traveled to find some. In this post, I’m going to be showing you how to catch catfish from the bank.

I know they can get pretty big and I’ve heard they’re pretty tasty as well. It’s not the most entertaining way to fish but it’s pretty cool when you hook a big one. It’s actually a pretty simple process and the main thing you need to do is figure out what they like to eat the best. They are bottom feeders so they aren’t too picky.

I’m going to be talking about what type of line you should be using, how to rig your rod up the right way, what bait I found to work best, and a few other tips to help you get going. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on what rigs and baits should be used to catch catfish.


Catfish Rigs & Setup

The first thing we’ll talk about is the fishing rod and reel. You’re fishing from the shore so obviously you’ll need a casting rod. Most people prefer a spinning rod and that’s what I like using myself. You can also use a baitcaster if you want but I found they didn’t cast out as far.

The next thing we’ll need to get is the proper fishing line. I’d recommend you use something that’s at least 20 lb test (I use a braided line with a fluoro leader). Some of these fish can get pretty large so you’ll need to make sure you have the right line. You can use braid, fluoro, or mono. It doesn’t really matter because your weight and bait will make the line sink. You can use a braided line with a fluoro leader or whatever else you prefer.

The next thing is the weight. It depends on what you’ll be using for bait but I normally like to use some sort of weight on the line. It’ll help cast the line a long distance and make sure the bait sinks to the bottom (since that’s where the fish will be).

The way I like setting things up is having my main fishing line attached to a two or three-sided swivel. If it’s a 2 sided swivel then the weight will be at the top (so the weight doesn’t fall down to the hook). If you’re using a three sides swivel then you can attach your weight to one of them.

Then you’ll want to attach another line to the swivel that leads to your hook (it should be about 15-20 inches from the weight). The hook I like using is a circle hook with a slight offset (it has a slight curve and isn’t straight). Having that offset will help you hook the fish on the side of the mouth and it’ll be a lot easier to remove it. I generally catch and release so this is good for both me and the fish.

Catfish Bait

Now that everything is set up the way we want, the next thing to do is figure out what the catfish want to bite. They aren’t too picky when it comes to food but sometimes they prefer different stuff. All you really have to do is slap something on the hook and cast it out.

The first thing you can use is a chunk of fish. It’s normally best if you freeze the fish first and then you can cut a chunk and put it on the hook. The chunk of fish should be a decent size since catfish have big mouths and you probably want to land a big one. All you have to do to hook it is by putting the hook under the spine of the fish. Simple as that.

The next thing that works really well is chicken liver. You can go to most bait shops and they’ll have raw or dried chicken liver for catfish. You can also go to the grocery store and they should have stuff as well. It doesn’t seem to stay on the hook as well as the chunk of fish but it works really well.

My favorite thing to use is jumbo shrimp. I’ve had the best results with it, you can get it at pretty much every store, and it seems to stay on the hook the best. It’s also something catfish eat on a regular basis so that’s why it works so well.

Those are my favorite but pretty much any chunk of meat or protein will do the job. One thing I always like to do is put whatever bait I’m using in some stink bait. It’s like a sticky sauce that smells really bad but the catfish love it. You can check out one that works pretty well here on Amazon.

Once you have everything set up and you’re ready to go, all you have to do now is cast your bait out there and let it sink to the bottom. You should get a rod holder that’ll stick into the ground so you don’t have to hold it the entire time. Put your rod in the holder and sit back and relax and wait for something to bite. It’s not the most entertaining form of fishing but it’s super fun when you land a monster.

Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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