Tips for Catching Monster Catfish

Tips for Catching Monster Catfish

Tips for Catching Monster Catfish Near the Mississippi River in Louisiana

While there are many folks who feel the largemouth bass is the finest sports fish because its high-jumping and hard-hitting abilities, the locals in the Louisiana area know the catfish is king when it comes to bending those fishing poles. Many local charter boat fishing Louisiana captains will tell you that huge catfish are being reeled in on a daily basis in a number of key spots along the Mississippi River.

You have already seen our tips for catching yellowfin tuna.¬† If you’re looking for a challenge, and you want to haul in a record-size catfish, the following tips will help you land a monster of your own. Here are a few tips for catching a monster catfish near the mouth of the Mississippi River.


Using the Right Type Catfish Bait

When you use the wrong bait, you not only catch the smaller catfish, you wind up attracting other species who will take the bait right off the hook before the giant catfish have a chance to show up. If you are looking to haul in a catfish over 10 pounds, you’ll need to be using fish bait. Goldfish and minnows can be purchased at any number of local bait shops that dot the Mississippi coastline. To catch a monster, you want to consider using suckers, herring, or shad, due to their oily nature.To catch the really big fish, go with sunfish, goldeyes, or carp. While most catfish prefer the fish to be live, if they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat just about anything. Good rule of thumb, the smaller the catfish, the less particular they are about their diet.

Leaving the Hook Points Exposed

Most catfish hunters to this region get frustrated fast when the catfish that bite don’t stay on the hook. Even though the local charter boat fishing Louisiana captains will tell you this is a popular complaint, they do offer a very simple solution. Start fishing with the barb of the hook exposed instead of it being hidden. There is no truth to the stories of catfish avoiding the line if they see the hook. These fish are not smart enough to even know what a hook is, especially when they are hungry. What is happening when you hide the hook is the barbed end must first penetrate your bait before the catfish, giving them time to escape.Simply thread your hook through your bait choice three times and leave the point exposed, you may lose a hook or two, but the monster catfish you catch will make it all worthwhile.

Fishing for Catfish Year-Round

There is a belief in this region that the big catfish only bite in the summer. Perhaps this may have been started by local fishermen hoping to keep others from hitting the area other times of year, regardless, it is not true. Although summer is a productive time to go catfishing, you could do just as well if not better by fishing in winter, spring, and fall too. Some catfish in the Mississippi River basin bite all year long, even when the temperatures in the water approach freezing. While some breeds of catfish do slow down as the water gets colder, they need to put on the pounds in late fall and early spring.In fact, if catfish are spawning in the summer, it could be the worst time to try and lure in a male who is busy guarding the nest.

Sitting, Waiting, Hooking and Catching

To catch the real monster catfish in the Louisiana area, you need to develop the skill of being extremely patient. It really doesn’t matter the weather conditions or time of year, fishing for catfish is certainly a sit-and-wait type game. What you will need to do is get your bait as close to the bottom as possible, then sit quietly as you wait for a monster catfish to find it. This can be done on the back of a charter boat, or still-fish from a spot on the banks. One tip to catch bigger catfish from the shore, set your bait where the action is increased. The best places are the areas right below a river dam, it helps to channel the fish right to your bait.Setting up at the junction of two rivers is idea because it forces the fish to a smaller swimming area and the motion of the rushing waters creates the perfect camouflage.

Fishing on the Morning Shift

If you are fishing in discolored or muddy waters, the catfish will find your bait both night and day. The trouble is that many new fishermen to the area do the same in clear water, and wonder why the catfish don’t bite. When the sun is higher in the sky, the catfish leave the clear waters for the safety of deeper and darker places. When you are fishing the clear waters in the morning, you will certainly catch an abundance of bigger catfish. The catfish are usually filling up their bellies right before the sun comes up, then they go searching for a dark place to sit and hide for the day. With the sun in the sky, these fish now have better vision, and your movements on the shore or in a boat could frighten them away.The catfish use their heightened sense of smell and taste to find food before the sun comes up, the perfect time to put your bait on the bottom and wait. The catfish should start going after your live bait an hour before dawn and last only an hour or two tops after that.

Speak to any local charter boat fishing Louisiana captain about the best spots for catching catfish, they’ll get you to where you need to be. Now you know the techniques to help you find and land the biggest catfish hiding in those muddy waters just out of sight. Keep these tips in mind and you could be on pace to breaking the record for the biggest catfish caught in the waters near Louisiana.

Tips For Catching Yellowfin Tuna

Tips For Catching Yellowfin Tuna

Tips and Tricks for Tuna Fishing 

Tuna fishing in any water can be quite an experience, but fishing for them near Venice LA is a once in a lifetime experience. The Yellowfin in this part of the Gulf of Mexico can reach record sizes, providing visitors that thrill that will last forever.

Your local charter boat fishing captain uses decades of experience to get you to where these fish are in abundance, and has a few secrets up their sleeves for finding those monsters.

Here are some tips and tricks for tuna fishing near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana that will help you land a monster tuna.

Tuna Fishing Near the Oil Rigs

Yellowfin Tuna are a regular catch by the oil rigs in the Gulf
Yellowfin Tuna are a regular catch by the oil rigs in the Gulf

One of the best kept secrets in the south is fishing for the monster tuna near oils rigs. There are numerous oil rigs dotting the horizon on the Gulf, and local fishermen have been spoiled for years bringing their fishing boats as close as possible to haul in monster tuna. Now it isn’t just about cruising the rigs to find tuna, it also works in conjunction with the right bait fish, time of year, and the water conditions. As you arrive near the rigs, pay close attention to the surface waters. The Yellowfin tuna love to hang around the up-current on the sides of the rigs.

Check the waters around the rig for sub-currents too. The larger of the tuna will move around in different currents, despite what it showing on the surface. The rig is not as important as the water depth.

Finding Big Tuna in Deep Water

The deeper the water you are fishing, the bigger the tuna you are catching. The optimal depth to catch tuna near the basin of the Mississippi River is 1,500 feet and more. It is very important that you are paying close attention to your depth sounder, marking locations beneath the boat to make sure that your lures are down at the correct depth. The reason being is that the larger tuna are less afraid down that deep, and more likely to take a stab at your bait if you can find them.Make certain that you get a good feel for the weight of the tuna on your line. If you don’t and set the hook, it is going to be gone in the blink of an eye.

Chumming the Deeper Waters

One of the more productive ways to attract the tuna near the boat is to chum the waters. Not only will the tuna come closer to the surface, they will arrive in record numbers too. Once they reach the chum, the action could be fierce as they fight each other for a free meal. One of the tricks for attracting the big tuna after chumming the water is to turn off the boat engine or generator, and allow the vessel to just drift along. Without the sound, the tuna will get amazingly close to the boat.One tip to consider when chumming the deeper waters is that your actions could also attract sharks. Sharks are not good for fishing, so just start the boat and move on to another spot once the sharks arrive.

Tips for Faking Out the Tuna

Catching Yellowfin Tuna in the Gulf of Mexico
Catching Yellowfin Tuna in the Gulf of Mexico

Trying to catch the tuna near the surface can be extremely frustrating because the big fish will quickly dive to deeper waters as the boat approaches. The trick to faking out the tuna is trolling slowly, somewhere around three knots while running a line on a high angle so the bait floats 300 yards behind your boat. The reason that this trick works is because the tuna will not associate the bait and the boat that far apart, so you can move in for the taking.When it comes to fishing for tuna in the Gulf near the basin of the Mississippi, the best time to move in is fall and winter. The cleaner water is pushing towards the shore, discharging volume from the Mississippi.

Spotting Signs of Tuna in the Area

One tip for locating the tuna is to simply follow where the shrimp boats are trolling. The team on the shrimp boats will chum the water, which attracts schools of tuna to the surface. As the shrimp boats move about, you can get lucky and hook up with the tuna who are in a feeding frenzy and wander away from the chum trail. The waters of the Gulf near 20 miles out or more are ideal for catching the bigger tuna. When you are out with a charter boat, the captain usually has an idea which shrimp boats have been out a few days.The tuna get used to the patterns of those shrimp boats and can make for easy fishing. If you can get out on the water before dawn, you can intercept the shrimpers and be there when the chumming starts.

Catching Tuna Takes Some Patience

Catching tuna in the basin of the Mississippi takes patience, so let the charter boat fishing Louisiana captain get you near the fish, while you and your group scan the waters for signs of the tuna. There should be someone near the helm all the time, while some toss chum into the waters. If nothing else, you have to be patient. Although the tuna are in abundance in the area, they tend to hide very well and come out under ideal conditions.It might be seven hours of hard work on the water before you see your first bite, but it will be worth the wait.

If you’re visiting the area and want to land your own monster tuna, book a day trip with the local charter boat fishing Louisiana captain. Fishing for those tuna in this part of the south is not just a hobby, it is a way of life for locals. End the perfect fishing day by catching your very own tuna that might just get you in the local Louisiana record books.