The full show is also posted below if you didn’t get to check it out on TV!
Here’s some more details on the techniques, gear and equipment I was using in the show!
Many of the techniques I use for catching catfish are covered in depth in books and videos that are on sale right now. You can check out all of these products here.
My tackle is exclusively from Whisker Seeker Tackle, they’re running a huge Black Friday Sale this weekend so be sure to check them out also.
You can catch big catfish all year long but winter is one of my favorites and one of the best times to catch big catfish.
Here’s The Show
Here’s the full episode of the Fox Sports Outdoors Show! Keep reading below once you’ve watched the show for more details on the gear, equipment and techniques I used.
The Technique (Drift Fishing)
The technique I was using in the show is called “drift fishing”.
There’s a variety of ways I catch big catfish in the fall and winter months including, fishing on anchor, trolling or “power drifting”, suspend drifting and probably a few others I’m forgetting. Traditional drift fishing is among the easiest to get started with, requires less gear and equipment and is easiest to learn (but does take time on the water to learn and prefect).
If you’re going to drift fish you absolutely have to invest in good drift socks.
Socks? As in more than one?
You’ll need more than one of them. Size and how many you’ll need depends on the size of your catfish boat and how much wind there is. I use as many as four drift socks at times on my SeaArk ProCat 240 Catfish Boat, and two of them are 10 foot!
There’s more information here on choosing and using drift socks.
If you want to get on the fast track to catching more catfish with this technique and really shorten the learning curve click here to check out my book on drift fishing for catfish. You’ll save a ton of time, energy and frustration in the learning process.
If you’re not interested in buying the book here’s some free resources to get you started drift fishing:
Drift Sock 101: Everything you need to know about choosing and using drift socks.
Drift Fishing For Catfish Tips – 9 essential tips to catch more catfish drift fishing.
The Catfish Bait
I’m using a variety of baits to catch big catfish in the fall and winter but they’re all fresh native baits to where I’m fishing. Big gizzard shad is my first choice and my “go to” bait in most instances but I’ll occasionally use some other forms of cut bait like carp, gaspergou, perch or buffalo.
The bait needs to be fresh, frozen catfish baits, especially shad never work as well as fresh caught baits.
You’ll need to learn how to throw a cast net and master the fine art of finding and catching shad.
The good news is fall and winter are a great time for catching catfish. The bad news is this is the time of year that many anglers really struggle with catching shad. Having the right cast net will help you in your quest to catch more bait, then you can find some tips on catching shad here.
If you really want to increase your success and shorten your learning curve then check out my book on How To Catch Shad (it’s been called the “bible” on catfishing by many). Not only will learning how to find and catch shad make sure you’re always in a fresh supply of catfish bait but it will also help you tremendously with catching more catfish because when you find the bait, you find the fish.
The Catfish Rig, Hooks and Tackle
I rig all of these with a variation of the Santee Rig. You can read more here about this and other top catfish rigs.
I use the Triple Threat Catfish Hooks for blue catfish regardless of which rig I’m using. In the Fall and Winter I use either the 8/0 or 10/0 Triple Threat Hook.
I use forty to fifty pound monofilament leader line.
More Information and Resources:
Catfish Rods, Reels and Line
There’s a wide variety of catfish rods on the market. If you’re going to fish for big catfish you need to make sure you’ve got a rod with a good backbone capable of landing big catfish and also a lighter more sensitive tip so circle hooks will work correctly.
In the show I’m using my Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod from Whisker Seeker Tackle, both the medium heavy and heavy models (both are more than capable of landing trophy catfish).
If you’re going to fish for big catfish, having good rods are essential. You can learn more about this in our Ultimate Guide To Catfish Rods.
Reels are equally important. You need a catfish reel with good line capacity, a good drag system and something that can stand up to the abuse of big catfish. Bait casting reels are preferred by most catfish anglers but spinning reels will work also.
Get more details on choosing and using the right catfish reels in the Ultimate Guide To Catfish Reels.
Fishing line is equally important, it’s the critical link to landing fish. I prefer monofilament over braid in most situations and like to use twenty to thirty pound test. If you go too heavy, it causes problems (and doesn’t help you at all).
Hi visibility fishing line helps with catching catfish also.
Get more details on line and other catfishing tackle in the Ultimate Guide To Catfish Tackle.
Where To Catch Catfish
Once you’ve got the right gear and equipment for catching big catfish the next step is finding them, in the Fall and Winter, depending on weather this can be a relatively easy task or it can be a difficult one. At times it means lots of searching and hunting for big catfish.
I spend a LOT of time with my head buried in the fish finder hunting and searching for big catfish. I rely more on side imaging than any other sonar features.
Where I’m searching depends on the seasonal patterns of shad. That may mean searching in really deep water, really shallow water (a foot or two) or pretty much anything in between it all depends on weather, wind, cloud cover and water temperature but again where I look all depends on the seasonal movements of shad.
How To Catch Big Catfish
Once you’ve got the right gear and catfish bait and are searching in the right areas for big catfish (using your sonar) the rest is pretty simple, you need to spend a LOT of time on the water knocking catfish in the head with baits and start putting it all together.
Becoming an angler that consistently catches big catfish takes time and it takes experience. It’s possibly you’ll get on the water your first time out and catch a big catfish but reproducing those results can be a little harder and that’s where time on the water comes in.
Of course if you want to see how it’s done first hand, live, in person then I’d be happy to have you join me in my boat.