1. NICE work & thank you for sharing this wealth of information! I love “catfishin” more than anything and I know how long this information took to accumulate. Again, thank you.


  2. Hi Chad, the best tip I could ever give another catfish angler is to: Go to Learn to catch or And pay attention to what Chad Ferguson tells you. Plain and simple.
    Thanks for the hard work you put in to help us novice catfish fishermen. Don’t think we don’t appreciate it.
    Thanks again
    Gene Grissom
    Frost, Texas

  3. Chad, It’s “really” great of you to spend all of the time it took to assist everyone with these incredible “Tips”. As a 68 year old, who hasn’t fished for Catfish (for about 50 years) you have me very excited to get out there, in my boat, and make some memories. Thank you again for everything you’ve done for all of us…


  4. Thanks for sharing this information! I enjoy reading all of you tips and techniques. I have learned a lot from you. Thank you again for all you do!!

  5. I was looking for a quality cat rod and found your web site. I fish the Illinois and Mississippi rivers with some degree of luck. My goal is to catch a nice Blue. Good fishing John

  6. Very informative. The catfish at the bottom of the dam comment was perfect. I have lived in 3 states and have heard that story about several dams in each state, and every person that tells it claims that the diver was a relative or someone they knew personally.
    I enjoy writers who teach the science of fishing and have good grammar and writing style…a pretty tough combination it would seem! If I were an English teacher I would give you at least an A-. The only reason for dropping your grade slightly was for telling people the winter blue catfish secret.

  7. My number one tip is “learn how to cast”. You can’t put the bait where it needs to be if you can’t make a proper cast. Whether you use an open face reel or a baitcaster (my personal preference), take some time to get familiar with your equipment and PRACTICE.
    Go out in the yard, take a “hula-hoop” or something similar and practice casting into it. Try different casts, i.e., side arm, over head, or flipping. Consider yourself good when you can hit a 3# coffee can at 20 yards.
    The difference between being where the fish are and where they are not sometimes is only a matter of feet. You need to be able to successfully target that area. If you don’t have a yard that is large enough to practice, go find a park somewhere.

  8. So I’m a on shore Fisher. I’ve had allot of luck fishing with anchovies by casting upstream and letting the bait drift across the bottom. I fish the Colorado river where the water temperature only varies a couple degrees year round, but it still seems that during the fall winter and spring nothing will bite. But in the summer I can’t keep the fish off my hook. Fishing out here is limited access due to most land being tribal land so I can’t really find a good hole to fish. Most if what I can fish it’s deep current. Do you have any tips for channel cat in this situation?

  9. Made me think of something grandpa told me as a kid, over and over again, every time I would real in my bait and think I needed to change spots or make adjustments, “You can’t catch catfish if you don’t have bait in the water”. There isn’t just one tip. You have to get off the couch and get bait in the water, figure out your water and you will become a better catfish fisherman.

  10. We went cat fishing with a guide yesterday and caught 35 blues before 11:00 am. My issue was the guides boat didn’t have a live well. He threw the cats in a igloo cooler without ice or water. We fished for another 5 hrs. The beautiful blues weren’t very pretty when taken out of cooler. He took an hour, directly in sun to fillet. The fillets sat in sun until he finished all and then bagged them. I decided to allow my boat mates to split the fish. Am I being paranoid? Isn’t it unsafe to eat the fish if they are dead before you clean them?

  11. I can say with all honesty the thing that has helped me catch more and larger catfish has been finding whisker seeker lures and trying trolling. Have found that I can catch more and larger cats in less time trolling. Love it.

  12. Have been watching my cousin, uncles and grandfathers catching 30lb – 70lb cats for years… looking forward to learning from you so the next time I make the trip to see them, I can haul one of the big one’s on the boat myself! If you are wondering why I am not learning from them? I am states away and have to live vicariously through them up until now! Thanks for all the help and great tips Chad.

  13. Love the tips but I can’t find anything on the retrieve! I’m a bank fisherman, what is the best technique for retrieving a Slip Sinker/Santee Rig? Do you leave the bait for a while to attract the cats, or do you slowly pull it in? I agree with the 15 minute-rule, but should that be 1 long soak or 3-5 longer reel-ins? Thanks!

  14. Chad, I really appreciate your wealth of information. Since I started fishing for catfish earlier this year I have gone from being a poor catfish fisherman to a very sucessful catfish fisherman. I have been out several times in my boat this year in the month of January and have had tremendous success. My number one tip is get out there and fish. You can’t catch em if you ain’t fishin. I have put somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 fish in the boat on four seperate outings. Thanks to your tips on fishing my success rate has soared.

  15. Hey Chad! Huge fan!
    So I’ve been obsessed for the last 8 months over Flatheads. Gonna be fishing the St. Francis River in Southeast Missouri. Just wanted to know, What’s the most important thing about goin after Flat’s in a small river that holds nice big fish? I think I’m obsessing too much and just need to focus on simple tactics.. Ha

  16. just needed to know what works and what doesn’t. saw a few flathead and was wondering what might work to catch them

  17. Great article,
    I am not interested in catching numbers of large catfish but nice size eaters in the channel cat and bullhead catagory. I like fly fishing over bait casting. What would you suggest technique and type of fly. Using hoppers usually get the bass an blue gills.

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