Catfish are not very picky. Basically, if you can get something in front of them that they would like to eat at the time that they want to eat, you’re going to get plenty of bites. There are many live bait rigs you can use, but most of them will work just fine so don’t be super picky about what rig you have. Just find something that works for you and present the bait at the proper depth.
You can’t go wrong with the Carolina rig when fishing for catfish. When fishing in current, you may need to experiment with how much line you have in between the hook and the barrel swivel. Most of the time, most of the bites will come very close to the bottom, so 6 to 12″ might be perfect. If there is no current, you can go longer with no problem.
This is a simpler version of the Carolina rig. It accomplishes the same thing as far as presenting your bait. With this setup though, it’s a little easier to change the distance between the weight and hook. That is a nice option to have when fishing on rivers in the current because the bite could be better real close to the bottom or a little farther up off the bottom.
There are times when the catfish are going to be suspended. This happens a lot in lakes, especially during the summer time. A well placed slip bobber can be very effective.
A simple split shot rig works well when you don’t need to fish very deep or cast very far. Anglers use this more in lakes or in a pool on the river where there is little to no current.
This rig works well for fishing on the bottom in rivers or lakes. Anglers also like to fish with this rig when the fish are suspended over deeper water. It’s just another good presentation to use for catfish.