How to Fish for Catfish in Brackish Water

How to Fish for Catfish in Brackish Water
Brackish water is a mixture of freshwater and saltwater. Catfish can thrive in brackish water depending on the species and habitat in which it lives. Some catfish species migrate to brackish water at different times during the season, while others remain there year round. Learn where you can set up your line and how to rig your hook when fishing for catfish in brackish water.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing line
  • Hook
  • Bait
  • Sinker(s)
  • Bottle or float
Step 1
Choose a location to set up your lines. For superior striking action, set up your lines near the coastline, preferably near brush, sandy or muddy substrates or coral reefs.
Step 2
Rig your line with a hook (size 7 or 8 is ideal) and hook catfish bait. Catfish vary in size, but larger species such as flathead catfish require a strong rod, which will better allow you to offset the weight of large catfish fish.
Step 3
Drop your line to the bottom and keep it near obstructions, which provide shelter for catfish between feedings. When boat fishing, use jugs to fish for catfish. (Proceed to steps 4 and 5.)
Step 4
Rig a 2-liter soda bottle or foam float with a 120-test mainline. Thread the mainline around the mouth of the 2-liter bottle or foam float and secure 2/0 hooks using the sheet bend technique (you can add as many hooks as you like). To tie a sheet bend knot, thread the free end of the mainline through the eyelet of the hook. Pass the line around the hook, then close the knot.
Step 5
Thread bait onto your hook and attach a 1-lb. to 2-lb. weight, about 1 inch to 2 inches from the last hook if multiple hooks are used. Release about 25 to 30 feet of line into the brackish water.

Tips & Warnings

Mollies, gobies and dwarf cichlids are found in brackish water and can be used as bait when fishing for catfish.
When fishing for catfish in brackish water, rig your hook with bait that is native to brackish water or catfish might not strike.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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