Methods of Flathead Catfishing

Methods of Flathead Catfishing
You can fish for flathead catfish from the banks of lakes and rivers, as well as from boats anchored at different distances away from the shoreline. When fishing for flathead catfish, you want to use bait, such as worms, shad, sunfish and bluegills. You can use three different fishing methods to achieve superior striking action. Once you have the correct tackle and your reels are in place, cast your line into the water and wait for flathead catfish to strike.

Throw Lines

The great thing about catfish throw lines is that they offer a fast and easy way to get hooks in the water. Throw lines don’t require much prep work and can be set from shore or a boat. Because you must attach one end of the line to a tree or bank pole and the other to a weight, which you will throw into the water, you need at least 25 to 30 feet of line to reach a good fishing depth. Add anywhere from five to 15 hooks. Check your catfish throw lines every two to three hours.

Bank Poles

Finding the best fishing spot on the bank of the river or lake you will be fishing for flathead catfish requires some effort. You don’t want to just set up your pole anywhere along the bank. Instead you want to choose a location around brush, rocks, grassy areas and stumps, where the water is shallow. You can drop your line off the bank into deeper waters, but, generally, you want to remain at a depth of 25 feet is ideal for superior striking action. You will have greater cast and retrieval control using the bank pole method of fishing, but keep in mind that you’ll need a size 7 or 8 hook and a strong rod to offset the weight of any flathead catfish that you catch.


Although the name implies the use of a “jug,” you can also use a 2-liter soda bottle or foam float. Start with one setup, and once you gain experience, you can add up to 100 jugs. The strength of the test line is important when jug fishing for flathead catfish, so opt for a 120-test mainline, which is threaded around the mouth of the 2-liter bottle or foam float. Always reinforce your mainline with double knots and drop at least 25 to 30 feet of line into the water. Lure catfish to the area with fish scraps. Hook size is important. so go with a 2/0 hook using the sheet-bend technique. To complete a sheet bend, pass the tag end of the mainline through the eye of the hook. Circle the line one more time around the hook and then close the knot. The good thing about jug fishing is that you can add as many hooks as you like down the length of the line. Hook your bait and secure a 1-lb. to 2-lb. weight, approximately 1 inch to 2 inches from the last hook. This will complete the setup.

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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