How to Fish for Catfish off a Bank?

Bank fishing is perfect for some seasons and some catfish species. Bank fishing is actually similar to normal fishing, but it is important to select the right time of the day for this type of fishing. The most common catfish is channel catfish which is found in almost all rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. When fishing for catfish off a bank, you are most likely to catch channel catfish. When bank fishing it takes place from the bank or shores of the river or lake. It takes place above the water’s edge. Bank fishing can be much better than taking a boat out to the water with expensive gear and hassle. Bank fishing for catfish is a fun sport that does not require as much effort and time as going out in a boat to fish for catfish. However, to learn how to do this properly, you have to find the perfect time and equipment, here is how to do it.

River Bank

The Perfect Season

If you are a catfish fisherman, you will know that fishing for catfish in summer is a fun and relaxing hobby. It is easier to fish for catfish in summer than in any other season. Therefore, shore fishing in summer is very rewarding.

Finding the right time of the day is important along with the season. Fishing for catfish off a bank is usually done at night because most catfish come to the shore to find a place to stay under at night. This is mainly because the temperature cools down at the top of the water, and the fish comes to the surface or edge of the water.

The Perfect Location

Along with the season and time of the day, you need to find a good location. Catfish are found in most hidden places or where the deep water meets the shallow water. These places are gems where you will find most catfish.

Deep water next to shallows mixed with brush, rock, or weeds is the easiest place to find where you can fish for the catfish off a bank. Similarly, it is said that the best place to find lots of catfish is the headwater areas below dams, where they like to hide in summer months searching for food. You can also find these fishes in major creek arms, specifically on shorelines bordered by bluffs which is a specific place, but it is important.

The outside bends of rivers and lakes and the causeway and spillway areas on ponds and lakes are some other great places for bank fishing. As you can see, there are many options for where you can fish for catfish, so you should find one that is the most isolated because it will be where the catfish is less on guard.

The Perfect Area

After you have found the location, it is time to find the perfect area. The area is the specific place where you should cast your rod, and the location is the overall place you should head toward to catch the catfish. Oftentimes, the areas that you can access with bank fishing cannot be reached in a boat. Catfish like to stay hidden, and they stay hidden until they know there is food outside of the hiding place. They are found in slack water pools or holes. This means behind large rocks, logs, and bridge pilings that do not have a fast current. Another hiding spot for catfish is behind boulders. The larger the boulder, the greater the chance of you finding many catfish. These types of hiding places are the perfect area where catfishes lurk, so it is important to select an area where you see these large hiding spots. You could also take a boat to a nice area and find the perfect area which might be harder to locate if you were walking around on your own. Exploring areas is part of a good fishing experience and enjoying nature to enjoy what is happening with the ecosystem.

The Perfect Equipment

One mistake catfish fisherman make is buying the most expensive and heavy weights and too big of hooks in hopes of catching a bigger fish. However, the size of the catfish depends on how deep and where you fish for catfish. Therefore, just using equipment designed to catch bigger catfish will not result in you catching a bigger catfish. When fishing from the bank, it is important to use the medium to smaller-sized fishing equipment because larger catfish will not be around the shore. You can start with the technique of drifting bait by using a few slip floats set to keep your bait a foot or so above the bottom. For hooks, a small size one hook will work well. You can use many baits and the easiest and most simple one is worms. However, if you want to attract catfish, smelly bait is very important, like a fish that has been freshly cut open or store-bought will work fine. Make sure that the catfish rod you use is long so you can fish further from the shore.


Boat fishing is great, but sometimes it can be too complicated and too expensive, so that is when bank fishing comes in handy. It can be a very successful fishing experience with a lot less the effort required. To succeed in bank fishing, you need to find the perfect season, location, area, and equipment. Just like boat fishing, the technique used to catch the catfish is more important than anything else. Now, you are ready to go to your local lake or river and start shore fishing because it is very simple. Channel cat occupy almost all waters, which will give you a have a high chance of catching one today.

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