How to Catch Catfish – The Best Rigs of And for Them All

Catfish, one of the topmost predator fish with a slight resemblance to cats due to the whiskers on their face, are known for their invasive nature. No one fish is called catfish. There are different types, but the main three types are called the Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish, and the Channel Catfish. Of course, these three are catfish, but very different from each other in appearance, size, and even nature.

The blue catfish are the biggest of them all, the flathead catfish are the lazy ones, and the channel catfish are the small aggressive ones that are anglers’ most favorite to play with and prey on. So, how to catch catfish- the rules, gear, rigs, and tackle will be similar in all three cases but different too, depending on which catfish you are trying to angle.

How to Catch Catfish

There are no definite rules. The only thing definite is that you will need some good quality equipment and use the best bait tying a proper rig. Each catfish reacts differently to different fish baits as well as the rig too. Therefore, we will share some very effective rigs and the method to prepare them for targeting the epic predators in the freshwater.

How to Catch Catfish
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Remember that every individual angler has their favorite when it comes to rigs for preying on the catfish. Sometimes a simple hook dangling on a single mainline can get you the biggest catfish. Sometimes nothing works. We have our preferences, and our motive was also to explain some not-so-common and a little complicated rig that works best for different catfish types.

Moreover, in some cases, the absolute easy rig works the best. We have made it as miscellaneous as possible. So, without further ado, let’s learn about the best rigs for all the three catfish types and one that works for all of them, too, to know how exactly to catch them successfully.

Best Rig for Flathead Catfish – Paternoster Rig

The name is a little arduous to pronounce and remember, so thus preparing the rig too. Not all anglers go for it, but those who have used Paternoster rigs to catch catfish know how well it works for the lazy Flatheads. The best part of this rig is that you can tie multiple hooks on the same fish line and hook different baits on each fishing hook.

Now, flathead catfish are the lazy sort, so no one knows how their mind works and what will attract them at that particular day and period. So, when you hook multiple flathead catfish baits, the chances of catching the target increases. So, how to tie the paternoster rig let’s check the process out below.

  • The very first step is to tie the main leader line and the small dropper lines together. This will then get tied down with the mainline and the weight and hook.
  • You will need about 40 inches of the leader line and about 10-12 inches of dropper lines.
  • If you plan to tie two hooks, you will require two dropper lines; if three, then three dropper lines.
  • Now use the granny knot to tie the dropper line to the leader. Place them together; make sure to place the dropper line where you want the hook to dangle from.
  • The granny knot is just about placing two lines together, creating a loop, then taking both the lines through the loop and wrapping around the loop bend three times.
  • Pull each line individually to tie the strongest of a knot. Trim off the excess dropper line. And you have your first dropper, bending like an arrow from the leader line.
  • Now take the next small dropper, the exact 10-12 inches size ones. Keep a reasonable distance and place the dropper to the leader line just where you need the second dropper.
  • Repeat the process of tying the granny knot and pulling all the lines, and finally cut off the excess line.
  • Right at the end, you will need to add the sinker. A teardrop sinker is what we prefer. So just tie a granny knot and create a loop for tying the sinker.
  • You will need to tie the leader line to the swivel, beads, float, and then to the mainline or directly to the mainline with your favorite fishing knot. It is totally up to you which components you want to use to tie the leader line to the mainline.

Best Rig for Blue Catfish – Whisker Seeker Catfish Rig

For catching the big fat blue catfish, the giant predator among the three, we prefer the whisker seeker catfish rig. It’s a versatile rig but best for the giant blue cats. Rather than explaining how good it is, let’s jump onto the preparation process for you to make it and try catching some giant blue cats.

  • You will again need the leader line and a lot, many components. Pretty much all, like the sinker, swivel, bead, rattle but most importantly, the whisker seeker.
  • A whisker seeker is a peg float and a hook already tied on a line. If you do not have that, make your own by separately tying the float and the hook on the line.
  • First, take your leader line and tie the hook with your preferred knot. Then insert the peg float, log it with the pegs, and then insert a good size bead, rattle, and then another same size bead one by one.
  • This is what the whisker seeker is, and now you have your own. Or simply tie the shop-bought whisker seeker tackle and tie it to one end of the leader line.
  • Now work with the mainline. Take the weight through the line end. Add a bead and then tie the end with one side of the swivel.
  • The weight will sink to the bottom and help the rest of the leader line and components to float and attract the blue catfish.
  • On the other side of the swivel, you just have to tie the whisker seeker tackle or your own leader line with all the components well-tied.

You have prepared your whisker seeker catfish rig for angling some giant blue catfish.

Best Rig for Channel Catfish – Santee Cooper Rig

We actually prefer the Santee Cooper Rig to catch the channel catfish. It’s easy and quick and works the best to angle the small but fierce catfish of the lot. We have already talked about the rig in another discussion. So, this time rather than explaining the same easy rig, we will talk about the process of the very versatile 3-way catfish rig, which is one such rig that catches all the three main types of catfish, including the channel catfish.

A Rig That Works for All Catfish Types – 3-Way Catfish Rig

As the name suggests, you will need a specific component that is called a 3-way swivel. In one of the three holes, you will tie the mainline. The other two holes will tie the sinker line with the tied sinker and the leader line with hooks and the peg float or stinger on it. Yes, hooks, two triple threat hooks or hooks of your choice.

  • First of all, tie the 3-way swivel to the mainline.
  • Then prepare the leader line. You will need about a 14-inch leader line.
  • Insert the peg float on the leader line keeping the distance of it about 2-3 inches from the 3-way swivel. Lock it in place with the pegs.
  • Now tie your first hook on the leader line, a little away, about an inch, from the peg float. Remember that you will need some line left for tying the second hook to the line end.
  • Tie the second hook at the end with the same knot as before. You have your leader line well prepared.
  • Now knot it on the 3-way swivel. The hole that perhaps is on the right side so that the sinker line can be tied to the swivel’s left side for the sinker to sink the right way without tangling.
  • Take your sinker line, about 10 inches, and add a bullet sinker to it, and that is all that goes through the sinker line. Tie the sinker line to the remaining hole.

And your 3-way catfish rig is ready for channel catfish angling. Most importantly, this rig is for all the giant catfish available in the stream, river, and ponds.

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Although we have tried some fancy rigs, we also want to very clearly mention that the rig that works for you is the best process to catch catfish. Ask any angler, and you will know how much they love the slip bobber rig or Carolina rig for catching the catfish, and they have angled multiple big brutes from the most unexpected spots with it.

Yet, the more you know about the rigs, the different ones, the better you can hone your catfish angling skill. Our motive was to help you learn some fancy rigs and apply them to catch catfish. We are sure they will soon turn your most preferred and favorite rigs of them all.

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