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How to Catch Big Catfish - Best Rigs

The Slip Rig or the Carolina Rig

Your rigging is very important when you are catfishing, a knot tied wrong or a frayed leader could be the difference between a record fish in the net and another "the one that got away" story. Monster catfish will put you and all your equipment to the test!

The rig I use most is the slip sinker rig also known as the Carolina Rig.

To make this rig you will need:

1. Your main reel line, I prefer PowerPro of a fairly high test, usually 80 pound test or bigger

2. A barrel swivel,

3. About 2 - 6’ of leader line, using a test lighter then your main line by 10-20 pounds, that way if you snag you will only lose a few feet of line and your hook, if using live bait 2' is good

4. An egg weight, I use 1-1 1/2 ounce usually,

5. A plastic or glass bead, cushions your weight striking against your knot,

6. A hook, I prefer Gamakatsu circle hooks, make sure your gap is big enough to leave room to hook the fish.

This may seem like a bunch of stuff, but its not really and this is the rig to catch monster catfish with.

1. Take your egg sinker and slide it up your mail reel line.

2. Take your bead and slide it up the line also.

3. Take your main reel line and tie it to one side of your swivel.

The knot I use is the Trilene Knot or the Double Loop Clinch Knot. You can use another knot if you have a favorite. If you don't have a favorite give this one a try.It is called the Trilene Knot because the staff at Berkley Company developed it, they developed it originally specifically to use with their Trilene monofilament. The Trilene Knot retains 95 percent of its strength when tied properly.

How to tie Trilene knot.

Step 1. Insert the line through the hook eye twice leaving a small loop and 4 - 6 inches of tag end line to work with.

Step 2. Next make 6 - 7 wraps around the standing (main line) part of the leader line., then slip the line end through the small loop at the hook eye and then bring it back up through the larger loop also.

Step 3.Pull evenly on the standing line (main line) and the hook or swivel, be careful not to let double line cross back over itself. Watch the hook point also, don't hook your hand.
Overlapping lines will self cut and severly weaken your knots. Trim the tag end and you are set.

4. Now you should have the sinker on your line closest to your reel then the bead and then that line tied to your swivel.

5. Take your leader line and tie it to the other side of the swivel

6. Now tie your hook to the end of the leader line and you are done.

Now, you are ready for bait, after the bait is on Hang On!

I also use bobbers to suspend my baits sometimes- see below

Catfishing Books

Bobbers to Catch Big Catfish!

Sometimes you want to suspend your bait over snags or float it down the river and this is where you can use bobbers. I often use big bobbers to place a bream out in a lake and catch big catfish. I like to use 3" or 4" bobbers to hang out big baits. There are many times when snags keep breaking off tackle and a float is just an easy way to save tackle and fish that same spot. On a breezy day you can put on a bobber and let the wind carry it across the lake just like drift fishing without the boat.

Good Luck and Squealin' Reels,
Gary Turner

How to Join the Gone Fishin Club!


By joining Gone Fishin Club you become eligible to win a trip to Santee to chase Monsters Cats with Gary and the crew.

We also have drawings for other trips, magazine subscriptions, club logo hats and shirts.

So what are you waiting for, JOIN NOW! Did I mention it was FREE!

here is the link...................... JOIN GONE FISHIN CLUB

How To Catch Big Catfish Part 1

  • How To Catch Big Catfish Part 1
    My name is Gary Turner and I love to fish. I don't make my living fishing, I'm living to Fish. This hubpage is about catching big catfish. I love catfishing and going after the monster cats. ...

How To Catch Big Catfish Part 2

  • How To Catch Big Catfish Part 2
    What Kind Of Tackle Do I Need To Land A Monster Catfish? There is some debate over how light or how heavy to go with tackle when you are in pursuit of monster world class trophy catfish. I don't know about you, but I hate loosing big fish...

How To Catch Big Catfish Part 3

  • How To Catch Big Catfish Part 3
    What Kind of Rod Will I Need to Catch Monster Catfish? This is a list of Rods that work well for landing big catfish. Let's just run through a little rod background before we get into the list of great possible catfish rods...

Looking for great deals on Catfishing Tackle.

If you are looking for a deal on Catfishing equipment and tackle look at Bottom Dwellers Tackle , they stock several brands including Shimano and Abu.


mattHM on February 20, 2014:

why are you using such heavy tackle I fish in rivers and lakes and the biggest thing I've ever used is 30 lb mono with a abu garcia 7000 with a team catfish 8/0 double action circle hook or daiichi 7/0 chunk light I used to use Gamakatsu but they are not as good as quality as they used to be they break on me too often

Gone Fishin Club (author) on April 25, 2011:

Hello Outdoorman, hope all is well and you are getting in some great fishing. Yes frogs are a very lively bait. I have used them for bass more than catfish, but catfish love them too. Tadpoles also make a great bait. With the frogs it is somewhat cruel looking, but as far as being bait waht isn't, hook them in the leg and let them swim. Putting a large bobber several feet behind will keep them swimming. Set it so they cant get to the bottom and bury themselves in the mud. Tadpoles can be tail hooked, just lob cast and they will stay on ok. Hope this helps, Happy Fishing. Thanks, Gary

outdoorman on February 21, 2011:

I am fishing in Wisconsin, Since its winter here I wont be getting out for a few more months yet. Have you ever fished with live frogs?

Gone Fishin Club (author) on February 19, 2011:

Hello Outdoorsman, let me say welcome to the wonderful world of catfishing, may I ask where you are fishing at? As far as a good starter bait for fishing in the river a good go to bait is cut shad or herring, you might also try live bream or perch, check your local regulations please. Did you see my hub at https://skyaboveus.com/fishing/How-To-Catch-Big-Ca... It might give you some more ideas to try for bait. As far as the river try to find some holes and fish them, any structure might also hols some cats just handing out. Any deadfalls where the current is broken might hold cats and logjams too. With the river you can work your baits down river to the fish. Thanks for finding my hubs and for your questions, let me know what else I can help you with and if you need a fishing buddy some weekend let me know, sounds like you have done lots of fishing. Have a great day.

Gary "Gone Fishin" Turner

outdoorman on February 19, 2011:

so what kinda bait would you recommend. I'm also new to the sport of Catfishing. I've spent most years perfecting Bass, Pike, Muskie and walleye. and little info would be great..I would be river fishing close to a lower dam if that helps

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