Explore America's Campgrounds
Fishing for farm-raised catfish in a stocked pond is fun and exciting. In years past, clear rivers or brackish deep-water channels were home to most catfish. Catfish farming (stocking fresh-water ponds with catfish) began in the late 1960s and has increased in popularity during the last 15 years. Catfish are also good for you. A 3.5-ounce serving has only 7 grams of fat and 15 grams of protein.
Items you will need
A stocked catfish pond
Fishing tackle (primarily a bobber)
Find a stocked catfish pond. This may seem obvious, but it can pose a challenge. If you own a stocked catfish pond, it's a simple matter of walking outside and throwing out your line. If you don't own a pond or know anyone who does, consult the telephone book or look for listings on the Internet for catfish farms. You will find farms that charge minimal fees for people to come and fish.
Prepare your pole. There are a few things to keep in mind when setting your pole. First, there's your pole itself. A fancy rod and reel with high test lines is not necessary. In fact, the simpler the pole, the better. A standard Zebco rod and reel with bush-button caster--or even an old-fashioned cane pole--is ideal for catching catfish. Use a medium-sized hook attached to either the end of your line or a simple monofilament lead.
Attach a bobber to the line. Since most catfish ponds are not extremely deep and catfish tend to hug shallow banks (where natural foods like insects are more abundant), leave only about one foot of line between the bobber and hook.
Attach bait to your hook. Although farm-raised catfish are predominately grain-fed, catfish aren't picky eaters. For the fisherman this is a good thing. Chicken livers and worms make the best catfish bait. Some stores sell catfish bait, also referred to as "stinky bait." Stinky bait will attract catfish, but it is difficult to get the smell off your hands and clothes. Worms and chicken livers work just as well.
Drop your line and wait. Catfish are voracious eaters. Because of this, they will normally hook themselves when they move to take the bait. Once your bobber goes under, you may want to jerk your pole (but not too hard) once or twice at an angle. Once the catfish is hooked, simply reel it in.
Lay the catfish on the ground on its belly. Gently place your foot on its back or secure it to the ground by placing your hand directly behind its dorsal fin. While holding it down with your foot or hand, use the pliers to work the hook out of its mouth. Once the hook is removed use the pliers to lift the catfish and place it into your ice chest.
Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.