How to Hook Goldfish Bait for Catfish

by Keith Dooley
Rig live goldfish when fishing for catfish.

Rig live goldfish when fishing for catfish.

Catfish anglers know that oftentimes some of the best baits for catching catfish can also seem to be some of the strangest. From fermented chicken livers to dog food, hot dogs and soap, there are not many live, dead or processed things that seemingly cannot be used to catch catfish. Although there are various bait fish used to catch catfish such as the aggressive and territorial flat head, goldfish can also be rigged and fished effectively.

Tie a circle octopus hook on the end of your fishing line with a Palomar knot. Feed the free end of your fishing line through the eye of the hook for 6 to 7 inches. Turn the end of the line back and feed it through the eye forming a loop on one side and a double line on the other. Tie an over hand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop around the bend of the hook and pull tight.

Hold the goldfish in one hand and the circle octopus hook in the other so that the back of the fish is easily accessible. The hook will need to be inserted into the back of the fish just in front of the dorsal fin.

Push the point of the hook through one side of the goldfish and out the other just in front of the dorsal fin. Do not insert the hook so deeply that the hook injures the spine of the fish. This will adversley affect the ability of the fish to swim and act naturally in the water.

Push the hook through so that the fish sits on the bend of the hook. Cast the goldfish rig into the water and allow it to sink and swim naturally in the water. The rig will allow the fish to swim and initiate an aggressive strike from a catfish.

Items you will need

  • Medium heavy fishing rod with matched reel
  • 20 pound test or heavier monofilament fishing line
  • Circle octopus hook
  • Live goldfish

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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