How to Rig a Pole for Catfish Fishing

Fishing is a pastime that provides relaxation as well as something for the dinner table if you are successful. Most bodies of water provide some type of fish and, in almost all, there are catfish. Ranging from small Texas blue catfish of a pound or less up to channel catfish sometimes weighing in at over 100 lbs, these bottom dwelling fish are usually not picky about what they eat and can be caught on a variety of baits and rigs. Let's take a look at how to rig a fishing pole for cat fishing.

Locate your fishing hole. Catfish are bottom dwellers and are found along banks of rivers in holes, bridge bases and around structure such as submerged trees and rocks. If you are fishing a river, find an eddy where the current is fairly slow.

Prepare your bait. Catfish can be caught on almost any form of bait. Crayfish tails, shrimp, clam strips, worms, live or dead minnows, hot dog pieces, rotting chicken, bread dough and almost any scrap from your kitchen is prime material for catfish bait. Cut your bait selection into small, 1/2-inch pieces.

Secure 18 inches of leader material to your fishing line with a swivel between the two ends. At the free end of the leader attach either a #2 or #4 hook depending on the size catfish that inhabit the waters you are on. Cut off excess leader material. Place your bait onto the hook and drop it so that it sits no more than 1 inch above the bottom. This technique of rigging a catfish pole is ideal for quiet waters.

Attach a 2 to 4 oz. lead weight if you are fishing in a moving current. Measure approximately 8 inches from the bottom of the leader and form a small circle with the leader at that point. Thread it through the opening on the sinker and loop over it to attach it. It can be moved up or down depending on your needs. This will allow it to stay on the bottom and have the bait float freely.

Place a bobber onto your line that allows your bait to float 1 inch above the bottom. This rigging technique is good for multiple lines as it will give you a visual indication of a catfish taking the bait.


  • Use catfish scenting liquids that are found in sporting good stores to scent dough balls for fishing. This is an inexpensive bait and works well for most catfish. Use gloves when handling catfish as they are covered with a protective slime that makes gripping them tough.

About the Author

Connors, a commercial pilot for the past decade, has traveled all over the world sampling the best from each culture. As a freelance writer for Handmark media, he draws literary inspiration from his years as a top New York city chef and his travels around the world as a pilot.