Blue Catfish are opportunistic feeders and eat virtually anything. However, Blue catfish are best caught using fresh cut bait. Since they are bottom feeders, still fishing and drift fishing are the best techniques for catching Blue catfish.
Habitat: River, Stream
How to identify Blue Catfish
The blue catfish is one of only three catfish in the United States with forked tails, which separates them from the bullhead and flathead catfish. Channel and white catfish also have forked tails; however, the blue catfish has a longer anal fin. This fin is straight and has 30-36 rays, instead of the 24-30 rays seen on channel catfish and 19-23 rays on white catfish. The blue catfish also has three chambers in the swim bladder. All three of the fork-tailed fish are usually pale blue or silver, although white catfish have a white belly and channel catfish often have spots.
Where to catch Blue Catfish
Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River systems. They can be found in the major rivers as far north as South Dakota and as far south as Mexico and northern Guatemala. They have also been introduced into Virginia. These catfish prefer deeper areas of the rivers with swift chutes, and pools with swift currents.
The following are habitats where you can catch Blue Catfish:
- Current Edges
- Dams and Falls
- Riparian Zones
- Rivers and Streams
- Rock and Boulder Pockets
- Undercut Banks
How to catch Blue Catfish
Anglers should look for blue catfish in clean, fast water. The best method for catching these fish is to use fresh, cut-up bait to draw in the catfish. Blue catfish don’t like moving bait, so anglers should allow the bait to sink to the bottom. Drift fishing, bottom fishing and still fishing are the best methods for catching Blue catfish. It is best to wait for a few nibbles before reeling in the line to make sure you set the hook firmly.
Electrofishing is another method used by anglers. With this method, a cathode and anode are used to attract the fish. Once they come close, they will be stunned by a slight shock. This makes them easier to catch. Anglers who try this method should bring leather gloves that allow them to get a good grip on this slippery fish.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Blue Catfish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Blue Catfish
Blue catfish respond well to herring, chicken liver, and sardine baits. Using a catfish rig can help get your bait in front of blue catfish and improve your odds of a catch.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Blue Catfish: