Catfish from the Bank
Anglers pursue catfish in a variety of ways. Bank poles, trot lines, jugs, yo-yo’s and rod and reel combinations are the hottest options to fishermen hoping to land a big cat.
My wife, Lotte, and I are quickly turning our focus towards fishing for catfish from the bank with our rod and reels. We have been catching several catfish every night we go out. They have not been the large lunkers that we often catch on our trot lines and bank poles, but they have been the perfect size for the skillet.
Many anglers do not have the luxury of owning a boat or do not want to mess with putting one in and taking it out of the water on a nightly basis. Other lakes provide good fishing opportunities without the use of a boat.
We have found such a lake near our home where we have had good success fishing from the bank. Chances are there is one near you too.
Arriving an hour or so before dark we get our gear set up. We do not have high tech equipment. A couple of Zebco rod and reel combos, No. 4 treble hooks, landing net, bug spray, camping chairs and a bucket or wire basket to put our catch in is all we tote to our fishing spot.
A good light is important when fishing at night and we rely solely on the Super Bright Headlamp from Bossman Outdoors. This waterproof, rechargeable headlamp has four light modes that allows us to enjoy ourselves without tripping over what Mother Nature throws our way. A good headlamp will free up your hands to allow you to bait your hooks, remove fish and more. With 6,000 Lumens and a rotatable focus it is perfect for all your outdoor needs.
As far as bait goes there are a few different types we have been using with success on a nightly basis. An old staple fishermen and women have been using for decades is chicken liver which has been producing good results for us. Also, we have been using stew meat bought at the local grocery store which has put many fish in the bucket. Another good bait we have been using is dough bait manufactured here in Illinois. Cole Cheese Bait, made in Toledo, Illinois is quickly catching on with catfish anglers across the country. A small ball of the bait wrapped on a No. 4 treble hook produces fast results from the hungry fish.
We have been able to land a few fish as we wait for darkness to set in, but when the stars begin to shine the bite is on, almost non-stop. With our bait presentation setting on the bottom of the lake it does not take long to feel the thud of a fish getting up close and personal as they inspect our bait. After a couple of times of feeling these thuds, we are able to feel the fish swimming with our bait. Setting the hook, the fight is on and before we know it we have a fish in the bucket.
Of course, it is fun to run bank poles all night long but fighting a fish with a rod and reel outfit is more enjoyable to me. Not knowing what is about to strike and when it finally does, my heart goes overdrive with anticipation of what is on the other end swimming in the dark depths of the water.
Every state has plenty of waters available for the angler wishing to do some fishing from the bank. Whether it is a lake, creek, river or even a small farm pond catfish are abundant and easily caught without a lot of preparation or expensive equipment.
Enjoying the stars, listening to the owls talk back and forth to one another with the moon’s reflection shimmering of the water’s surface is a calm every person should experience as often as they can whether they are an angler or not. My wife and I have it the best of both worlds. We get to experience the beauties that Mother Nature provides while being able to fish.