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Best Time to Catch Catfish in Rivers

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Want to know the Best Time to Catch Catfish in Rivers? Thinking about getting your hands on some catfish thriving in the river near you but wondering when’s the perfect moment to try to take the plunge?

Keep on reading this article — below you will learn when the best time is to catch catfish in rivers.

Read until the very end for an increased success rate of bringing home lots of those whiskered beauties!

Looks Can Deceive

Ugly is a word that so many anglers tend to use to describe a catfish.

Well, since we all know that beauty is a subjective matter, we can forgive and forget.

However, it’s a completely different story if the fun factor of fishing for catfish is also being trivialized other than its beauty (which is really an acquired taste, come to think of it).

Individuals who find angling for catfish a bore are either adrenaline junkies who won’t settle for anything less than a wahoo or dogtooth tuna or have never tired catching catfish before!

There’s a Time for Everything

What’s so amazing about catching for catfish is that it provides sufficient amounts of excitement and challenge.

Although it also requires some level of know-how for you to avoid going back home empty-handed.

One of the primary reasons why so many suckers for catfish find the task of catching some mud cats tricky and at the same time extremely exhilarating is the fact that they have to head to the rivers at the right moment each time.

So in other words, you can’t head out to catch whenever you feel like it — it’s something that has to be done when the time.

So when is the best time to catch catfish in rivers? Either early in the morning or late in the afternoon!

Sun Haters

Catfish don’t like it when their lengthy and slimy bodies are being bombarded with sunlight.

It’s for this reason why when the blistering sun is up to you rarely see polliwogs frolicking.

They spend their time in the deepest and darkest parts of the river until such time that the sun is closer to the horizon and their stomachs are already rumbling.

It’s when the sun isn’t shining brightly when catfish go out of their hiding places to feed.

Whether you are a seasoned catfish catcher or you’ve never tried fishing for some before.

You will find it a breeze and always a delight to fish for catfish at the recommended times of the day.

The Cold Causes Rage

There is another reason why it’s away from the brightest time of the day when catching catfish is best done.

it appears as though cooler temperatures of water of rivers (or other water systems where catfish are known to thrive in such as lakes and ponds) turn these chuckleheads into aggressive underwater monsters that will strike at practically anything that comes their way.

One of the most serious steps that you will need to take if you’re planning on becoming a serious catfish angler is deciding whether it’s an early bird or a night owl that you are willing to become.

Some of those who take their catfish angling seriously even go to rivers at night.

Needless to say, catfish are the perfect monsters of the deep to catch if nighttime fishing is your thing.

Even When the Sun is Shining

Refrain from assuming that you will only be able to get your hands on a catfish in the early morning or late afternoon, or even in the evening. If truth be told, it’s still very much possible for you to end up proudly showing off a bunch of catfish even in the middle of the day.

Of course, it will take a lot of patience on your part.

There is really no need to take on an entirely different technique when fishing in the middle of the day as the preferences of our whiskered buddies will remain the same.

But since catfish tend to steer clear of the sun during the day, you will have to target the deepest sections of the river.

It’s very much likely for those elusive mudcats to be hiding in holes and under structures such as rocks and logs just to keep themselves from being touched by the sun.

So in other words, it won’t really require you to do a lot of drastic changes in your life and fishing habits if you are planning on turning your attention to catching catfish in rivers because success is still likely no matter what time of the day you feel like capturing those underwater lurkers.

Lore About Lures


Worms, minnows, chubs, shads, frogs, grasshoppers, cicadas.

These are some of the baits that catfish find irresistible.

It’s perfectly fine to use lures if you prefer them, and this brings us to a question a lot of people who are contemplating fishing for catfish in rivers would like to ask.

Should I use glow-in-the-dark lures?

Some pro catfish anglers say that the glowing effect tends to spook catfish.

However, it’s important to note that catfish have amazing sight, which means that they will probably still spot that nighttime lure of yours even if it’s not glowing.

Easy and Breezy

One of the best things about fishing for catfish is that you really don’t need to figure out where exactly beneath you they are hiding or where exactly in the river they are hanging about.

It’s important to note that, just like cats, catfish have phenomenally sharp vision and a strong sense of smell.

This is the reason why it’s almost always for certain that one of them will surely spot your bait.

It’s also because of this why catfish fishing is more of a laid-back style rather than one that requires you to constantly calculate your every move and perpetually spring into action just to end up with that prized catch.

With a catfish, there’s no need to fret constantly — while they’re not really that easy to catch, catfish won’t leave you stressed out.

This is why catfish fishing is suitable for first-time anglers and also those who are not into aggressive fishing that takes up lot of precious energy.

You don’t need to figure out where a catfish is precisely for you to be able to place your lure in front of it; a catfish is the one who will hunt for it!

Check out: what species of fish are biting this time of year

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do Catfish hang out in Rivers?

In dirty water areas, such as a tributary and its outflow, search for catfish during the day. Deep structures, including river bends, the base of drop-offs, deep holes, and humps are also fine. Like standing timber and deep weed edges, catfish can also keep around cover.

How deep should you fish for catfish?

The best depth is between 15 and 20 feet deep in lakes for catching catfish. This is known as the catfish zone, since in most lakes they live within such depths. They can however, also live in shallow areas, depending on the time of the year and the temperature of the water.

What size hooks for catfish?

The best size for channel catfish is usually a 2/0 or 3/0 hook. Typically, a 5/0 or 6/0 scale will work best if you pick circle hooks for small to medium-sized channel catfish.

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