Catfish Fishing For Beginners & Advanced Anglers: How To Catch Capital Catfish!


In the following article you will learn everything about catfish fishing or fishing for catfish.

This includes information about equipment, rigs, lures, methods, places to fish and closed seasons.

Catfish fishing is a very popular method. However, fishing for the predatory fish is often very time-consuming. As the catfish is a fish that is active at dusk and at night, the darker it gets, the better the chances.

In addition, there are closed seasons for catfish in some areas in Germany which of course have to be observed.

During the catfish closed season predatory fishing for catfish is no longer allowed.

But you will learn more about this in the last section. But now let’s go step by step

Catfish fishing equipment

The catfish can grow up to 3 m long and weigh 200 kg. Therefore, the catfish rod, lines and reel must be very strong and powerful. The following items of equipment are especially important for good equipment:

  • Catfish line
  • Catfish rod
  • Catfish reel
  • Catfish hook
  • Bite indicators
  • Vertebrae with high load capacity
  • Catfish lead
  • Catfish poses Catfish rigs/jigs and co.
  • Rubber fish and shads
  • Flashing lights

In the following we will go into more detail about the most important equipment for a successful hide on catfish.

The correct catfish line or catfish line

As catfish have an incredible amount of power, we recommend a line thickness of 0.40 – 0.60 mm when fishing for catfish. The main fishing line should have a minimum load capacity of 14 kg.

Because it has to withstand the complete load between the fishing rod and the catfish. It is therefore one of the most important components to be successful in predatory catfish fishing.

There is a basic difference between a monofilament and a braided catfish line. And this is where many anglers start to think: Should a monofilament or a braided fishing line be used instead?

We at recommend using a braided fishing line for catfish fishing. This is because braided fishing lines are much better at meeting the required load capacity.

Monofilament catfish lines are also available on the market, but they do have some basic disadvantages (such as tear resistance) compared to braided lines.

Braided fishing lines have the advantage that they are particularly tear-resistant and in most cases have very little stretch.

A distinction is also made between round braided and flat braided catfish lines. Round braided lines have the advantage that they are better distributed on the catfish reel. In addition, they require considerably less space because the cross-section of the fishing line is smaller.

Of course, the knot load is also a decisive factor when choosing the right catfish line. The load capacity can not only be influenced positively by choosing the right fishing line, but is also positively influenced by the right catfish knot.

We recommend you use a clinch knot. And this is how you tie the catfish knot:

Of course the choice of the right catfish line is not always easy because the range of available lines is very large. Nevertheless we want to help you with the selection to make the search easier.

We can recommend the braided fishing line from AnzeigeJaxon Black Horse Catfish. In the past this line has proven to be very stable and tearproof:

You can also find our article about catfish fittings.

Choosing the right catfish rod

Catfish fishing rods should be chosen as short and strong as possible due to the size and weight of the catfish. If it comes to the drill, so stronger pressure on the catfish can be exerted. A special catfish rod is available in various fishing shops.

In principle, however, catfish rods are differentiated according to their hardness (soft / hard). For smaller catfish, soft fishing rods are therefore recommended in any case. Catfish with a size of at least 2 m should be “fished” with a harder rod. They are also suitable for “relaxing” and on longer distances.

In the following we will go into more detail about the individual methods and the recommended catfish rods. But first a big overview. If you look at the table with a smartphone, then you will find that the table is better viewed crossways:

Catfish rods when unhitching

When unhitching (this allows a very accurate bite recognition) it depends mainly on the respective location. For small ponds we recommend for example catfish rods with a length of 3 m and a casting weight of 300 to 500 g.

If it is not a pond, but possibly a larger lake, catfish rods with a length of up to 3.40 m and a casting weight of more than 500 g are recommended.

Especially when casting, you should make sure that the main fishing line does not rest on the water. Long fishing rods are therefore of crucial importance. This is because with a catfish rod it is possible to tension the fishing line without touching the surface of the water.

You should also make sure that the casting weight is as high as possible when tensioning the rod. If the casting weight is too low, the rod can bend too much and lose height.

This applies to both shore and boat fishing.

We have had very good experience with the AnzeigeZeck Pro-Cat Waller rod. This rod is 3 m long, has and has a casting weight of up to 400 g. So it is the ideal condition for relaxing. And this is what it looks like:

The right catfish rod for spin fishing

With catfish spinning rods or catfish spinning rods, the normal conditions as for “normal” spinning rods usually apply.

However, the decisive factor is that they are very stable. This is because catfish rods for spin fishing may have to “cope” with very heavy catfish lures. A strong backbone is indispensable for this.

We have had good experience with the AnzeigeGreys Prowla Catfish Spin. It has a length of 2.74 and a casting weight of 160 g.

All in all it has a total weight of just 330 g. And this is what it looks like:

Catfish rods to “knock” on the boat

If you want to fish catfish from the boat, you have to pay attention to the length. Because the bait fish is usually “pulled” behind the boat.

Waller rods are ideal here between 1.50 m and 3 m.

The casting weight should also be adjusted to obstacles on the boat. If there are many obstacles “in the way” a higher casting weight is advantageous.

We have had good experience with the AnzeigeZeck Pro Cat Boat Waller rod in the past. It has a length of 2,40m and a casting weight of 300g. And this is what it looks like:

Waller rod for vertical fishing

Vertical fishing is characterized by the fact that the angler has the catfish rod constantly in his hand.

Therefore a not too high weight is of crucial importance. You should also make the casting weight dependent on the catfish bait.

Therefore choose a vertical rest where the tip is more sensitive. Especially if the ground is muddy, you will have decisive advantages.

It is important that you have a strong backbone but still have enough sensitivity. By the way, a multi reel is recommended here, because it can be held better and the fishing line length can be varied and adjusted much better in changing water depths.

If you want to treat yourself, you will have a lot of fun with the AnzeigeBlack Cat 3.40m Godzilla. However, it is not quite as inexpensive and, at over 200 euros, is one of the really high-priced models. Here is a picture:

If this is not available again (sold out quickly), the cheaper model AnzeigeBlack Cat Passion Pro 2 is also available. And this is what it looks like:

Catfish rod for U-Pose fishing

A catfish rod with a length of 2.80 to 3 m is also recommended for U-Pose fishing.

Here too, the weight of the cast should depend on the waters to be fished. If the fishing spot is free of obstacles, you should choose a casting weight of about 300 g. If there are obstacles such as branches or trees, a casting weight of 500 g is recommended.

Because as soon as the catfish has “struck” and the fight starts you usually have to fight the catfish hard and stand up to them. With a throw weight of 500 g the “evasion range” is not so high.

We can definitely recommend the displaySPRO Monster Cat 300 for fishing for predatory fish in U-pose. And this is what it looks like:

The AnzeigeBlack Cat Passion Pro 3,00m 300-600g catfish rod has established itself over many years as a trustworthy catfish rod.

In addition, the reel should also be large and heavy. Therefore a heavy stationary or multi reel is recommended. When buying a reel, you should make sure that the brake works as smoothly as possible.

The right catfish reel

There are now countless catfish reels on the German market. Of course the choice is relatively difficult. Especially since they are not always cheap and you want to avoid a bad buy.

Anyway, the decisive factor is how robust and smooth the reel really is.

Because once a catfish has “bitten” and is not exactly small at 50 kg and a length of about 2 m, the reel is under enormous pressure. Therefore the brake is also of crucial importance.

When is a catfish reel considered robust?

In order to distinguish a robust from a non robust catfish reel, you should definitely take a closer look at the reel foot. The roller foot connects the actual roller with the whaler rod.

If the roller foot is made of plastic, it is important to avoid it. Because here the danger of a reel breakage is simply too great.

In the ideal case, even the entire housing is made of metal. Because, as already mentioned at the beginning, the danger of too much stress is very high, especially with catfish. However, this is not a must. Only if you want to play it safe, you should also pay attention to the housing.

The axle of the catfish reel should also be as stable as possible so that it does not bend when you start to drill. Because the axle is only fixed on one side and is also subject to a strong load with catfish. A strong, low-wear stainless steel axle is usually ideal.

The same applies of course to the line roller. It is the foremost point of connection between fishing line and reel. If it does not run smoothly or is not very stable, there is a risk that the catfish line will get knotted or, in the worst case, even travel.

The following picture illustrates all 4 parts that are important for a stable catfish reel:

If you pay attention to these 4 parts when buying a reel, there is a very high chance that you will make little mistakes with the reel.

The brake

Of course the brake is also very important. Because the catfish has so much power that even this can “fail” when closed and the catfish continues to pull fishing line. Therefore it is important that the brake system has an additional brake disc under the spool.

This has two advantages: Firstly, the dirt cannot be so heavily soiled and secondly, the brake has extra power while at the same time the fishing line is released evenly.

Because it should continue to work even when it is considered closed. Otherwise the fishing line can quickly break.

And that would be the “worst case scenario” in the drill. You need a freewheel especially for U-Pose predator fishing. Because here the catfish assembly can be provided with a lead. Catching more sensitive catfish is quite possible here.

When unhooking, the freewheel is unnecessary because the brake has to be closed relatively wide so that the catfish can “hook itself” (if the breakaway line “breaks off”).

So it always depends on your chosen fishing method.

Line capacity

If your catfish reel has a line capacity of 150 to 200 m with a 0.35 mm braided fishing line, this is more than sufficient.

Of course you can also use larger catfish reels. However, these have the disadvantage that they are of course a bit heavier at the same time.

As mentioned above, we recommend using a braided catfish line in any case.

Which catfish reel is the right one now?

Here we recommend the AnzeigePenn Slammer 760L Liveliner. This reel has been specially developed for fishing for predatory fish with braided lines and is therefore very powerful.

It also has a strong stainless steel axle (for durability when drilling) and a brass gear.

The axle and the complete roller housing are also made of aluminium. As already mentioned this is crucial when it comes to the drill and leads to more stability.

Again, a brake disc is mounted under the spool for maximum braking power. The integrated freewheel system can be activated or deactivated as required.

Depending on which fishing method you choose for catfish fishing.

This is what it looks like:

The Penn Slammer 760L Liveliner has been used by many catfish anglers for years.

Catfish hook

The catfish hook is of vital importance when catfish fishing. It provides direct and immediate contact with the fish.

So you should definitely make the right choice when you think about what kind of hook you use.

In the following we will introduce some models in more detail. By the way, in the following article we show you 3 catfish hooks with which we have made very good experience ourselves.

Single hook for bait fish

When using a bait fish a catfish leader with a single hook size 04 to 08 and an additional triplet hook size 04 is suitable. Squids are usually offered with a single hook size 01 to 09, depending on the size of the squid and the size of the target fish.

The circle hook is recommended for bottom fishing with weights, for fishing against currents and for catfish pose fishing.

The catfish hook can even be used when fishing in front of obstacles.

The advantage is that the catfish “twists” itself into the hook due to its curved shape. On many models the “eye” is also twisted which increases the stability.

We can recommend the display Gamakatsu Octopus.

Catfish hook for worms

Reworms should be offered for catfish fishing with a single hook in sizes 02 to 08. Alternatively, two single hooks can be used to catch the catfish.

We recommend the AnzeigeFox Rage PowerPoint catfish hook, especially for bundles of thaw worms. They are available in all sizes and can be used in almost all waters.

They also have short hook legs for catfish fishing.

Bite indicator

A bite indicator should also be used, as catfish fishing usually takes place at night or at dusk.

This will inform you about the bite especially when you sleep on your couch. However, the shrill alarm is not a very gentle way to be woken up.

Here we present various bite indicators in more detail.

The bite indicator is an excellent tool to make fishing more “relaxed”.

Catfish fishing bait

The catfish is a predator. That’s why adult catfish eat almost exclusively fish in the wild. However, it also happens that water birds and swimming small mammals such as mice or rats are also eaten.

This often depends on the size of the catfish and depends on it.

Its main period of activity for foraging and therefore an excellent time for catfish fishing is twilight and night time.

In order to position them correctly the bait for predatory catfish fishing will be offered preferably on taut lines so that the attacking catfish can hook itself.

In the following we would like to introduce you to some of the best catfish baits.

Catfish fishing with dead bait

A bait fish while catfish fishing can be used in almost every season, because it is possible to catch a big catfish at cold water temperatures.

However, only dead bait fish should be used as the use of live bait fish is prohibited in Germany.

Bait fish can be bought in almost every fishing store. In addition you can freeze supplies of bait fish at home. On the following picture you can see corresponding bait fish:

As the catfish has a very big mouth you should not be “shy” of big bait fishes. Most catfish prefer to eat a “complete meal” rather than many small “bites”.

Catfish fishing bait assembly

When you use a bait fish there is always the question of the correct assembly. We recommend the demolition assembly, the buoy assembly or also the underwater pose assembly.

However, we personally have also had success with active catfish fishing. We have achieved the results with vertical fishing as well as tapping with the catfish wood.

Especially when “tapping”, a so-called “dead rod” with an additional bait fish should always be pulled behind.

It is important that you adjust the number of hooks as well as the size of the catfish hook to the lure.

Because there is a risk that the ratio of hook / metal to lure is too small and the catfish will be “deterred” by the lure.

It is advisable to fix a single hook to the mouth of the lure and additionally to fix a triplet to the anal fin, the back or the flank.

For the leader you can use a monofilament line with a size between 0.1 cm and 0.15 cm. Alternatively, for dead bait fish, a braided leader line with a “minimum load” of 50 kg is also suitable.

If you don’t feel like “tying it yourself” you can also choose and buy a finished leader here.

Which fish tastes best for catfish as bait?

As fish or white fish belong to the main food source of the catfish they are an excellent method to be successful in catfish fishing.

We have been successful with bream or carp, for example. Even if they weigh 2 kg or more, this is usually not a problem for the catfish.

To get the best catch you should try out the different catfish baits on different fishing rods.

We have made the experience that catfish are small “gourmets” and sometimes very choosy.

A live bait fish is of course more realistic and mostly “catchy” but in Germany it is generally forbidden. This would additionally attract the catfish via sound waves.

Nevertheless dead bait fish are convincing, especially because of their intensified “smell”.

To intensify this smell you can “enrich” the bait with additional attractants. We recommend the indicator stink bomb from Ryba.

Catfish fishing with squid

Another catfish bait for catfish fishing is the use of squid. This can be used both in flowing and standing waters.

The longer the squid is dead, the more attractive it becomes for the catfish. This is due to the fragrances emitted, which become more attractive to the catfish with increasing resting time.

Squids are very popular for catfish fishing. It can also be positioned at almost any water depth with the help of a buoy. On the following picture you can see squids that can be used for catching:

Many people swear to leave the squid in a container in the sun a few days before in order to intensify the “putrefaction scents” even more and make the catfish even more appealing. But this is not for weak nerves as the “scents” can become very strong. Also you should do this at a place where you don’t bother the neighbours (so not on the balcony of an apartment building).

But we have made the experience (especially on the Rhine) that the fresher the catfish, the better the taste of the squid. Generally speaking, squids have a strong inherent odour by nature.

That’s why we recommend to offer the squid “fresh” before you take care to intensify the smell.

Which mounting should you use for squid bait?

We have had very good experience with the treadle on the bottom, the U-pose or when tapping.

When tapping you should use large and stable single hooks. These fit very well and cannot slip so quickly.

It is best to pull a medium-sized squid directly onto the hook. The following illustration shows you what is meant:

If you like, you can also offer the squid with roundworms. These are usually more catchy but not a must.

It is important to wait for the eating phase and think about where the right place is.

Catfish fishing with worm

Dewworms are one of the most common catfish baits for catfish fishing. Tau worms have one decisive advantage: you can easily find and collect them yourself. Who would like to can buy them online. This is usually more convenient than searching in the “dirt”.

Another advantage is that you can also get very good by-catches. Especially carp usually catch the thaw worm.

Unfortunately, smaller fish also catch the tauworm. So it is quite possible that you also have a perch on the line.

Therefore it is necessary to check your lure regularly and renew it if necessary if you want to fish “for worms”.

Reworms, however, are very often eaten by catfish and are therefore very often used when fishing for catfish. In most cases these are offered to the catfish as a bundle of thaw worms.

The reason is that the supply of worms is generally stronger when it rains, making them “greedy”. The following picture shows a thaw worm:

If you want to be successful in catfish fishing, you should not do without thaw worms.

Which mounting is suitable for catfish fishing for tauworm?

We have had very good experience with the following mounts on tauworm:

  • Fixed lead mounting
  • Stone mounting
  • Pose mounting
  • Buoys mounting (for tensioning)

The thaw worm can be used both on rivers (for example, river fishing on the Rhine) and on ponds or lakes. can be used.

You can also be very successful with the tauworm when “knocking” on catfish.

If you want to play it safe, you should offer 15 to 30 thaw worms at once. Only then you will have a big bundle of thaw worms, which is especially popular with catfish.

The thaw worm bundle can be offered as a single hook or as a triplet.

Make sure that the tip of the hook remains free. Otherwise there is a risk that the hook will not grip properly in the mouth of the catfish.

Dendrobena worm & the Canadian tauworm

A distinction is usually made between the Dendrobena worm and the Canadian tauworm.

Both have proven to be very catchy in the past. However, the Dendrobena worm is somewhat more hardy. It can therefore be exposed to higher loads. However, it does not really fit on the large catfish hooks.

It may be a little too small for this. The size of the hook to be used is the most important factor here.

So if you want to, you should always offer a combination of both. That means you offer a tauworm bundle with dendrobena worms and Canadian tauworms.

Catfish fishing with pellets

Another excellent catfish bait is pellets.

Pellets are usually used here which are also used for carp fishing. Pellets that we can recommend are halibut pellets or fish pellets in a size of 20 cm.

An advantage of many pellets is that they “radiate” an intense scent and thus attract even more catfish.

We can recommend display these pellets (without holes because they do not dissolve so quickly in water).

If you want, you can enrich the pellets with fish oil to attract more catfish. Because by the additional intensified scent usually more catfish are attracted.

If you want to fish for predatory fish with pellets, you should look for a water where carp can also be fished.

Because most catfish know the bait already because carp anglers use pellets very often for “feeding”. Therefore the chances are extremely high that you will land a catfish.

Nevertheless you should also feed with pellets before. This is especially important if you have caught few or no carp in the respective waters so far. Because the catfish first have to get used to the “new bait”.

It is best to fish at regular intervals so that they have enough time to “make friends” with the new bait.

Which is the right installation for pellets?

When catfish fishing with pellets we usually use a “hair mounting”.

Use a hair as long as possible because several pellets have to be “mounted” on the hair.

To have a rough “benchmark” you should offer about 10 to 15 in a “chain”. The following is an illustration:

Note that the catfish lead weighs about 250 g and the catfish line has a carrying capacity of 60 to 100 kg.

Use a pellet stopper to fix the complete “chain”. We have made very good experience when we offered the catfish baits as “chain” (i.e. not closed as a ring).

In addition the catfish mouth is very hard. Therefore you should make a “first bite” immediately after the bite to be on the safe side

If you want to you should offer the pellets including the mounting with an additional attractant. We recommend the Display Stink Bomb from Ryba. Tip: You should let the attractant work for some time to intensify the effect and increase your chances of catching the pellets.

For shore fishing we recommend special pellet rods with a length of 3.60 m. These do not have a normal “casting weight” but are provided with a test curve.

A reasonable catfish rod for fishing with pellets has an average of about 8 lbs.

In order to always have the right rod assembly with you, we also recommend our book “The best fishing assemblies”.

Catfish fishing with liver

If you don’t want to fish with a bait fish anymore, you should switch to liver. Cattle, pork or poultry liver are suitable for this.

Following typical pork liver:

As you can see on the photo, you should cut the liver into longish strips to offer it better to the catfish.

In addition it moves thereby additionally in the current.

You can use this very catchy lure in rivers (for river fishing) as well as in lakes or ponds.

Liver has a strong attractant of its own so you can usually do without additional attractant.

It is advisable to leave the liver in a bucket for several days so that the scent is more intense. However, if the liver is very fresh, the blood content is higher, which has a positive effect on the chances of catching fish.

However, after some time in the water it also evaporates quite quickly. Therefore it is advisable to change the bait after some time in the water (do not leave it in the water for more than 4 to 6 hours). If you like, you can also enrich the liver strips with rope worms. This increases the length of time you can offer the bait in the water.

For the liver it is best to use a U-pose mount or a fixed lead mount. Make sure that the bait does not fall off when you cast it. Therefore you should not use too much force to get the bait into the water.

Methods of catfish fishing

There is one thing you need above all else when fishing for catfish: patience. Due to the main activity time in the evening or at night, the catfish should also be tried to fish during this time. Catfish go on a raid on the surface, the shore area and all depths.

Therefore fishing from the boat or shore is suitable for catfish fishing. In addition, catfish fishing is very similar to carp fishing, but differs in the heavier equipment.

Catfish fishing from shore

One method of catfish fishing is from shore. There are many different methods and tactics to get the most out of your hide.

Basically this means a fixed place on the shore that you choose beforehand for tactical reasons to increase your catch.

This is the place where the montages are deployed to “fish” the water. The aim is to “watch” a “wandering” catfish and to tempt it to bite.

In addition to “simply holding the catfish rod in the water”, catfish fishing can also be active. The “spinning fish method” from the shore is suitable for this. This involves “exploring” various places on the bank to find the best possible spot.

An essential advantage of catfish fishing from the shore is the peace and quiet. While you are waiting for the bite it is usually completely quiet if you don’t consciously make sounds yourself. The situation is different when fishing from a boat. The boat makes much more noise and can scare the catfish away because of the resonance waves.

This is why catfish fishing from the shore is very popular.

Unfortunately you can’t reach a very large radius with “fishing from the shore”. So you are fixed on one location until you change the place. But it is different if you fish from a boat. Here you are much more flexible and can easily choose and “fish” different places.

So from the shore the number of places is much smaller. As these places on the shore are frequented by many other anglers, the fishing results are usually worse. Because the catfish also learn with time. The catfish become more cautious in these places over time and as a result the catching frequency on the shore usually dwindles.

Equipment for catfish fishing from the shore

Basically you need different utensils. The following is a list:

  • Rod holder / rod pod
  • Chair / carp chair
  • Carp lounger (if you want to stay over night)
  • Umbrella
  • possibly Sleeping bag
  • Outrigger boat (to bring out the assembly and possibly for the drill)

Now we will go into more detail about the most important equipment.

Rod holder / rod pod

The most important item in this list is the rod holder or rod pod. Because a hide to fish capital catfish can take several hours. And finally, nobody really wants to hold the rod in his hand. We have examined various rod holders here. The advantage is that several rods can be placed on it at the same time and the angler has both hands free.

Here is another hint: The rods should be placed on the rod pod as soon as the bait is released. It is important that no lines cross on the Rod-Pod to prevent line twisting.

The rod holder should be positioned close to the water as well as to the seat or couch. This allows a quick reaction in case of a bite.

In addition, the fishing rods should be secured with a heavy object or fishing line. If the catfish attacks, this will prevent the catfish rod from being released into the water.

Chair / couch / sleeping bag

A chair is also very good to have a little bit more comfort when sitting on. Because if you don’t want to sit on the ground or stand all the time, you will look for a comfortable seat after a few hours at the latest. Carp chairs are exactly the right thing here. Especially on rainy or hot days we recommend an additional umbrella. This will provide you with shade or keep you dry

If you like to spend the night on the shore, we recommend a decent lounger and, if necessary, a sleeping bag. So you can relax until the bite indicator strikes and the fight with the catfish starts.

Fishing boat

A fishing boat is needed to position the assembly perfectly. The assistant or helper uses the boat to bring the fishing bait including buoy to the desired position.

In case of an attack the rip line is torn up and the drilling can start. Afterwards you can fish standing or sitting and the fishing line is released a little at first.

The right assembly for shore fishing

Below is a list of the most common assemblies for shore fishing catfish:

  • Pose assembly
  • Spinning fish assembly
  • Crane assembly
  • Tensioning
  • Buoys assembly
  • Cane mounting
  • Mounting with an underwater pose

Above we have already mentioned a number of catfish fishing mounts. Otherwise you will find here three very catchy catfish mounts which are also suitable for shore fishing.

What kind of catfish can be expected on shore?

On the shore you can usually expect all sizes of catfish. Many large catfish are also often “drawn” to the shore by the calm.

But when the calm is suddenly over, the catfish often disappear again. Therefore it is very important to keep calm on the shore to not “scare” the catfish.

What else you have to pay attention to

Place your catfish mounts in a way that when a catfish “strikes”, the individual mounts do not hinder each other. Therefore you should choose enough distance between the respective mounts.

In addition, not too many catfish lines should be placed in the water. Catfish have a natural instinct for it when the environment changes. Many lines and the resulting negative experience in the past can scare off catfish. Therefore do not place too many catfish rods in the water. 2 to 3 should usually be sufficient.

Always ask yourself if the next additional mounting is really necessary or if the already mounted bait might not be enough.

You should use gloves when landing catfish because the risk of injury to the teeth cushions is high. After they have been drilled out, catfish can be easily grasped by the lower jaw.

Nevertheless, the fish should be handled with care. In addition, catfish blood can cause inflammation in the human eye. Topmost caution is required here.

Here is another tip: In the book AnzeigeWaller: Giganten des Süßwassers it is described in great detail how to catch catfish or waller successfully and what else you should pay attention to.

Catfish fishing from the shore Video for beginners

Following a video from our partner Fishing-King. The video is a little more than 30 minutes. Watch it to learn even more:

Catfish fishing from boat

Many anglers who have specialized in catfish are now switching to boats. Often even a small dinghy is enough to fish for catfish successfully. Rubber dinghies should have a size of 2 m to 3.20 m.

Inflatable boats are also suitable for setting the lure or for drilling, as they are small and manoeuvrable. They are also ideal for “short seats” as the places are not changed so often.

For this we can recommend the AnzeigeZeck Hopper 2,20m inflatable boat.

On larger rivers such as the Po, Ebro and Rhone, we still recommend a catfish boat to increase the chances of success when river fishing. You should choose a boat between 4m and 6m to have enough space (of course depending on the number of people).

You don’t need to buy such a boat because boats (no special boats) are usually available at the respective lakes.

And so the whole thing can look like this:

A boat is advantageous because the places where catfish are frequently and often fished can be easily “circumnavigated”.

Because catfish often become smarter after a few catches and avoid heavily fished areas. Therefore a catfish boat is often unavoidable to find real hotspots.

Which catfish rod is recommended in the boat for passive fishing?

You should use short rods for passive catfish fishing from the boat. These are much easier to handle on the often narrow boats.

Another advantage of a short catfish rod is that a much better lifting effect can be achieved. So the catfish can be pulled up much easier.

In addition, the catfish can be brought closer to the boat by a shorter rod.

It is recommended to choose a catfish rod between 2 and 2,70 m. The length also has an optimal effect on the underwater pose installation.

To be on the safe side we recommend the Black Cat Passion Pro DX catfish rod, Standard, One Size with a casting weight of 600 g and a total weight of 394 g.

The catfish reel and line do not require any special conditions. Here you can use the same materials that you use on the shore.

Which catfish rod in the boat for active fishing?

For active catfish fishing you should choose even shorter rods to give you as much freedom as possible. The shorter length also has a positive effect on bait guidance and bait control in the boat.

Here we recommend waller rods between 1.80 m and 2.10 m.

This will definitely give you better “handling” and better control of the lure.

In addition you have a much better bite recognition. Make sure that the rod is thin and light but still has a strong backbone.

We recommend the indicatorWFT Never Crack Catfish Boat with a casting weight of 250-1000g and a total length of 2.10m to be successful at active catfish fishing in the boat.

Catfish fishing at trout lake

Especially on hot summer days it can happen from time to time that the trout do not bite. Because the water is simply too warm for salmonids from 20 degrees. Due to the inertia, there is usually no success in catching the trout.

To make sure that the normal angler doesn’t get bored, many trout parks stock their lakes with Afro catfish. This is because Afro catfish prefer warm waters – especially waters above 20 degrees.

Afro catfish weigh over 30 kg and can also be “fished” with simple trout equipment.

Baits & mounts for Afro catfish

Similar to “normal” catfish they can be fished with the following catfish baits:

  • Worms
  • Fish shreds
  • Bait fish (e.g. perch)
  • Smoked salmon

You should choose one of the following catfish mounts:

  • Pose mounting
  • Lead mounting

The bait should be offered just above the ground.

Place the lure where the catfish occasionally appear to gasp for air (usually best on hot days). Near the shore is usually completely sufficient. Long casts are therefore not necessary. This makes catfish fishing a very comfortable affair.

They bite in completely different ways. Sometimes they are very timid and other times they are extremely “greedy”.

If they are very timid you might want to try a smaller catfish bait. Often the lures are simply too big for the predators.

A small shred of fish is often quite sufficient here.

The hook

If the Afro catfish has bitten, you should set the hook directly. Otherwise it can happen that it disappears immediately because the hook has not been fixed properly in the often very hard mouth.

When using a landing net make sure that it doesn’t free itself after all.

Because Afro Catfish often don’t give in without a fight. Here you can find our big landing net test).

Where can you find Afro Catfish?

Afro catfish can be found in the trout park Zievericher Mühle. Below are the most important contact details:

Zievericher Mühle Fishing Park Zievericher Mühle 6 50126 Bergheim

Now there shouldn’t be much standing in the way of a successful estate. Afterwards you can roast, smoke or grill it.

Catfish fishing on the river

Many anglers go fishing for catfish on large fishing waters abroad. But it does not have to be that far. Because the Rhine alone offers some very large catfish. Therefore one should not underestimate the German waters.

Where are the best chances?

But also smaller rivers (rivers that flow into the main stream) are visited by the catfish. Especially the tributaries of the Rhine or the Danube are ideal for this. Because many clubs take stocking measures to ensure the survival of the catfish.


But usually the smaller rivers are easier to fish. Rivers with a depth of about 2 m are ideal. Stands in the Rhine are only more difficult to find because of the deep channels.

Pay particular attention to current pockets, washed-out banks, branches, overhanging trees, edges and gullies to get the catfish “on the loaf”.

You should also avoid the so-called “hotspots”, which many anglers like to visit regularly. Because catfish remember the spots where they have generally had bad experiences. This reduces the chance of a successful catch after a short time.

Sometimes it can even make sense to leave a section of water completely alone to benefit the population.

If you want to be on the safe side, you should fish several places at the same time.

Feeding places

Besides the sites you can also search for suitable feeding places for catfish in the river. However, it is usually much more difficult to find them.

Good feeding places have the disadvantage that you “only” fish active catfish here.

Therefore you should if possible fish in places where stand and feed places are close together.

So-called pumps are suitable for this purpose. There shallow water zones are closely adjacent. It is best to set up catfish at the same time at the stall as well as at the feeding place.

Especially if you are fishing on a river that is regularly and frequently navigated by other boats (for example canoes), the chance of success is higher when you are close to the bank.

Many catfish avoid these boats or canoes and rather move to quieter sections of the river. Again you have higher chances at bushes, lush banks and places where the catfish find shelter.

Here you should lay out the bait. As soon as you feel even a small “twitch” you should put the lure directly. This way you increase your chances of success.

What equipment do you need?

If you want to be on the safe side, you should use an echo sounder or fish finder. Especially when you are on the river for the first time, the echo sounder can be a real asset to quickly achieve initial success. A small boat should usually be sufficient for this.

Alternatively you can try your luck with a spinning rod. With a spinning rod you can usually “explore” the water very well. We can recommend the indicator Zeck Blinker Jörg Spin with a size of 270cm and a casting weight of 30-180g.

It is best to use a rubber head or a jigging head for this. Pay attention to the duration of the lure sinking phase.

In addition the following lures have proven to be very catchy:

  • Worms
  • Bait fish (you can also get good catches with chub)

On rivers you should fish for catfish with a thick tear-off line (min. 0.40 monofilament). If it is too thin, there is a high risk that the line will travel and the catfish will run away.

The following triplets and single hooks have proved to be particularly good:

  • Triplets of size 1/0-3/0
  • Single hooks of size 3/0 – 9/0

The correct assembly on the river

Subsequent assemblies have proven to be particularly effective on the river when catfish are being fished:

  • Fixed assembly (hook in the ripcord with an easy clip / or directly integrated into the swivel)
  • Basic assembly (for both standing and feeding place)

In order to get the assembly right on the spot we recommend a small inflatable boat. You should avoid an engine if possible to avoid noise and noises (these only deter the catfish).

If you like you can also eject the basic assembly.

What else you should know

If you follow the tips for waller fishing on the river, you should be able to make regular catches on flowing waters.

Admittedly, catfish fishing always requires some patience, but this is often rewarded with capital catfish.

Always make sure that you keep to the prescribed minimum sizes. You will find these listed below for each federal state. So you can also stop overfishing.

Catfish fishing by seasons

Of course, the requirements are completely different depending on the season. Because the conditions change. No matter whether you want to fish for catfish in spring, summer, autumn or winter.

That’s why we have put together all the important seasons for you so that you can perfectly adjust yourself and your hide to them.

Catfish fishing in spring

In spring (March, April and May) you usually have the best chances of catching a big catfish. Because from now on the water gets warmer again and many fish start looking for food. This includes of course the catfish.

Many fish have used up their energy reserves during the winter. They also need new energy for the upcoming spawning season. Therefore, the search for suitable food is particularly great during this time. This is also the time when the catfish consume the largest part of their total food.

The same applies of course to the large catfish that are just now on the search for food. In addition, many have forgotten the (first) contact with anglers from the previous year and are therefore very active. As a rule they don’t miss any chance in their search for food.

Many catfish go into a feeding frenzy and can be caught in large numbers in spring.

Water sections & assemblies

If you would also like to benefit from the feeding frenzy, then you should visit the shallow waters. You can then use an underwater pose mount (for the edges), a pose mount (for use on the shore), a buoy mount (for still waters) or a demolition mount. All four mounts are very promising for fishing in shallow waters.

On sloping edges you have an increased chance of catching the coveted predator fish. This is because the bottom initially runs flat and then suddenly drops steeply downwards. This is where wallers like to stay to hunt other prey fish. They swim from below into the warmer shallow area. And the first thing they can expect here is the catfish bait that we lay out.

Other spots you should look for are branches on the bank, treetops (hanging over the water) and sunken branches or trees. These spots offer the catfish a good opportunity to lurk for their prey.

Catfish fishing in summer

After spring comes summer, as is well known. But is summer really ideal for catfish fishing? Before all the months of June, July and August? explains.

Summer is not ideal for catfish fishing. You can hold your rod in the water but the chances of success are usually not very high.

The reason is that most catfish are busy spawning. Catfish do not start feeding again until the spawning season is over (or before – i.e. in spring)

To “spawn” the water temperature must be above 23 degrees for at least 14 days. And the temperature is usually not expected until August (if at all).

If the water then cools down again prematurely, the spawning process is under- and in the worst case aborted. The feeding usually starts again in September. But then summer is usually over and autumn begins.

You should therefore avoid the summer for catfish fishing.

Catfish fishing in autumn

Autumn is the second real feeding frenzy for the catfish. Now they no longer eat to spawn but to eat winter fat and energy reserves. This is especially true for the months of September, October and November.

Similar to spring there are many big catfish on the way again. With the rainy weather in autumn, there can be more flood areas. Especially in the muddy waters the catfish feel comfortable.

Because in the flood areas many whitefish seek refuge and protection and are mostly expected by the catfish.

In areas with high water you can fish very well with a demolition rig. This is attached to trees or branches. Especially at high water you can always find a good place to fix it.

In the autumn, the tear-off rig is one of the most effective and unobtrusive methods of waller fishing.

However, if the water level is normal, you can also “work” the edges with an underwater peg assembly. Depending on where the bite takes place, different lures can also be positioned to increase the chances.

Especially at night you can now expect several bites. The catfish now have weights of sometimes 100 kg or higher.

As the fight can be very “hard” you need a stable catfish rod so that the catfish can be landed gently.

Especially in high water areas caution is required. Here the water can sometimes come in unexpectedly. Therefore the fishing tent should not be set up too close to the water.

Catfish fishing in autumn can be very slippery, depending on the banks.

Always watch where you step and get suitable shoes beforehand. But then the catfish fishing in autumn should be very promising and successful.

Winter catfish fishing

The best times for catfish fishing are definitely spring and autumn. But even in winter it can be worth the effort – in December, January and February.

Of course the raids in winter are very limited. But nevertheless catfish also take in more food in winter. This is because the requirements for stronger currents due to precipitation, dew and flooding are much higher than in summer.

We recommend groyne curves in outer curves of the respective river. The groyne curves have the property that they are usually deeper than the main stream and many catfish “hide” here to not use so much energy in the main stream.

In addition, places where the river has been dredged or where more stones have been let into the water are also interesting.

Once you have found a good spot (e.g. via Google Maps), it is worth taking a closer look. For this purpose we recommend a mobile fish finder which you can easily attach to the rod.

We had good experiences with the AnzeigeDeeper Pro Plus. What we really appreciate about this echo sounder is that even the water charts can be adjusted.

With the echo sounder you know exactly where “pitfalls” or the edges in question are.

If you fish on the water for several days you should also buy a tent heater.

When you pitch your tent, you should place it 75 to 150 meters from your hide. Otherwise the fish may be disturbed by you and your chances of catching them will be reduced.

Similar to spring you should fish at the same time as the following 3 assemblies:

  • U-Poses assembly (for the leading edge to the main stream)
  • Deadbait-system (instead of live bait)
  • Suspension assembly (from groyne to groyne – bait should be approx. 1,50 m above the ground)

If you want to catch a winter catfish, you should have the best chances of success with all 3 mounts.

Places for catfish fishing

In the Italian Po as well as in the Rio Ebro in Spain, the chances of finding really big catfish in river fishing are highest within the rivers. These areas are regarded as strongholds for catfish fishing.

In addition to Italy and Spain, catfish over 2 metres long are also caught in France. However, capital catfish over 2 m have also been sighted and landed in the Rhine.

Therefore we will go into the following on the most important places, locations and insider tips. So the next hide will be a success for you too.

Seasons and minimum sizes for catfish fishing

The catfish season and minimum sizes depend on the respective federal states. Detailed information about the catfish closed season can be obtained from the relevant fishing associations.

In NRW, for example, there is no closed season and no minimum size for catfish fishing. Berlin also has no catfish closed season. But there is a minimum size. In Berlin this is 75 cm.

In Bavaria there is currently no minimum size and no closed season. In Brandenburg is the catfish closed season from 01.05. to 30.06.

Hamburg also has a catfish closed season. These are for catfish fishing from 01.05. to 30.06. The minimum size in Hamburg is currently 70 cm.

For Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein a minimum size of 70 cm applies in inland waters. No minimum dimension is prescribed for coastal sections. However, there are also closed seasons in both federal states. These are from 01 May to 30 June. On the coast, the closed seasons for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein do not exist.

Lower Saxony also prescribes a minimum size of 50 cm in inland waters (no minimum size in coastal areas). There are no closed seasons here.

Anyone who wants to fish in Thuringia should also be prepared for a minimum size of 50 cm. There are also no closed seasons here.

For all other federal states there are currently no minimum sizes and closed seasons for catfish.

Below is a clear table with all important data on closed seasons and minimum sizes:


If you want to be successful in catfish fishing, there is no way around a reasonable equipment in the first step. In addition to a reasonable catfish rod, this includes the right fishing line, the right lures and a reasonable catfish reel.

Of course, the fishing lure must also be cleverly chosen for the particular water. However, bait fish actually always work. But you can also achieve real success with squids and worms.

The most common way to fish for catfish is from the shore. However, try to find places that are not often visited by other anglers. Because catfish like to hide themselves.

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