Do Catfish Feed More at Night?

Figuring out when catfish actively want to load up on your presented baits is something all catfish anglers want to know.

What time of day and when catfish bite and start biting is another common question many anglers have when it comes to catfishing?

Do catfish feed more at night?

Catfish are feeding both day and night. The pattern and eating style you will notice with catfish isn’t changing drastically at night. Catfish might feel more comfortable at night in warm weather and bite more.

If you haven’t done so already be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to catfish fishing it will break down all of the steps necessary to learning the patterns and behaviors of catfish for the beginning angler.

If however, you’re already in a place where you feel you know all of this information then let’s dive into catfish feeding patterns and if they really feed more at night and what you can do about it to catch more fish this season.

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What do Catfish Eat at Night

Catfish will continue eating chicken liver, cheese bait, nightcrawlers, dip baits and stinkbait at night. Those are the baits to choose for catfishing at night as well.

Locating Catfish Remains Priority Before The Time of Day

The reason some of you may catch more catfish at night is simply due to the activity levels the catfish have during this time frame. They’re not necessarily hungrier during this time, but they are coming out of their cover spots and safe havens to actively look for food sources.

You may also be getting lucky at night and always fishing in spots where the catfish cross paths with your bait.

Don’t get this confused, however. Catfish are still willing to eat at all hours of the day they’re just like you and me.

They eat when they are hungry. The biggest difference that many anglers don’t seem to understand is once the sun goes down it may actually become more difficult to catch catfish depending on the body of water that you’re fishing.

How could this be possible? Well, we’ve discussed it in my other blogs about how if you could just as effectively locate the catfish in their safe cover spots that you could effectively place your baits near or close enough to draw attention.

This is way better than hoping and praying that a catfish swims by your bait while on the move at night looking for other food sources.

Catfish are known to travel up to a couple miles away from their normal nesting spots. If this is the case in your actively fishing from the bank or a boat then you’re relying on the luck of the draw.

You’re hoping that your bait and the catfish cross paths at one point or another. Wouldn’t it be more simple to just effectively place your bait right in the catfishes face during the day if you were able to find them with some accuracy?

I agree, it would be much easier.

It May Just be Your Preference And Not Feeding Patterns

Believing the catfish will strike your well-presented baits more at night could come down to nothing more than just your personal preference. In addition, many catfish anglers believe that night fishing is the best way or the only way to effectively catfish.

This is not true and I can tell you for certain the catfish will bite 24 hours a day if you execute a few core principles and master your cat fishing game.

When The Sun Goes Down

When catfishing after the sun goes down catfish will tend to crawl out of those deep holes and will begin to be a bit more comfortable with a water temperatures and the light penetrating the water surface.

This is when they do leave those safe havens areas that we discussed previously and begin strolling in shallow water. This is what is giving the impression that they’re feeding patterns are changing or that they are eating more or feeding more at night.

They aren’t feeding more, they are just moving around more and it’s more noticeable to anglers fishing during these times.

If your bank fishing or fishing from a boat during this time it’s very possible that your success increases based on where your fishing.

This again, probably only means that you are effectively locating good shallow water but not effectively locating the good covered areas where they hang out when the sun is up and the heat is pounding the water surface.

Learning to do all of these crafts when catfishing is what will ultimately allow you to catch catfish 24 hours a day.

Just Try It

If you’re at a point where you may or may not believe my theory on if catfish really do feed more at night the best way for me to prove this to you is for you to just try it.

Learn to locate the catfish in their daytime spots in the covered areas with heavy brush and heavy snags that can sometimes be a pain to cast near or try and Fish on.

You will be surprised if you can learn to actively locate the catfish using technology that I mentioned in many other blog posts will help dramatically. With technology such as a Deeper Sonar Pro+ you will have enough valuable information to locate covered areas, water structure, rock ledges and other underwater debris.

An Entire New Outlook on the Process of Locating Catfish

Now it’s the pain in the butt casting and rigging your pole and reel correctly to target these spots. y

Yes early on it will take some practice and some frustration to get this straight down to a science but once you do you’ve just opened the doors to 24 hours of catfishing.

Not relying on only that night time feeding frenzy that you believed to be taking place. It doesn’t matter if it’s a river, pond, or lake as long as it’s not a front yard puddle in your driveway. If there is catfish in the water you should be catching them all hours of the day.

If you’re not something is wrong with your approach and should be easily fixed.

Bait Selection to Beat The Night-Time Fishing Frenzy

Bait selection when catfishing at night or during the day is always going to be a crucial factor in determining your overall success.

Depending on what bait you use at night and what bait you have grown to like, you may have come accustomed to bait such as chicken livers, stink bait or maybe even live bait if your river fishing at night.

The same baits will work just fine during the day. You shouldn’t get too carried away with bait selection necessarily if it’s a commonly known catfish bait and it matches your target fish for your daily goals.

For example, if you’re targeting blue catfish a nice live bait whether it’s nighttime or daytime is going to work the same.

Yes blue catfish again just like we discussed previously, will come out of these covered areas at night and will move around a little bit instead of being lazy and lethargic like they are during the day.

The same baits will still grab their attention if it’s a channel catfish or Flathead you may want to use either chunked up dead cut meat or you could even use traditional bait such as nightcrawlers, shrimp or other dip baits such as blood bait.

Don’t Believe that Catfish Feed More Actively at Night

To sum things up don’t always believe the catfish will only bite at night or that they’re feeding patterns indicate that your success will be dramatically increased by fishing at night. It couldn’t be further from the truth you can have the exact same success at 10 a.m. 1 p.m. or 8 p.m.

It’s more about learning the fundamentals on how to locate the catfish, presenting bait effectively and learning how to deal with a difficult cast and rig setups to effectively fish the structure and the common catfish hiding spots.

Hopefully, this helps at least one new angler during this upcoming catfishing season understand that they can hit the waters at any time.

I assure you, it will work out just fine and you won’t notice a dramatic difference if and only if you follow those key principles

If you feel that you have only caught catfish at night or the night fishing is the only way to go, be sure to leave a comment below BonFireBob would love to hear from you and so would I. Our goal is to only make all of us more successful in our next fishing trip

As always, I appreciate you and thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t done so already make sure to subscribe to my email newsletter, I’ll release on a weekly basis my most recent top tricks and tips for catfishing as well as my most recent gear and technology for fishing updates thanks again

I appreciate you see you next time!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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