Hey everyone, I just got stationed here in central Texas and I would like to get in to fishing for catfish. My prior fishing experience is all salt water so needless to say I'm taking on learning a whole new ball game. I got a rod and now I'm looking to get some tackle. I've seen those kits they sell specifically for catfish but I think those may be a bit of a waste. Through my internet research I've come up with this list:
1. Treble hooks. 2. Circle hooks. 3. Barrel swivels. 4. Slip sinkers 5. Slip bobbers
Any advice on what I'm missing as well as specific sizes would be greatly appreciated. I'll be fishing from the bank and the reel has 10lb line on it.
What kind of cats are you chasing? Eaters? Trophies? Both? That plays a roll as well...and if you've got saltwater rigs. Then more than likely if your intending on chasing trophy cats then you might already have alot of the right stuff...for trophy cats which Is all I fish for. I use. A variety of different hooks..but it all comes down to what works best for YOU. Don't let anybody else tell you otherwise...I personally use the heaviest tackle I can...and lot of it is overkill...but better safe than sorry...if I were you. I would make sure to have a good sized conventional bait caster or spinning rod that has a bait runner. Look into the penn squall sql15lw. Or penn 6500 spinfisher V Live Liner.
Rig it with some 65-100# power pro or tug o war. As for swivels....the absolute hands down best brand I personally have found are made by Spro.they actually have a lbs rating. I use the 230# test swivels..and they are tiny..you can get 130# I'm not sure about smaller than that. But you can normally order them in a pack of 50 of them for like $13-$15 on ebay. Free shipping. Then I would go to academy. Get a roll of the trilene or Berkeley mono Big Game 50lbs test (can't remember if it's called trilene or if it's just Berkeley. But trilene is a brand made by berkeley) it'll run you only like $8 and it'll last forever. As for hooks...I'm gonna go back to what I said before...it's all personal preference. What works for others may not work for you and vice versa...it's personally use gamakatsu 8/0 octopus circles and normally have amazing hookup ratios. I do wish they made them up to 10/0 but oh well. If they aren't working as well because the fish just aren't feeding aggressive or are being finicky I will switch to a 8/0-10/0 eagle claw King kahle or Team Catfish Double action since I am able to either set the hook or just reel down and let the fish hook itself like a circle hook. Which most the time I set the hook with em unless the rod just gets hammered and it hooks itself before I can even grab the rod lol. Oh. And when I use the gamakatsu. I always snell on the hook. It seems to improve hookup ratio in my experience. I also do it most of the time for any other hook I use except trebles.which I don't even use unless I'm adding one for a stinger when the fish are just mouthing the bait and not being aggressive. And as for floats..if I'm using cut bait or anything that isn't alive. I use a slotted cigar float. So I run my desired sized egg sinker through my braided main line. Then I use a Palomar knot to tie my swivel. Then I cut off about 2-3ft of my big game mono to use for a leader tie it to my swivel. Slide on my cigar flat. Then snell on my gamakatsu octopus circle or Palomar or snell on my king kahle or double action hook. Then adjust my float on my leader so that it will lift my bait up approximately 1.5-2ft off the bottom and out of the mud..that seems to be the perfect strike zone for catfish...remember. this all just what works for me.. it may not work for you. But hopefully thus gives you a good idea of where to start if you plan on chasing some trophies..if you have any more questions. Feel free to pm me. Or text me. 7852304334