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Fishing for Channel Catfish with my Dad at Night

Updated on August 31, 2013

Helpful Tips For Night Fishing With Your Dad

One of the most enjoyable times that I remember with my Father was fishing at night for catfish. We would get our gear together and go down to one of the local lakes and get ready to hook a big one!

My recollections were good, but weren't always successful. Successful, that is in terms of actually catching anything. My father was so busy that these times with him were times I really remember.

I am going to take you on a fishing trip. If this is something you have done or never done, it may be something you could do with your Dad, or your Son or Daughter. Heck, you can even just be a Big Brother to someone who really would like this alone time with someone who cares.

Have fun and thanks for the visit.

Creative Commons Photo Credit


A Night of Fishing for the Elusive "Channel Cat."

Well, those aren't my feet, nor is that my catfish. However, this is one memory that I had with my Father. I usually didn't catch many fish, but that single big one is always the one that brings back memories.

A night of fishing fun, usually started with getting the gear ready. This included the sandwiches, either made of Spam or Underwood Deviled Ham. Dad brought a few bears while there was always soda in the cooler for me. The transistor radio was one of the things I remember that we always brought. My Dad liked to listen to country music but he also tuned in the weather news, just in case a storm came upon us really quickly. If it wasn't too late already, we might also turn on the Cincinnati Reds ballgame. The radio was AM only, remember those?

On the way there, I can remember once when my Father allowed me to put on my radio station in the car. The song playing was "American Pie" by Don McClean. After about 10 minutes when McClean kept singing, "This'll be the that I die," my Father spoke up and said, "Well, I hope it is over pretty soon so we can listen to another song."

Upon arriving at the lake, the sun was usually setting. We usually arrived before sunset as the later and darker it got, the harder it would be to find a place to fish. We would find a stable spot, find a forked stick to put our poles in and set up the lawn chairs.

One event was the lighting of the Coleman lantern. For some reason, I loved that smell. Dad would usually test it before leaving because if it didn't work when we got there, we wouldn't be able to fish in the dark. I remember the bugs from the area being attracted to the lantern and would circle around it.

Our bait would always be shrimp. To catch a Channel Catfish, we tried all types of bait. Shrimp seemed to work best. You could buy it in the store on the shell and frozen. You put some frozen shrimp in a cup of water that you got from the lake and the shrimp would defrost. You then peeled off the outsider of the shrimp and threaded it onto your hook. It was really easy to do as the shrimp is shaped like the hook. Under the shrimp, the hook is disguised.

We always fished for Channel catfish using "deadline," or without a bobber. It was a hook and a weight and the hook would sink to the bottom. Since catfish are bottom feeders, it was necessary to do so.

One thing about Channel Catfish is that they like the cool deep stream that runs though lakes. Before a lake is formed, there was usually a stream or river that was dammed, causing it to flood. The deep water channel in the bottom of the lake still exists after the lake was formed.

On a moonlit night, you can look over the lake and actually see the stream running through. You want to find that stream for the best fishing!

We cast our lines into the lake and just waited. A "Channel Cat" is a more particular eater. While the lakes are usually filled with catfish, the others were called "Yellow Bellies" and these were also infesting the lakes by the thousands. They muddied up the lakes and also kept other fish from seeing bait and made it difficult to fish. They were really strong to eat and were not really edible and smelled really strong! This nuisance fish was a problem many years ago, they probably still are today.

"Channel Cat" versus "Yellow Belly" feeding behavior is noticeable to the seasoned fisherman. A "Yellow Belly" will take the bait and run with a quick run of the bait with no hesitation. No doubt, it is against competing relatives out there in the deep. A "Channel Cat" takes the bait and bumps the line. The line will run a little and then stop. Then there will be a huge run. A Channel Catfish is also a great fighter so catching one is quite a sport.

No matter what happened with fishing success, there was time where we could talk or just sit in silence and enjoy each others company.

At the end of the night or after a long break with no "bites," we would venture home. Shutting down the Coleman lamp and carrying it to the car would usually cool it off enough to put in the care. We went home with full bellies of sandwiches and logged another fishing story to tell our family or friends.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

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The Colman Lantern - The Ultimate Item for Night Fishing

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern
Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern

We usually had a green Coleman lantern but they have remained virtually unchanged through the years. You can buy the battery operated ones but the experience is just not quite the same. When burning, these make a "hiss" and cast a smell that is like no other. The Coleman Lantern is very comforting, especially in the dark.

Make sure you buy or bring plenty of fuel and substitute lanterns. It is difficult to night fish without a light!


Catch a Link to Help You Fish Through the Night for that Elusive Channel Catfish

Here are some critical tips for night fishing for catfish! Make sure you read all of these and you will be an expert!

Even if you don't catch any, you will make your old man proud and he might even think you know what you're doing, at least this time!

Fishing for Comments - Could you please hook one on?

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    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I also loved going fishing with my dad. Great lens, I really enjoyed the read!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      I'm so happy you have pleasant memories of good times together.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      So, your dad took a couple of bears out with you fishing? Perhaps that is the reason you didn't catch any! Sounds like an enjoyable time. Fishing with dad is great, no matter how many - if any - fish you catch!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      What nice memories you have of those night fishing times!

    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 5 years ago from Texas

      Fishing is one of those memorable things that all kids should do with their fathers. It turns out, the experience is not about the fish, which makes it even better! Thanks for sharing!