The spring offers some outstanding fishing for catfish, especially for anglers that prefer to fish during the day. Experienced fishermen know that once summer rolls around, fishing is much better at night for catfish. During the spring, catfish can be found moving into the shallows as water temperatures warm up throughout the day. Late afternoon through evening offers some of the best fishing for catfish in the spring. Fishing is very good during the pre-spawn and post-spawn, but fishing can be challenging during the spawn.
Among experienced anglers, night fishing is the most popular way to fish for catfish in the summer. Catfish will go much deeper in the summer. During the day, catfish can be found on steep drop-offs and suspended in open water along the thermocline. Fishing for these deep water fish can be very difficult at times. At night, a good number of catfish will move into shallower water to feed. Catfish can often be caught in water less than 10 feet deep at night. These same fish can be anywhere from 15 to 50 feet deep during the day in the summer.
Catfish will feed heavily in the fall in preparation for the winter. Night fishing becomes less popular as the water temperatures start to cool. While you can still catch plenty of catfish at night, the morning and evening bite is usually very good in the fall. Some of the biggest fish of the year are caught every fall. As water temperatures fall below 60 degrees, fishing gets more difficult and once it falls into the low 50s and upper 40s, catfish will seek out some of the deeper holes where they will spend their winter. These fish remain inactive during the colder weather.
Catfish prefer warmer water, so don’t expect to catch too many catfish during the winter, especially if you are ice fishing. Some of the states down south will have warm enough water temperatures to still have some good fishing opportunities for catfish, but their winter fishing patterns will be similar to the fall pattern for the rest of the country.