There are some who might think it strange to write an article on Channel Catfishing but for those who know and have experienced catching and eating this fish it may not be so surprising. But for those not as familiar with catfish or fishing in general, reading about what is probably the most plentiful catfish on the North American continent can be a true learning experience that can be put to good use.
Let's start with the basics. Channel catfish are, in fact, an extremely common variety of catfish that can be found in most parts of the United States. They are sometimes referred to as blue channel cats, river catfish, or spotted cats from time to time, as they do have spots, resemble a smaller version of the blue catfish, and often prefer rivers.
Although I have done most of my Channel Catfishing in rivers they are not limited to just rivers as they are not to picky about there homes. You can find channel cats in most types of freshwater, as long as the waters are warm enough (waters should warm to at least 70 degrees in the mid spring for spawning purposes).
How can you tell that channel catfish fishing will be good in a particular spot? Consider the habits of the channel cat. They often do prefer rivers, though unlike their larger cousins, they usually will be found wherever the current is slower, looking for a little shelter in natural pile ups, rock formations, and ridges in the river where food can get hung up.
In lakes, you're most likely to find them in shallower water, perhaps near the shoreline, where they can find brush cover and overgrowth from trees and grass to shelter them. Don't expect to find them hanging around locations with a very muddy bottom; they prefer the sand and rock bottom areas.
Another good place to find channel catfish is just below dams - these opportunistic feeders can find lots of flotsam and jetsam in the area to munch on.
What sort of equipment do you need for channel catfish fishing? Well, this depends on where you are fishing them. I have caught them as small as 3 0r 4 pounds but on average I usually catch them around 10 to 15 pounds but it is not uncommon to find them even bigger than this.
Therefore, you should have strong, solid equipment that is prepared for anything, including a struggle with a monster channel cat especially if you are fishing them in a fast river current.
In terms of bait, don't even bother bringing artificial baits; channel catfish fishing won't accomplish much with such a farce because catfish tend to find food based on their sense of smell rather than by sight.
Therefore, you need some sort of bait with an aroma that can permeate the waters and draw the fish to your line. This could be night crawlers, chicken livers, pieces of shad, or other fresh fish. My favorite bait to use is frogs because you can usually find them anywhere you are fishing so you don't need to run to the bait store everytime you go catfishing, plus other smaller fish tend to leave your frog alone while waiting for a jumbo cat to bite.
Shane Brown has spent the past 25 years fishing all kinds of freshwater and saltwater fish but Catfishing has reigned supreme in his Fishing adventures. http://thecatfishking.com/ , http://hubpages.com/hub/thecatfishking