Do you like to fish for catfish? Me too, although my range of whiskerfish expertise is pretty narrow. I’m basically a nightcrawler-under-a-bobber (or on the bottom) man. It’s simple and generally effective.
However, after reading Keith Sutton’s Hardcore Catfishing: Beyond the Basics, I’m definitely going to expand my catfish fishing repertoire.
Catfish on the surface? Yep. (page 78)
Catfish on crankbaits? Yep. (page 89)
Catfish by hand? Yep. (page 157)
Catfish on the rocks? Yep. (page 124)
Sutton, author of four previous catfish-flavored books, is a skilled writer and equally skilled catfisherman. He understands his subject and wants readers to understand it, too. More catfish knowledge, he says, will equal greater catfishing success.
Catfish can be found nearly everywhere freshwater flows but are not simply bewhiskered brutes that will grab anything thrown in front of them.
“Don’t expect to cast a bait anywhere and catch cats,” Sutton said. “You might, if you’re lucky. But for the best chance of success anglers must match tactics to the species of catfish they hope to catch and present the right bait near the right cover or structure if they want to tempt multiple fish to bite. Each species is best caught using catfishing methods specific to that species, and where and how cats can be caught is also determined by the time of year, water conditions and other factors.”
Hardcore Catfish is divided into 10 sections. The book is well designed with plenty of color art to break up the text and help tell the story (see pages 61 and 79 in particular). Seasonal fishing techniques, baits, and advanced and alternative tactics make up the core of the book, which opens with four chapters dedicated to channel, blue, flathead and bullhead cats, and concludes with notes on conservation and catfish recipes.
Hardcore Catfishing is a revised and updated edition of Sutton’s popular “Catfishing: Beyond the Basics,” which has been out of print for several years. But this isn’t just a rehash of old material. There’s plenty of new stuff here – part nuts-and-bolts, part tactics, part how-to, part when-to, part where-to, part what-to-do, and part not-what-to-do.
“Fortunately,” Sutton concluded, “it’s not hard to learn all of ins and outs of targeting whisker fish and the learning part can be fun too. I suggest that folks just get out there and give it a try.”
Read the book first. You’ll catch more catfish.
Skyhorse Publishing, soft cover, illustrated, 179 pages, $22.90. Order online or by mail by writing to: C & C Outdoor Productions, 15601 Mountain Dr., Alexander, Ark. 72002.