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Let's Go Fishing!
BILL DANCE'S CATFISH TIPS Bass Tips | Panfish Tips
Zebco Fishing Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), is North America's most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a "channel cat". In the United States they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8 million anglers targeting them per year. The popularity of channel catfish for food has contributed to the rapid growth of aquaculture of this species in the United States. Channel catfish are well distributed throughout the eastern and northern United States, southern Canada, and parts of northern Mexico. They thrive in small rivers, large rivers, reservoirs, natural lakes, and ponds.

Big Blues Love Cold Water
The biggest blue catfish often come from water below the 40-degree mark. Most other gamefish are sluggish in water this frigid, but not blues - they'll bite aggressively and put up a world-class fight.

Flatheads On Bluegills
One of the best baits for a big flathead catfish is a live bluegill. Fish it under a float in shallow water, or below a heavy sinker on the bottom of a river. Use stout tackle — when hooked, a flathead usually heads straight for cover.

Juggin' Fun
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to catch catfish is on juglines. Wrap a length of strong monofilament line around the neck of a plastic milkjug. Pull out the desired length (6 to 10 ft. is usually plenty) and secure the remainder in place with a sturdy rubber band. Rig a stout live bait hook at the end of the line and a heavy sinker (an old spark plug or wheel weight will work) about a foot above the hook. Use liver, worms, minnows, shrimp or prepared catfish bait. Put out several jugs away from heavy boating traffic, then get set for fun as catfish try to make off with them. Always check local regulations before jug fishing.

Cats On Corks
In Spring, catfish often move around shallow rock banks to spawn. They can be caught using live minnows or prepared baits drifted shallow beneath slip bobbers.

Catfish Attractor
A "fish block" is a great catfish attractor. These biodegradable blocks, when submerged, emit a fish-attracting odor which will call catfish and baitfish from a wide area. Tie a block to a tree limb or boat dock to attract fish close to shore, or sink one of or more on underwater structure. For best results, return in a couple of days and fish close to the block.


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