Thursday, May 18, 2017

Using Lures to Catch Catfish On Yes! I did Say Lures Most Would Never Think

Yes. Catfish can be caught on lures. Well, to be more precise, flatheads and channels can be caught on lures; Blues will NOT go for them. It is not the most traditional method, however, and if you asked most fishermen that have caught catfish on lures, they would probably tell you it was by accident.

Bait is preferred because it appeals to the catfish’s first sense for hunting: its scent. The stronger a bait smells, the more enticing fishermen find it is to catfish. (The smells aren’t always necessarily bad; I’ve heard of anglers having success catching catfish with chunks of soap.) Every once in a while though, someone will be tossing a crankbait for bass and WHAM! They’re in a fight for their lure with a big cat.

The truth of the matter is, in spite of having tiny eyes, catfish have pretty good vision. While they are most frequently caught in or around fallen trees or in murky, muddy waters of rivers, catfish can be caught in clearer waters on lures because the catfish can finally see them. Another little-known fact about catfish is that their hearing is also adept.

The highest number of catfish caught on lures were caught on crank baits according to the 2002 Nebraska Master Angler’s Program. The reason for this is that crankbaits appeal to two of the catfish’s senses: vision AND hearing. Most crankbaits have rattles or rock naturally because of their treble hooks.

How is this information useful? Next time you are feeling adventurous, trying fishing for channels or flatheads in a manner that incorporates ALL of the catfish’s senses. If you’re fishing a natural lake or river and the water is clearer than usual, try working a flashy jig with a rattle attached to your line and a piece of liver or our different bait on your hook.

Or pitching a spinnerbait with a fat nightcrawler on the hook nice and slow past some of your favorite catfish holes. When given the opportunity, a channel or flathead will use all of its senses when on the hunt for prey. Use this to your advantage and try utilizing a lure presentation that will cover more ground and find more catfish than the traditional, slower method of dragging drift bait rigs.