Catfish are voracious fish. They will instantly hit anything that they can fit inside their cavernous mouths. In a nutshell, if your bait produces a scent, it is suitable for catfish.
Considering this, are minnows good catfish bait? Yes, catfish will definitely eat minnows. They might not be their favorite meal, though. Consequently, you will need to know how to present it to maximize your chances.
Today we will discuss how to use minnows as bait, as well as other bits and pieces related to catfish fishing.
How Do Catfish Catch Their Prey?
If you understand how catfish hunt, you will know which is the best bait to draw them.
Catfish predominantly use their sense of smell to find their prey. Therefore, anything that produces a scent will take the catfish’s attention.
On the other hand, they are also able to feel vibrations. This helps them to detect wounded and erratic fish. As you can see, catfish have two main ways of targeting their prey. Consequently, your bait has to mimic at least one of those.
Do Catfish Hit Live Bait?
As we said before, catfish either use their sense of smell or vibrations to find their prey. As a result, catfish will hit anything falling within these two categories.
Typically worms and minnows work like a charm in this situation. In the following section, we will discuss how to use minnows for catfish fishing.
How to Use Minnows to Catch Catfish?
Minnows are quite a versatile lure. You can find some in any fishing store, or you can get them yourself.
If you are using live minnows, we suggest passing the hook through the upper fin. For those of you using dead minnows, we recommend piercing them around the middle. Make sure to cut the skin a little before setting your rig. This will boost the scent the bait will produce once it is on the water.
Now, let us talk about how to rig a minnow for catfish.
How to Rig a Minnow for Catfish Fishing
The rule of the game here is to understand that catfish are bottom feeders. Consequently, your bait should sit as low as possible. For that reason, we recommend going for a Carolina Rig. Make sure to check our guide on how to make a Carolina Rig.
By keeping your bait as close to the bottom as possible, you will avoid getting bites from other fish, such as bass.
We recommend using 2/0 or 4/0 hooks and enough weight to push the rig down without driving the minnow to the ground. Some people also add bobbers for improved flotation and movement.
How many Catfish Species are There
Would you believe us if we told you that there are over 40 catfish families around the globe? 30 of them are in the US alone! Blue, Channel, and Flathead catfish are among the biggest of their kind. The first two are the most common in North American lakes and rivers.
With so many different species, you might wonder if they all eat the same things. Fortunately, they do.
However, we’ve found that minnows work better on channel catfish. Still, we’ve managed to pull some decent-sized flatheads as well.
Which Minnows are Best for Catfish Fishing?
Like we said before, catfish will eat almost anything that fits inside their cavernous mouths. Your bait will get inside its radars as long as it produces scent or vibrations.
But our advice is to check the forage in your local lake or river. This way, you determine which minnow piece is the best for that particular body of water.
When in doubt, we recommend using flathead or golden minnows as they are abundant and big enough to draw attention.
How Many Minnows Should I Use In a Single Hook?
It depends on the minnow and hook size. You can add multiple baits to the same hook. But don’t overdo it. Use up to three minnows per hook.
What is The Best Time of Day to Catch Catfish?
Your catfish fishing trip will be the most productive during the night. The reason for this is that catfish move to shallow water in pursuit of small fish. You can still catch them during the day, but you will need to fish deeper.
Make sure you take a peek at our in-depth guide on what is the best time of day for catfish fishing.
Do Catfish Bite In the Rain?
Yes, catfish do bite during rainy days. Because they rely on their sense of smell, it does not matter if the water is clear or not. Make sure to check the reason behind this behavior in other of our pieces here.
Minnows and Catfish: A Reliable Combination
Minnows might not be the first choice of some anglers when it comes to catfish fishing. However, they are still productive if you know how to use them.
Remember, pierce them in the fin if you are using live minnows, practice low, subtle cuts in their body to increase the scent, and never use more than three on the same hook. We recommend using a Carolina Rig, as it will drive your bait near the catfish hunting ground.
On the other hand, keeping the minnow low in the water column will prevent other fish from getting your bait. In short, you are killing two birds with a single shot.
Please, share with us your catfish fishing experience. Are minnows productive in your opinion?