Five fishing tips to catch mud catfish

You can find the mud catfish in many different types of water in North America. Some areas call this species by other names such as the flathead and yellow cat. They are one of the largest species of catfish in Northern American and although you can find them all over the country, they are indigenous to the southern states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Texas.
This particular type of catfish won’t be around structures like other types. Instead, the mud catfish prefer to stay on or near the bottom of the water most of the time. They like to bury themselves in the mud to hide out and wait for prey to come by. This is what earned them the name, mud catfish. You can also find them in water with sandy bottoms, deep holes and in areas where there is a slow moving current.
If you’re new to seeking out this species, you may not know that they don’t move around a lot like other species do. They tend to spend their whole life in the same area where the spawning took place. Therefore, if you find a good fishing spot, they should be in or near that same spot the next time you go fishing.
They are a little harder to find than other species because they don’t swim in groups but you can often find several of them in the same location. This is because they don’t stray far from their original area.
Here are five fishing tips to help you catch mud catfish:
1. Mud catfish will fight hard when you get one hooked so it’s important for you have the right gear. If you hook a big one and don’t have the right gear, they will most likely get away. They can easily snap a lightweight line into and they have been known to snap a few rods from time to time. A heavy action rod combined with a spinning reel and heavyweight fishing line is recommended for this species. In addition to having the right gear, it’s also a good idea to take along an extra fishing rod and line, just in case something happens while you’re out on the water.
2. Adult mud catfish eat mostly live baitfish so you will have the best results when you use live bait. They’re highly attracted to shad but they’ll also strike at minnows, bluegills and small bullhead. You can occasionally catch them using other types of bait, including artificial lures but live bait is always the best option.
3. Catfish are usually the most active at night and this is when they feed the most aggressively. They will also move up from the bottom and be closer to shore during the night. Therefore, the best time to seek them out is from dusk until around midnight. However, they will be active during the day in some areas so it’s best to experiment and try different times until you find out what works best in your area. When day fishing, use a method that will get the bait on the bottom because this is where they’re going to be.
4. This species is territorial and they’ll become aggressive when something invades their space. For this reason, you can entice them to strike when they’re being picky by getting your bait in their territory.
5. When fishing at night, use a lantern to draw the mud catfish to your location and you won’t have to spend as much time searching for them. The light will draw the baitfish to your area and the fish will follow.
Using these tips can help you reel in more fish on your next fishing trip. This is an exciting species and all types of anglers enjoy seeking them out. On top of being a real challenge and a hard fighter, they taste great and this attracts a lot of anglers.
The laws for catching this species will be different depending on where you’re fishing. Learn the rules and regulations in your area before you go fishing and double check to make sure your license is valid. The laws can change from time to time so it’s best not to take anything for granted. If it’s been awhile since you went fishing, review the laws before heading out.
Anytime you go fishing, take the time to get prepared. Not only will it make your fishing trip more productive but it will keep you safer, too. The water can be a dangerous place regardless if you fish from shore or from a boat and night fishing can be even more dangerous. Wear your life vest, keep an eye on the weather and always let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return home. Make sure your gear is in good working order, too. Many accidents happen due to faulty equipment.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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