Night Fishing for Catfish

By   May 1, 2013

Some of my best memories and best catches have come from midnight catfishing with my buddies. Sitting on a lake on a warm summer night catching fish and drinking beer beats the bar scene any day. So, if it is Friday night and you are trying to figure out what to do, grab your rod, reel and a few buddies and head on out to the lake.

Not only is night fishing for catfish a good way to spend some time, but that is when the big daddy cats are out feeding in force. Catfish are bottom feeders, so they are more accustom to cooler water. During the night, the water in the shallows gets cooler, drawing the catfish in.

catfish bait, catfishing techniques

What to Bring

Going out midnight catfishing and not being prepared kind of sucks, so to avoid that keep some of these things in mind. It is best to prep your rigs before you go out. A medium treble hook on a foot leader attached to a snap on your line is a good setup. Attach a medium drop sinker to the snap. This will take your bait right to the bottom where the catfish are on the prowl.

Fishing equipment to bring:

  • Light-up Bite Indicator or Bell Indicator- These go onto the tip of your rod to let you know when you have a bite. You will appreciate this in the dark.
  • Spare Tackle- Inevitably, you are going to break your line or snag your hook. Be prepared!
  • Net- There are some big ones out there, so you are going to want to bring along a hefty net.
  • Bait- There are a few options you can go with, but I strongly recommend chicken livers or cut bait. The blood will attract the catfish.

For shore fishing, be sure to bring:

  • Lights- Yep, it is going to be night. I always keep a few lanterns and a couple of flashlights.
  • Bug Spray- The big cats are out and so are the big mosquitoes.
  • Chairs- Don’t forget to bring a place to sit. It will make your night much more enjoyable.
  • Full Cooler- Whether it is a cooler full of cold beer or pop, it will make your night better.

Where to Fish

Catfish are prevalent in most lakes, channels and rivers, so finding them shouldn’t be too difficult. I usually try to find a channel or alcove set off from the main part of the lake. If an area like this is not available, I will keep about 4 foot from the shoreline. When fishing for catfish on the great lakes, I try to stick close to the break wall where pockets of sediment will form. This is a prime feeding ground for catfish, thus a prime area to catch them in.


Next time you are itching to fish after the sun goes down, remember that there is a big cat just waiting out there for you.

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Author: Brian Ward

May 1, 2013

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