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How to Catch Catfish in the Fall



For an outdoorsman Fall comes with many opportunities.  Those of us that like to both fish and hunt can find ourselves with quite an internal debate!  Do I head to the treestand or the water?  If you're into duck hunting you can do both at once!

One thing I always try to make time for in the fall is a little catfishing.  One of the great reasons to get after the whisker fish in the fall is that the daytime bite can be on fire!  That is true especially after the weather starts to cool off and the water temp goes with it.

So is there anything specific you need to do to target fall cats?  For the most part its very similar to summer catfishing, but there are a few keys you need to remember.

With the changing water temps comes a lot of change going on with life under the surface as well.  This is especially true in lakes and reservoirs.  As the water cools plankton growth slows down.  Plankton of course is the main food source for shad and small baitfish. In the fall cats will be hammering the shad.

Many times the shallower coves, creeks and flats will warm up with those fall sunny days and that plankton can explode.  That causes baitfish to seek these areas.  With the baitfish comes the cats.  This is what makes daytime a great time for catfishing as you get later in the Fall.

I like to look for an area where shallow water meets a deeper section near the main lake or meets deep cover.  Then I like to put lines from shallow to deep to test whats going on. When one area starts getting action then I put the rest of the lines there too.  This allows you to find the fish  whether they are working the shallows or not.

I like to stick to my tried and true baits no matter what time of year I'm fishing.  For me its almost always cut bait.  Shad or skipjack are number one if I can get them.  Next in line I like cut carp or bluegill.  If you are looking for numbers and not size then you can go with the stinkier baits like doughbait, liver or punchbaits.

So if you normally lay down the rod in the fall to pick up that rifle or bow, try making some time for chasing a few cats. Then you can have a killer fish fry at deer camp!


Jason Atkins


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