Find your catfish

Sonar expert Doug Vahrenberg offered a few tips for leveraging the perspective of subsurface imaging for effective catfish targeting.

One of the coolest points applies to bait positioning.

“When you identify catfish, you can mark an individual fish with a waypoint and then travel upstream to anchor,” Vahrenberg said. “You can go back to that waypoint, and (your electronics) will tell you how far back that fish is from your position.”

The advantage here is precise bait presentation: Line-counter reels enable you to “walk” the bait back to the desired proximity with your targeted fish. Even with standard reels, it’s pretty easy to pull off an estimated yard length and count those back to the fish.

“Also, if you note that the fish is in a piece of structure, you want to walk the fish out of cover so you can make him bite out in the open so you don’t get tangled up,” Vahrenberg said. “So you just position the bait out in front of the cover.

“This is sight fishing without having to look at the fish.”

Vahrenberg urged even the casual catfish angler to embrace sonar technologies throughout the entire process of finding and catching their prey.

“You think you know where (the catfish) are at, but if you search areas you might not believe will hold fish, they might surprise you,” he said. “Use it and learn it. Not every fish will bite, but you want to get your bait into the area of highest potential.

“It’s a time management tool.”

About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications

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