This is debated all the time. Catfish anglers are always looking for the optimal and peak times to catch more catfish. I get it. We all want to know the times when we have the strongest chance of catching trophy cats or catching catfish at rapid rates. The question I hear frequently regarding this comes down to the difference between night fishing and day fishing for catfish. Can you catch catfish during the day?
I wanted to put together this brief explanation to explain how catfishing during the day could benefit your overall fishing experience for catfish and break down everything you need to know.
So, can you catch catfish during the day? Absolutely. Catfish bite during the day just as often as they bite when night fishing for catfish. The only difference you encounter is the location. Catfish during the day tend to be in darker, covered and structure driven areas beneath the water surface.
Catching Catfish During The Day
If your catfishing during the day, what kind of results can you expect? How active and hungry are catfish when the sun is still shining. The answer to this is simple. They are plenty active and still 100% ready to strike if you give them the opportunity to do so.
Again, locating catfish is going to become more key when the sun is shining. It will be tough to find catfish hitting shallow water or actively trolling for food sources or other baitfish during the day. Catfish are bottom feeders and behave accordingly. With this being said, like all other bottom feeders, daytime is the time to nestle down, find protection, cooler waters and avoid angling pressure.
Where Should We Begin Actively Targeting Catfish During the Day?
This will depend somewhat on the body of water you are fishing. River catfishing is completely different than fishing lakes for catfish. In addition, pond fishing for catfish is much simpler in theory because you have much less total ground to cover to find and catch the catfish.
For starters. Use your knowledge of the waters and some common sense to locate structure and cover on whichever body of water you are fishing. If you aren’t using any technology aided tools such as sonar/ fish finding technology, then you may have to improvise a bit.
Locating Structure is The Key to Success
Now that we know that finding structure is the keys to the kingdom, it’s time to learn how to find the structure. The structure is anything that adds a physical feature or a physical presence beneath the water on any lake, pond or river.
In most circumstances, the structure is going to have changing depth levels and different contours on the water bottom. Sometimes, depending on you locate the structure, you could be looking at very large structure beneath the water such as a larger boulder, cement, and rock and sometimes it’s something much smaller such as tree branches, small logs, and smaller rocks.
Regardless of the overall size of the structure, it’s still a huge factor when it comes to catfish. Catfish will be concentrated in these areas. If they aren’t, you can typically find large catfish hanging around structure and deep river holes as well. Compared to open waters with flat bottoms, the structure will net tons of results. Especially during the day.
Why Do Catfish Like Structure So Much?
Catfish again hang around these areas for a few reasons. The structure provides great cover, deeper cooler waters and allows the catfish to avoid angling pressure. In addition, structure attracts other fish such as baitfish to the area. Not just a few either, typically baitfish are heavily concentrated.
Picture the catfish just remaining stationary right near a rock ledge or log jam. The catfish has a full buffet with eyesight from all the baitfish swimming nearby. The catfish stay out of the warm water and the suns ray avoids angling pressure and ultimately doesn’t sacrifice anything for doing so. It’s a win-win for the catfish. Unless you are night fishing for catfish, then you have an entirely different story.
What Changes When Night Fishing For Catfish?
When you are night fishing, the script flips in the direction. Catfish will begin moving out of these covered areas and deep dark waters. Now they are hunting for active food sources near shallow waters. This is a 100% flip from daytime catfishing.
Keep in mind that channel catfish are much more mobile at night time. Yes, blue catfish and flathead catfish are known to get moving more in the night, but they are far less active when it comes to shallow waters and swarming small bait fish.
What are Some Other Best Practices for Catching Catfish During the Day?
We all have different schedules and need the luxury of catching catfish any time of the day if possible. I get it. Let’s take a quick dive into some of the other top catfishing tips you can use to begin catching more catfishing during the daytime.
Don’t ignore Drift Fishing
Don’t ignore Drift Fishing- Drift fishing for catfish during the day is currently and always has been one of the most effective ways to landing more catfish. During the day, considering that catfish are less mobile and much more stationary, it makes perfect sense why drift fishing continues to work great for catching catfish.
You’re essentially doing a nice slow controlled stroll through the water with your bait waiting to cross paths with the catfish you have been targeting. If you drift fish and can find some of those covered spots and baitfish either out of luck or by using sonar technology, you won’t be disappointed at the results. Especially when catfishing during the day.
Spend the money and invest in sonar/ fishing finding technology. Sonar is going to eliminate a large majority of the guessing game for you. If you can learn to read sonar effectively to find golden covered areas, you can quickly begin getting to the best fishing spots on a regular basis.
But What if I’m Bank Fishing During The Day?
Does this change things?
Yes, unfortunately, if you are bank fishing during the day for catfish, several things change. You won’t be able to catch them using the drifting method and you won’t be able to find cover using traditional boat mounted sonar technology.
What can you do however during the day is to locate cover from the bank? You can find overhangs or potential rock ledges just by scouting area and doing some networking with other anglers.
In addition, you always have the option of using castable fishing technology such as the deeper sonar pro. This will give you a live stream right back to your mobile device with mapping of the underwater structure and other elements. Overall a great gadget for giving yourself an edge for catching more catfish from the bank.
Lastly, don’t forget about hitting the deeper water. It’s as simple as that.
Hit Some Deep Waters – Get Some Arm Muscle Behind that Cast
Hitting the deep water can be an easy outlet for bank fishermen attempting to catch catfish during the day. If you can’t necessarily go for cover and structure, you can attempt to hit the apparent waters that will be deeper. Cast it out there a little further and have a little patience. Eventually, something will get those catfish stirring around. Especially if you are using a solid live/cut bait.
Do Catfish Stop Biting at Certain Temperatures?
No, catfish don’t really stop biting all year long. It can, however, become a little trickier to locate them or fish for them effectively depending on the season. Especially winter, but the beauty about catfish is that they eat when they hungry and when the bait is bait is placed in a strategic manner.
If you use appealing baits and the right technique, the water temperature is not going to stop you from landing catfish.
Keep the fishing poles 365 days a year when targeting catfish!
So, what are you going to do? Are you a night catfish angler or going to try more daytime fishing?
What’s your preference? Do you target catfish primarily at night or do use other methods and techniques to catch more catfish during the day? Be sure to drop a comment below describing your favorite methods for catfishing and how you go about doing it successfully.
As always, thanks for reading, I appreciate you.