As any experienced angler knows, catching specific fish requires unique methods. This is certainly true in regards to catching catfish. The few basic methods there are utilizes specialized baiting mixtures and techniques to make your next fishing trip a big success.
The rigging method loops either the treble hook or the bait holder a distance from the line to the end. You will want that distance to be somewhere between eighteen to twenty-four inches. In order to keep the bait from moving, make sure to use a weight. It doesn't matter terribly which type to use as long as it can slide along the line, but you could use a slipweight for this. The trick is to make it so the catfish won't notice the weight when taking the bait, until it's too late.
The multibait technique is a proven way to score a number of catfish with one cast. The key tool to achieve this is the three-way swivel. If you are planning on making a catfish dinner for family and friends, you would do well to use this to increase your yield.
Catfish experts will tell you that medium size shrimp or chicken livers found in your local grocery store work best for bait. The simplest of the two is definitely the shrimp, but you must remove the tail and shell. As long as it fits on a number six hook, you are good to go. Chicken livers the diameter of a quarter must be wrapped in pantyhose with the tag sticking off and attached to a treble hook. There are a number of other baits you could make use of such as worms, small fish (living or dead,) snails, catfish paste or even balls of dough. Generally the more natural, the better.
Chumming is a method which will also increase your chances at landing a catfish. This is when you throw a number of bait mixture balls into the area you are fishing. As long as it smells good for the catfish, it puts them into a feeding frenzy. While the fish are gobbling up anything they can find, if you put your hooks in with the same recipe as bait, you're pretty much guaranteed to make a catch.
The method of tackling is very important as it's the bait which gets the catfish to approach your line. A simple six-foot long tackle with a spinning reel is all you need. You want to use heavier lines for some of the bigger fish which are likely to struggle when reeling them in. Expensive gear isn't necessary as long as it's able to work, cheaper gear won't handicap you here.
After you land the catfish you will probably want to use a pair of pliers to pull out the hooks. Get a grip on the fish on its belly with fingers on one side and the thumb on the other to keep the fish from squirming, then the hook should be easier to pull out. Be aware of and avoid the spiky fins which possibly contain poison.
So, the key thing to remember when you devise a plan to do some catfishing is the bait is paramount to your gear. With the right bait mix, you will likely get enough fish to choose the best and release the rest. Happy fishing, and good luck!