Rigging Your Fishing Pole for Catfish

By: Daniel Eggertsen

Catfish anglers have lots of rigging options. Everybody has their favorite rigging method, and certain methods work better under certain conditions. Here is a look at rigging your fishing pole.

Different Types of Rigging

Tightlining - This is where you rig your hook in the middle of the line, with a weight attached at the end. This way, you can drop that weight to the floor of the lake, with your hook hanging somewhere halfway down, and control just how high that hook is from the bottom. Tightlining is a great technique for catching catfish, because you'll find that they swim around at different distances from the bottom. Exactly how far to rig your hook from the weight at the end will vary. A little trial and error will show you just where to put it, but a good place to start is about 1 1/2 to 2 feet from the end of the line. The size of the weight doesn't matter so much, but it should be enough to hold down the line. Most anglers find that a weight just big enough to keep the line down is ideal, because it's not too heavy to keep control over. After you've got your line in the water, hold it as taut as you can because otherwise you might not feel that fish bite.

Tightlining is a great rigging technique to use when you are fishing a lake or pond that has a lot of algae and plant life in it. Catfish will usually hide under this cover, and you need to get your bait right down under it. Tightlining gives you lots of control as to where you put your bait.

Slipweight - This rigging technique uses a weight that can slip along the line. You attach the weight so that it can move along the line, and you put your bait right on the floor of the lake. The purpose of the weight is not to control you depth, like a tightline, but to hide your line. Catfish are smart, and they won't bite if they know there's a line attached to that morsel of stinky bait. The slipweight allows the line to lay at the bottom so the fish won't see that there's a fisherman on the other end of it. This is a good rigging technique to use in a shallow area or pond. In the shallows, catfish can see better and will avoid biting a regularly rigged line.

Multibait - This is a simple technique. You just split your line with 3 or more baited hooks and let the fish find them wherever they are. This is a great way to catch lots of fish, and also to determine where the best spots are. In other words, you can use the multibait rigging technique to see where in the lake the fish are really biting. If you keep getting bites on one line, you know that's the spot. For the multibait technique, you don't need any weights on the line. Some anglers put small weights on there anyway, but to begin with you might want to just drop the line without a weight.

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