When you go catfishing in ponds, be mindful that you are likely to encounter 3 main types of catfish. The smallest of the 3, and the hardest to catch, are called channel catfish. The other 2 are the flathead catfish and the blue catfish, and these can grow to be big.
Channel catfish are scavengers – they will eat whatever comes their way most of the time. This includes things like bugs and other dead fish, which makes them great for rearing. It also means that they live in abundance in ponds, which is something to consider next time you go catfishing in ponds. It also makes them easy to catch with just regular catfish bait. You can catch and then release them and they will live on. Remember this important tip next time you go catfishing in ponds.
Flatheads on the other hand are big eaters and this makes them easy to catch too. You will spot them from far because of their size and that makes them an easy target. Blue catfish are a bit harder though- they are picky eaters.
If you are going catfishing in ponds, then there are some types of tackle that I recommend. For the bigger fish, the hammerheads and the blues, use a medium action rod and either spinning or bait casting reel. Treble hooks work best because the fish can easily pick the bait off the hook. They are designed so that once the catfish has the bait in its mouth, the hook catches and you can reel in your catch.
The smaller fish, the channels, need ultra-light fishing tackle. Take more than one or two lines and cast them at once to increase your chances of catching something. As you let your lines soak, make sure that the drags are loose on the reels; sometimes the fish can off with the bait and hook themselves as they do this. Once you hear the drag screaming, tighten your rod and once you feel the pressure, start to fight to get your catfish completely reeled in and out of the water.
Try churning the water to bring the fish to you if it looks like you’re not having much luck. Dog food, sweet corn and corn flakes also attract catfish to the top so that they can catch your bait. This works when you are catfishing in ponds, because the bait tends to sit on top of the water because there is no current in ponds.
Most catfish breeds will come out at night to forage, which means its an excellent time to go out catfishing in ponds if you can. In fact, this is the time you will be most likely able to catch the bigger fish. Go out with large and stinky bait either at night or very early in the morning, just before light.
There is now the new idea of catfish noodling, and it basically means that you stick your hand in a hole where you think a catfish may be, grab it and pull it out. It may not be as simple as it sounds – it requires great detection skills and of course some courage. This can also be very good fun and offers great rewards when done correctly. Perhaps you might give it a try next time you go catfishing in ponds!