” Catfish are caught year ’round but the late spring and summer months offer the best opportunity to catch catfish around the clock,” said Rodger Taylor, catfish tournament angler and guide. “Some things are consistent for catfish success and one is targeting the right place to fish.
The spawn usually lasts from one full moon to the next once the water temps are 70 to 75.
Flatheads spawn at 66-75 degrees. Catfish spawning begins at different times in different latitudes, progressing from south to north. With channel cats, for example, spawning may begin in March or April in South Carolina and Texas, May in Kansas and Iowa, and mid-June to July in South Dakota and Wyoming.
Female fish lay eggs, with the eggs being fertilized by the males in close attendance. Eggs develop more rapidly (in a few weeks) in warmer temperatures, and more slowly in colder water (up to months ). Most freshwater fish spawn in the spring, although salmon, char, and some trout spawn in the fall.
Night fishing is better largely because summer catfish move from deeper water to shallows to feed at night, making them easier to find and catch. Whiskerfish and their prey are more comfortable in shallow, near-shore environs when the sun is down.
Chicken livers work well any where channel cats or smaller blues are the main attraction and where currents are not too overpowering. Extra strong current such as in tailraces of dams, for example, often tear livers off hooks before the cats get the opportunity to find the bait and eat it.
The best depth for catching catfish is between 15 and 20 feet deep in lakes. This is known as the catfish zone because they reside within such depths in most lakes. However, depending on the time of the year and the temperature of the water, they can also reside in shallow areas.
For example, if you normally fish in the main portion of a lake, you may find that catfish bites are rare during the spawning period if you continue fishing your flat-water hotspots.
Best Baits for Eater Catfish Worms. Worms are classic catfish bait. Shad and Minnows. Like worms, shad and minnows have mass appeal. Stink Bait. Unlike worms and minnows, stink bait only appeals to catfish. Anything from the Fridge. Have some questionable chicken breasts in the fridge? Soap.
Catfish require warm water that’s between 74 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose an aquarium heater with 5 watts of power for each gallon of water in the aquarium. A large aquarium may need a heater at either end. Wait 15 minutes after filling the tank before turning on the heater.
Catfish bite year-round, but winter catfishing requires a few more strategies. Why? When water temperatures dip below 50 degrees, the fish slow down and become less aggressive hunting for food. So, winter cats require a bit more work for the bite.
Feeding Temperatures — Catfish farmers say that catfish feed a little when the water temperature is in the 50°F range, but active feeding doesn’t begin until the water hits the mid-60°F range. The success of early spring trotliners suggests wild catfish begin actively feeding at 55°F to 60°F.
Watch the male fish behavior. Around the time of spawning, they may swim in groups along the surface of the water or the edges of the pond (see Reference 1). The males will chase the females around the pond and attempt to beat the eggs out of her when the fish begin spawning (see Reference 1).
This information most likely comes from a suite of environmental cues, including day length, the sun’s position and the polarization of light that results from its angle in the sky, the earth’s magnetic field, and water salinity and temperature gradients.
The Crappie Spawn happens every spring when the water temperatures reach above the 60-degrees. Depending on where you live, the crappie spawn can be anytime from early March to the middle of May. Like other panfish, crappie build spawning nests in shallow water.