How to Catch Catfish: Use a Trot Line and Don’t Try so Hard

If I told you how to catch catfish with a trot line, that wouldn’t be anything special. If I told you that you can catch catfish without bait, now that would be something special. It might not be easy to believe, but it’s true; catfish will bite on bare hooks—shiny or otherwise. At first I thought I was imagining things, but then it became clear that even if I didn’t bait my trot line that I had set in this small lake in northeastern Texas, I was still going to catch fish.

Also See: The benefits of an aluminum fishing boat.

Here’s my story.

I want to say it was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to bait up my trot line, but it wasn’t as funny as it was amazing. One evening, two of us set out in the boat to bait the hooks in anticipation of catfish moving in closer to the shore to feed. When my friend got a hold on the line, he told me that there was a fish on the line. At first I thought that perhaps I hadn’t taken off one of the fish from a couple of days before, but that didn’t make sense. How could I go from one end of the trot line to the other and miss taking off a fish? As it turned out, there were three fish on the 20 station trot line. Now I knew that I couldn’t have missed taking off three fish.

I had to confirm with my friend, “We took off all of the fish a couple days ago, didn’t we?” He confirmed that we had. “I don’t recall baiting these hooks. I thought we just left them bare.” He confirmed that we had. So, that was my first introduction to how to catch catfishwithout using any bait. I thought this was a grand idea. Why try so hard when baiting wasn’t at all necessary?

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