How To Catch Big Catfish Part 2 - Catfishing Tackle, Reels, Rods,
Brandon with a Good Flathead Catfish!
How To Catch Big Catfish Part 2
Let's quickly recap what was covered in
How To Catch Big Catfish
Where Is The Best Place To Catch A Trophy Catfish?
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Fish For Giant Catfish?
What Are The Best Months To Catch Trophy Catfish?
Ok, ready for more tips on how to catch big catfish.
What Kind Of Tackle Do I Need To Land A Monster Catfish?
There is some debate over how light or how heavy to go with tackle when you are in pursuit of monster world class trophy catfish. I don't know about you, but I hate loosing big fish. When you hook up on a big cat and your #50 leader snaps like a piece of sewing thread all you can say is "I wish I had brought bigger tackle," or "WOW, how big do you think that one was?", no telling.
I've seen #50, #80 and even #100 leaders come back snapped. How big were these fish? Who knows but I don't think they were 20 pounders. It feels like you are in a tractor pull with your fishing pole.
What Kind Of Line Do I Need?
Some catfish fishermen recommend #30 - #40 line. If you are fishing in open water with little or no chance of the fish reaching cover, then you can land some nice trophy catfish with this line weight. If there is any cover at all- which is usually where you find the monster cats- I prefer nothing less than #50 and will often fish heavy cover with #80 or #100 PowerPro.
I've talked to catfishermen who laugh at the heavy weight lines, and I've talked to guys who won't leave home without it. My opinion is if I'm out fishing for world record cats in world class waters, I want my fighting chance when the monster hits.
Hooks? What Size Is Best?
Once again there is some debate on this, but I like to use an 8/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hook. Sometimes I will even use a 10/0 Gamakatsu Circle if I am using bigger baits to leave adequate gap to hook the fish. I prefer the circle hooks because often this results in a hookup in the corner of the catfishes mouth making them a better candidate for live release and survival.
Use heavy gauge hooks like the Gamakatsu octopus hooks. I recently saw an
8/0 Eagle Claw that was straightened out by a big cat. It's tough to know you hooked a great fish only to lose it because your tackle was too light.
What Reels Work Well for Big Cats?
This is a good time to leave your Zebco 33 at home and get a little bigger reel. Yes, I know the world record flathead at 123 pounds was reportedly caught on a Zebco 33 and 12 pound test line, but I'm not gonna push my luck anywhere near that far.
A good wide spool bait casting reel works well for tangles with big catfish.
There is a wide assortment of reels available for catching catfish, but when you want to really target the brutes, you need to get a reel that can stand up to the pressures of big monster fish.
These reels are in no particular order, and I'm sure some of you will see a reel you like that I left out or one I put in that you might not agree with, whether it be because you think it's overkill or too expensive but remember we are going after big blues and monster flatheads, and when I say monsters, I mean monsters.
Let's start with the Penn Reels. There are many Penn reels that made the list of great reels to chase giant cats with.
The Senator series includes the 113, 114, and the 114h. These are reels that are at home on deep sea boats and chasing big cats.
The 320LD and the 330LD are both good lever drag reels that are being used by big catmen.
The 320GT2 and the 330GT2 are highly recommended by catfishing men wrestling world class catfish.
The Penn Jigmaster is another great reel.
Abu Garcia has several good reels with the Ambassadeur 6500TC, 7000 C3 and the 9000BG.
The Quantum Big Iron reels are loved by big cat chasers. The 420cx and 430cx are only on the secondary market so check Ebay.
Shimano makes some great reels. My favorite here is the TLD25, it's a lever drag model that will stand up to the big catfish demands. The Calcutta 700is also a big cat contender.
The Ocean Master 25 reel by Bass Pro is a cheaper copy of the Shimano TLD25. It is a good reel and for the money and a cheaper way to go. I have even taken these to Alaska to catch Halibut with.
If I missed your favorite big cat reels, please comment and I will check them out and add them to the list.
For more information on How To Catch Big Catfish,
see Part 3 of this article. How To Catch Big Catfish Part 3
Catfishing Tackle Supplier I Use
If you are looking for great catfishing tackle, great customer service and great prices then check out these guys, Bottom Dwellers Tackle Company. Tell'em I sent ya!
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Catfishing in March
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