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How to Fish for Catfish – River, Lake, Pond and Night Fishing Tips




Catfish are popular because they are delicious and are one of the most caught fishes on the planet. Catching catfish can be fun. They are good fighters and willing biters. You can catch catfish from shore or by using a vessel. In this guide, we’ll be giving you hints on how to fish for catfish.

The best and simplest way to catch catfish is with the help of a slip-sinker. Simply include a float above the weight on a slip-sinker rig, move the bait gently via wood-rich catfish habitat or over weed without getting it hooked on the bottom or any cover. Drifting a float also help cover an extensive area of water. A jig head tipped with bait is another effective method of catching catfish.

Catfish is an awesome sport fish. Due to its prominence and the fact that catfish meat is delicious, you’ll find several anglers eager to catch this fish. Catching catfish is a headache for some anglers, while for others, it’s a walk in the park. To be a pro in catfishing, you have to know how to do it right with the best techniques and tackle. In this guide, we’ll be filling you in on how to capture catfish in a lake, river, pond and at night.

If you would like to know the best time of day to catch these species and much more, all the information is provided in other article about cats.

How to Fish for Catfish?

Catfish are one of the most undervalued fishes in the country. Not only is this fish delicious, it can grow big, and they are amazing fighters. Some anglers out there are familiar with the name catfish, however, they are don’t know that there exist more than one species of catfish. And for every type of catfish you encounter, you may have to use a different fishing tactic because their difference vary slightly.


There exist three major types of catfish that are targeted in the U.S. and they include, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. These variety of catfish can be seen in the same water hunting for similar prey, however, they are different. With that being said, how do you fish for catfish?

There are 4 main methods of catching these fishes, which are:

  • Drifting
  • Strolling
  • Doodlesocking
  • Slip Corking

Drifting method:

The drifting method is one of the most common catfishing technique. This method is about casting baits out one side of the vessel (usually with several rods) and pulling baits along the bottom while the wind propels the boat. This catfishing tactic helps you cover a good area of water. If you are a beginner, this is a good tactic for you. It will definitely help in your quest on how to fish for catfish.

In your quest to capture catfish, ensure you adopt reels with baitclicker (if interested, the best options available on Amazon are provided in this article) especially if you like to multitask. A baitclicker is like an alarm, it will alert you when a fish is on the line.


The strolling tactic is similar to the drifting method. However, the main difference between the two tactics is that, for the strolling, rods are usually run off the back of the boat instead of the side. In addition, the boat is not propelled by the wind, rather, it is propelled with the aid of a trolling motor.


This method is mainly used to capture channel catfish. Doodlesocking involves releasing baits in and around rocks including rip rap shores to catch spawning channel catfish. This is a good tactic to use for capturing catfish in the summer months.

Slip Corking:

This method involves the use of slip bobbers to catch catfish. The slip corking technique is common for catching channel catfish.

River Fishing for Catfish:

Catching catfish is a thrilling adventure and experience. Most anglers often look forward to the fascinating fight and the happy moment when they eventually land their catch. Catfish can be caught in lakes, rivers, and ponds. Mind you, catching catfish in these bodies of water requires separate technique and approach in general. Let’s start with river fishing for catfish. How do you catch catfish in a river?

To be successful in catfish river fishing, you must be equipped with the right knowledge and skills. Forget about the skills used in other forms of catfishing as they may be ineffective. Rather you’ll need to learn and adopt a whole new different approach. It isn’t difficult, trust me.

Below are some helpful tips:

Location is very important:


Indeed, when it comes to capturing catfish in a river, your location matters, a lot. You need to find catfish before you think of capturing it, right? Of course. That is why you need to be in the right location, unless, you may end up searching that river day and night with little or no result.

Even if you decide to try the popular drift fishing, you still need to drift fish in the right location to stand a chance. So where do you look at?

During daytime, search those deep holes, deeper waters, and concealed structures. They are the best places to look at when in search of catfish in a river.

There are some exemptions to this, however…

In some locations of the river, you can locate catfish in shallow water or water that isn’t too deep. But, for the most part, simply adhere to the statistics.

The use of proper tackle is important:

I’m very sure you must have heard this countless times. However, i will keep on emphasizing on this because it is of great importance. To catch catfish in a river, you need a strong tackle that can withstand the aggressive nature of this fish.

You can leverage technology:

Don’t fail to consider technology when targeting catfish, especially if you plan on fishing in a river. Technology, just as it has always done, will always enhance your efforts in hunting and detecting the ideal location of catfish.

Trust me, catfish are clever, and sly. They are also good hiders, especially when they perceive danger, no matter how little. With the aid of the right technology, you can find this creature even if they are holed up in a structure of a deep hole. You can make use of sonar and fish finding technology to help in your effort to locate this fish. This technology won’t just help save your precious time, it will save you the effort as well.

To be successful, fish at night or early morning:

Just like location, time is also an important factor when it comes to catfishing. If you fish at the wrong time, you may end up coming back home with nothing but frustration written all over your face.

By fishing at the right time in a river, you can aim at those catfish strolling more shallow water in search of their daily bread. If you are fishing with the aid of a vessel, you can scout even the deepest river with the help of technology like a fish finder. On the other hand, you can make use of your instinct. Adopt the necessary tools including this technique to your benefit.

Using the right bait is crucial:

Bait selection is important regardless of the type of fish that you are targeting. It doesn’t matter if it is a redfish, a bass, etc., you must ensure that you adopt the right bait.

There are a variety of baits out there so the first step to take when selecting a bait is to determine the size of catfish you intend to catch. If you are considering a catfish of more than 10lb, you should make use of live and cut bait like shad. On the other hand, if you are targeting the total count and your aim is to catch as many catfish as you can (regardless of the size), then you can make use of any bait.

Understand water movement:

To be a skilled angler, you must be able to read and understand various water movements. The same applies to river fishing for catfish.

This strictly apply to those who aren’t technology fanatics. If you don’t have a taste for technology, you should be read to learn the art of reading water movements.

In rivers, sometimes you can keep an eye out for the left and right moving current. At the end of such current where the water seems to be still, can signify a deep area of a good “catfish hole.”

This fish cherish residing in these locations of deeper water at the sides of the current and where mobile water flows.

Where the turbulent water concludes, is the perfect spot for catfish; remember this.

Consider those river bridges:

Bridges are present in several rivers. Of course, they can be an annoying place to search for fish. However, they offer catfish the cover they need to hide themselves. You will definitely find some catfish hiding near bridge including other structures or covers. But if you don’t, then you can go ahead and curse your luck because that happens in very rare occasions.

Always consider drifting fishing:

Drift fishing isn’t just popular as far as catfishing is concerned, it is as well effective because it can help you catch lots of catfish. If you maintain a steady controlled drift and adopt the right piece of cut bait, you can end up with a huge catch.

Remain patient and ensure that you operate slowly. Adopt sonar and fish-finding gadgets to assist in your search.

Where the log jams and woods are, is where the catfish will be:

Like earlier said, catfish love structures because it protects them from impending danger like human and other fishes. The more structures you see, the better your chances of fishing catfish in that area. This fish are known for their affinity for structures and coverings such as log jams, brush, including other types of wood.

Thus, the task is very simple. If you locate these areas on the river you are fishing on, you will likely return home smiling.

Clicking drag on your baitcaster is a must:

If the reel you use isn’t equipped with a clicking drag, purchase a kit and install it on your reel. This can make a difference in your quest to catch catfish on a river. A clicking drag will notify you when a catfish hits your bait or is playing around it.

Make use of the right fishing line:

This will vary based on the fishing method you decide to adopt. If you decide to go with the popular drift fishing, a mono-filament line is good. However, a braided line is more effective. It will help prevent snags including other underwater components.

Look out for live bait:

Catfish like to loiter in areas close to their prey. So the trick is to find these areas. You can do this with a sonar or other effective fish finding tech.

Look for a school of shad or other live bait using your sonar gadget. If you can get the location of this baitfish then you will definitely find one or more catfish lurking by.

Lake fishing for Catfish:

Just like river fishing for cats, lake fishing for catfish requires a whole different approach. Catfish are present in several lakes across the United States. Depending on where you decide to fish, a lake may harbor huge catfish or little ones. Flatheads, channel, and blue are known as popular lake residents, including their smaller bullhead relative. In fact, it might thrill you to know that the world record brown and black bullhead were actually caught in a lake.


To record success in lake fishing adventure, you must know how to lake fish for catfish, and here is how:

Several factors are responsible for your catfishing success on lakes. These factors are: barometric pressure, water temperature, including the season. Lake fishing for cats can be easy if you know what to do. It requires techniques deigned for this type of water body and the use of the appropriate fishing gear.

Adopt the appropriate fishing gear:

When fishing for catfish in a lake, it is important that you are armed with the right fishing gear. Have it in mind that catfish are aggressive eaters so ensure that whatever gear you are choosing is strong enough to withstand their aggressive bite. We have made a good list of the gears you should be using when searching for cats in a lake.


A good hook can enhance your chances of catching catfish. When considering a hook, ensure you go for heavy gauge hooks of size 2 or 4. You can also decide to use a hook as big as 6/0.

Hook links:

Do not use a hook link lighter than 25lb. If you are after catfish or you are worried about an assault from the catfish, you can consider using a hook link of 45lbs. If you are very keen on capturing big catfish go for heavier hook links.


According to most fishing rules, you are supposed to use 15lb mainline. However, this rule has been branded “ineffective.” In the year 2016, the minimum was increased to 30lbs. Using heavier or bigger mainline wouldn’t hinder your chances of landing a good catfish, of course not. You see, fishing with strong gears is the best way to fish.

Rig tubing:

Rig tubing is very important as it helps safeguard the mainline near the lead due to the rigid structure of male catfish. This sharp bony structure which is located on the top sides of a male catfish pectoral fins can slice through an unprotected mainline during a fight.

To ensure that the rig tubing can’t move up the line during a brawl, make use of a short piece pole elastic to secure the rig tubing. Doing so keeps the rig tubing in place and also doesn’t affect its functionality.


The rod you’ll use depends on the size of catfish you are after. If you are after a big cat, you should consider a rod of at least 3lb. However, if you are very keen you can go for higher fishing rods, such as those of 6lbs.


To capture a fish as stubborn as a catfish, you will need to equip yourself with the best reel. One of those strong penn reels should do.

Bait to use:

The best bait to use when targeting catfish in a lake is a cut bait like shad. The savory smell from a newly killed prey can entice cats who have a great sense of smell. Fresh is more effective than frozen. If you feel like you’ll be out in the lake for a prolonged period of time, then keep a product like Team Catfish Dead Red Blood Spray ready to include fresh scent to your cutbait.

Find the ideal location:

Cats are not really regarded as an energetic fish, thus, they find shelter in places that conceal them and enable them strike at their prey. As far as lake fishing for catfish is concerned, this important as it helps you understand where to cast your bait. You can find cats around various structures and holes. Keep an eye out for places with bridge or logjams where there is a minimum water flow.

Before you hit the lake, carry out an in-depth research of the area you want to fish. This can be easily done with the aid of several fishing applications like Fishidy or Navionics.

Catching Catfish in a Pond:

A pond, though smaller than a lake and a river, harbors the famous catfish. Catching catfish in a pond requires the use of different tactics and gears. Though a pond may seem like an easy place to catch cats, however, if you lack the right insight on how it is done, you’ll fail. I’ve put together a guide on how to effortlessly capture catfish in a pond.

Catching catfish in a pond can be easy if you know the tricks. Below are some helpful tips:

Get the appropriate location:

This doesn’t just concern fishing in a pond, it cuts across all types of fishing. Finding the right location is key to your success. In ponds, cats are known to navigate deep areas so keep an eye out for holes. If you see a rock, a pile, or a dam, there is a huge possibility that the fishes are in such location.

Move like a thief:

Cats are very sensitive creatures. This means that, to capture them you have to ensure that you aren’t noticed. You have to approach them like a thief, slow and gentle without making much noise.

In all you do, even when organizing your bait and rod, ensure that you are quiet. If you aren’t discreet enough, you may scare the fish away.

Hunt at the right time:

The appropriate time to target cats is usually at night. At night, catfish can be seen easily. If you are ok with coming out at night to fish, ensure you come prepared. Get a flashlight or any other good light source so you can navigate your way in the pond.

Adopt the tight line tactic:

With the tight line technique, it needs to affix a little weight to the line. This helps you send the line deep into the pod where the cats are chilling. By using this tactic, you should be able to know when the catfish pulls off your line.

Be ready for a fight:

Catfish are very strong creature. Once this fish grabs a bait, the fish may put up a fight and you need to be ready for it. Drag your rod hard when you spin the reel.

Get the right bait:

Baits remains an important component as far as fishing is concerned. The bait you use may be difference between capturing several catfish and catching none. When selecting a bait, you need to go for one that has a strong smell. This is because catfish have a strong sense of smell and like most fishes, they are drawn by smell. Baits that fits this description are crawfish, chicken liver, chad, including night crawlers.

Select the right reel and rod length:

If you don’t use the right reel and rod, your bait will be ineffective, regardless of what you use. When considering a reel, you must look at its size. The size of fish you aim to capture will determine the reel size.

If you plan on fishing for smaller cats, you can use those lighter duty reels. If you are after the big cats, you would definitely need the heavy duty reels. However, if the cats in your area are of diverse sizes, play safe by using a heavy duty reel.


Catching Catfish at night:

When most anglers are busy dreaming on their cozy beds, a few anglers are out there capturing cats. According to some reliable publications, night is the best time to capture catfish because they seldom hide. At night, every is calm and most fishes come out to play or feed. The tactic adopted in hunting cats at night is different from the technique used to hunt catfish in the day. With that being said, how do you capture cats at night?

Catching catfish at night requires patient and the use of the right tackle. The bait, reel, and rod you use has to be spot on. You’ll also need a good source of light, and headlamp if possible.

Below are some helpful tips:

Be prepared to fight:

This is actually a metaphor. However, get prepared physically and gear-wise before you hit the water. Gather the necessary gears, check for any damages so you don’t end up being disappointed.

Be patient and quiet:

Don’t assume that because everywhere is dark and quiet you can easily sneak up on a catfish. No. You see, at night, catfish are still sensitive. Simply put your bait out there and relax. Be patient. The bait will surely bring the fish to you and you’ll do the needful.

Use the appropriate gear:

This is very important. As you know, the gear you use can make or mar your fishing goals. Always remember this: the fishing gear to use will depend on the type of fish you intend to catch. For instance, when targeting a fish as aggressive as catfish, do you use a feeble rod or reel? Definitely not! You are required to go for a durable gear, one that can help you win the battle with a catfish when the struggle begins. Remember catching catfish at night is fun only when you use the right tackle.

Don’t forget the bugs:

At night, bugs are very active. These bugs can make you quite uncomfortable, especially those that bite, like the mosquitoes. You wouldn’t concentrate if you are busy warding off bloodsucking insects, right? So the best thing to do is to be prepared. Purchase a bug repellant and take it along with you to keep the bugs at bay.

Purchase a bite alarm:

If you don’t have the money, you can ignore it; it’s not a big deal. However, if you can afford it, you should get it. A bite alarm will notify you when a fish is playing with your bait. This is cool because with a bite alarm, you can multitask. You can decide to press your phone with no worries because as soon as a catfish dabble with your bait, you’ll be notified.

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Why do Catfish Live in Holes? – Interesting Facts not Many Know About




Catfish are fishes that spend their time searching for enclosures like holes, rocks, and the likes. A professional angler would often advise a novice to search for cats in structures, holes, and muds because those are their favorite locations. Anglers are aware that cats dig holes and nest in them. However, only a few anglers are aware of why they live in these holes. So that begs the question, why do cats reside in holes?

Catfish live in holes for three significant reasons: to hide from predators, to nest eggs and to stay cool and avoid the sunlight because of the sensitivity of their eyes.

Catfish and holes are inseparable companions. It is safe to say that catfish is synonymous with holes due to their affinity for them. Cats also enjoy burrowing in muds and chilling out in structures that are capable of concealing them. One can liken a catfish to one of those stealthy CIA agents. Below, we’ll be taking a closer look at catfish and the reasons they love holes.

Learn more about the reasons catfish burrow in mud.

Why do Catfish Live in Holes?

Catfish are one of those fishes that can be found in bizarre locations. Imagine finding a catfish buried in the mud? Isn’t that hard to understand? Well, such an occurrence takes place during the drought. Aside from burrowing their way in mud, catfish have also found holes to be quite habitable. They dig holes in the river bottom and take refuge in them.

The majority of us are aware of this little catfish secret, but we don’t know why they love seeking refuge in holes. Catfish love holes naturally, including other structures that can effectively conceal them. So you will likely find cats in between shrubs, rocks, buried in muds, and other notable structures on water bodies.

Catfish love to live in holes because it helps the females lay and for the males to better protect their eggs from voracious predators. Living in holes also makes it possible for cats to launch a surprise assault on a prey. Cats relax in their comfy holes and attack any unfortunate prey that passes by.

Besides, one of the common reasons why cats reside in holes is to hide from predators. As you know, the aquatic world is full of several predators. The catfish is fully aware that the best way to survive is to stay away from the spotlights, and it does that by taking up residence in its cozy holes.

Learn more about reels for catfishing.

Do Catfish Dig Holes?

At this point, I am quite sure you are aware that cats love holes. They are probably shy and like to relax in holes while keeping an eye out for those unlucky prey that decides to enter its boundary. It is said that cats live in holes, but have you asked yourself who digs them? Do cats dig them, or they search for an existing one?

Catfish dig the holes themselves and burrow into the water bottoms. They do it by scooping sand from the site of the proposed hole. If there is an existing one, a catfish won’t bother to dig another one. They reside in holes to protect themselves, lay eggs, and capture preys unaware.

The seabed contains soft coarse sand, unlike the sand found on land. This makes it pretty easy for catfish to dig using their mouth. They scoop the sand until the hole is made. It is that easy.

Learn more about the reasons catfish bite at nught.

How Big are Catfish Holes?

Have you seen a catfish hole before? If you haven’t, then I bet you are wondering how big a catfish hole is. Is it as big as a squirrel hole? Or is it big enough to accommodate several cats? Oh, does it boast of several compartments like our homes? Well, there is only one way to find out.

A catfish hole can be of various sizes. The size of the hole will depend on the size of the catfish. If a small catfish dug the hole, there are chances that the hole will be small. On the other hand, if a giant catfish dug the hole, you should expect a hole as big as the cat itself.

One cannot correctly pinpoint the general size of a catfish hole. Catfish abide in holes of various sizes. If they were the ones who dug the hole, then they will dig something that can accommodate them.

Lern more why catfish tend to stay at the bottom.

How do Catfish Get in Holes?

Catfish are a lover of holes and structures. They fancy these enclosures because it provides them with the required protection from predators and helps safeguard their eggs. We know that catfish dig holes and live in them; however, one thing we probably aren’t aware of is how they get into these holes.

Catfish get into holes the same way we get into our homes. They locate an opening and find their way into it. Catfish relax there with their heads facing the entrance in case they need to grab prey or any food that passes by. If the hole is pretty tiny, they’ll enter holes backward to ensure that they are facing the opening.

You can find catfish in holes on land, especially those filled with water. Catching a catfish in this location is relatively easy. You won’t need tackle because you can catch them using a tactic known as noodling (catching catfish with the bare hand).

How do Catfish Dig in the Ground?

It is fascinating to find out that catfish are living in holes, muds, and some structures on water. However, more intriguing is how catfish dig their way into the ground. They have no hands or legs, so how do they manage to pull this off?

Catfish have no limb, so they basically dig into the ground with the help of their mouth. They scoop sand with their mouth and deposit it to create the ideal hole for their comfort. A catfish will pick a spot that is easy to dig. On land, a cat will go for areas with moist soil, especially those that contain water.

A catfish is an excellent digger, even though they have no limb to facilitate the digging process. The digging will surely take some time, but the cat will remain committed until his fancy hole is dug, and it has a place to call home.

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Why do Catfish Change Color? – Interesting Facts not Many Know About




Did you know that the catfish can change its color? I bet you don’t, and it’s alright because this is one hidden secret about these species. You see, this fish’s ability to change color is a clear testament of how unique it is and another huge reason why you need to get out there and catch some. Now that we are aware of this hidden trait of a cat let’s take a look at why it often decides to change its color.

A catfish changes its color to deceive predators and when stressed. They will take the color of whatever container you put them in. A catfish’s ability to change its color is one of its strong adaptive features coupled with its ability to survive drought.

Individuals who house cats in aquariums often get scared when their catfish changes its color several times in a day. Some associate this weird occurrence with sickness, while others have no clue. Where do you fall in? If you want to know more about this unique trait that the catfish possess, I suggest you stay glued to your device and enjoy what’s next.

Learn more about river, lake, pond and night fishing for catfish.

Why do Catfish Change Color?

Like most other fishes in the aquatic world, a catfish can change their body color’s intensity to adjust to the surrounding environment. Just like a chameleon, a catfish can change its color based on its surrounding. The color of a catfish will vary when the substrate is of a different color. When the light is different, you will observe that their coloration will change to something more intense and dim.

You must have been aware of how a catfish alters its color, but what is more important is why they change color. A catfish will change its color for three reasons. Firstly, to hide from the eerie eyes of its prey. It is one of the deceptive skills the catfish possess, and I think it has a good success rate.

A catfish will also change its color when stressed, just as most of us experience mood swings when emotional stress bites hard. So when you stress your catfish for a long time, you’ll note a change in its color. And if you fail to intervene, you might lose the catfish. Such stress emanates from anoxic conditions (zero oxygen) or fish that escaped from the container, or anything that can cause stress.

Lastly, a catfish will change its color by nutrition. A change in the color of a catfish could indicate a bad substance in the field or excess pigment material, which would not affect the fish.

Lesrn more about the reasons catfish live in holes.

When do Catfish Change Color?

If you are fishing for a catfish or planning on buying one or more, you should get ready for a few surprises. As a catfish owner, one of the surprises you should anticipate is waking up the next morning to meet a cattish of a different color. It’s not magic; it’s pure nature. With that being said, don’t you think it’ll be nice if you knew when a catfish would alter its color?

As mentioned earlier, a catfish will change its color when it wants to hide from its predators’ dangerous eyes. It will also change its color when it is stressed. This stress could emanate from an excessive expulsion of energy probably during a failed attempt to escape its enclosure. Lastly, a catfish will change its color when under attack by pathogens.

The earlier you know that a catfish wouldn’t change its color for no reason, the better it is for you as a catfish owner. On the other hand, as an angler, knowing why cats change their color can help when you hit the water searching for them.

Learn more about the reasons why catfish love to borrow in mud.

What Color is Catfish?

Not everyone has seen a catfish. Those who are opportune to see a catfish can correctly indicate the color of a catfish. Is catfish white? Is it brown? Oh, is it metachromatic? Not everyone knows the answer; even some so-called anglers will give you a misleading answer. Well, it’s not their fault; they are probably novice. So, back to the main question, what is the actual color of a catfish?

The color of a catfish ranges from olive to light blue with black speckles on its sides. Male catfish are often darker in color and have bigger heads than females. A catfish can also be olive-brown to slate in color with shades of blue and grey sometimes on the sides. The bellies of a catfish have a different color; it is white or silver-white.

Your ability to detect a catfish by its color would be helpful when you hit the water. Sometimes, you may not have the opportunity to sight the distinctive features of a catfish to determine what you are after, so you will have to verify the fish using its color in such a situation. It is also important you remember that a catfish can alter its color. So, be sure that what you spotted is a catfish before taking the necessary steps.

Learn more about the reassons why catfish tend to bite at night.

What Color are Catfish Eggs?

So, I guess if you see a catfish now you should be able to identify it based on its color. However, if you spot a catfish egg, can you do likewise? In other words, can you identify a catfish egg by its color? If you can’t, it’s because you don’t know the color of a catfish egg. So that brings me to the question, what is the color of a catfish egg?

The color of a catfish’s egg changes according to the stages of development. Live catfish eggs are transparent, and they progress from a pale yellow to an orange-red color as they mature. Dead eggs are often opaque and colorless.

Being able to identify a catfish egg is a great plus for any catfish enthusiast. It could help you determine the presence of catfish in the area. As a budding catfish angler, you must know those significant facts and information about a catfish.

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Why do Catfish Eat Each Other? – Interesting Facts not Many Know About




As sad as the heading seem, it’s true. A catfish has no regard for its kind. It would eat another catfish without even thinking twice. Of course, that seems so barbaric, but hey, it’s wildlife. In the aquatic world, fishes want to survive and will do anything to ensure that they do. Before you begin to judge the catfish, do you know why they tend to eat each other? If you don’t, have you done your research? Well, if you haven’t, you don’t need to because I have the answers you need on a platter.

Cannibalism is a widespread occurrence in catfish fingerlings (a 3-4 weeks old fry, 1-2 inches in length) and juveniles (an 8-week old fish) production. Catfish eat each other when they are left for an extended time in a pond without periodic sorting. Larger catfish will prey on smaller catfish when kept in the same area.

The situation of catfish eating each other may seem less important to you, but looking at it differently, if this creepy syndrome persists, it may result in a huge problem. You see, cannibalism among catfish is one major reason why most catfish farmers fail and quit. This bizarre trait of a catfish can also be experienced in the wild. In this article, I’ll be making you understand what really makes a catfish kill and eat another catfish.

Read more about the reasons catfish might change their color.

Why do Catfish Eat Each Other?

Just like some animals and insects out there, catfish are highly regarded as cannibals. In fact, they practice a high level of cannibalism. As strange and surprising as this is, it is true. No one would expect an innocent fish like the catfish to display such a level of cruelty. However, in the wild, the mantra is to kill or be killed. These animals don’t care about who they kill provided it satisfies them. Do you think animals in the wild have empathy? Well, a few do; however, the catfish is an exception.

Now that we are aware that a catfish actually commits this nefarious act, it’s best to consider something else like why they tend to eat their fellow brother and sister.

A catfish, as you probably know, has an extraordinary eating habit. They are also not picky eaters and will eat anything ranging from the bottom algae, other fish, and even rodents that accidentally find themselves in the water.

Cats eat each other when left for an extended period without proper sorting. In other words, catfish are likely to eat each other when not separated accordingly. Imagine keeping a 2 weeks’ old catfish in the same pond with a 10 weeks old catfish. The bigger catfish will eventually eat the smaller catfish when hungry. That is how things are done in the wild, the battle of the fittest. A catfish will also eat each other when they are not fed appropriately. This is one major factor that often results in cannibalism.

Learn more about the reasons catfish prefer living in holes.

When do Catfish Eat Other Cats?

It is safe to say that catfish are among the most brutal fishes on the planet because they are fond of eating each other. A cat has a weird eating habit, which makes it interested in stuff like soap, bread, and the likes. They are known to love other small fishes, which is proof that they are indeed not picky eaters. As we know that a catfish can eat another catfish, we need to know when this is likely to happen.

A catfish will eat another catfish when placed in the same location with catfish that are less mature than it. This is often rampant in ponds and has killed the dreams of several catfish farmers. A catfish will also feast on other catfish when they experience stress caused by environmental factors and overpopulation.

Cats are known to be very invasive. They are also good at showing a degree of aggression towards other fishes and their kind. A catfish doesn’t display this aggression to scare away fishes but to eat them, and this is one good reason why small fishes ought to be afraid of cats, regardless of race. As an angler who wishes to raise catfish, you will have to ensure that you separate smaller catfish from the larger one to prevent a widespread massacre.

Learn more about the reasons catfish burrow themselves in mud.

Why do Catfish Fight Each Other?

Catfish are quite aggressive, so you shouldn’t be surprised to know that they fight each other. A catfish capable of putting up a fight with an angler when hooked has what it takes to take on any fish, even it is kind. However, the crux of this topic is not to find out if catfish fight each other, but to find out why they fight each other.

Like other fishes out there, catfish fight each other for three major reasons: food, territory, and mate. A catfish will also fight another catfish for a group position, which is why you sometimes find catfish chasing each other. Cats are known to be aggressive and would not hesitate to lash out when provoked.

If a catfish can eat another catfish, then it should definitely be able to fight with its kind. Animal fighting with each other is a common occurrence. Sometimes, the fight isn’t always serious, while other times, they are, and some lead to one of the participants’ death. In the case of a catfish, the purpose of a brawl is not to pat each other on the head but to set boundaries and take what they believe is rightfully theirs. It is possible to witness a catfish fight when you place several male catfish in a pond filled with just one female.

Learn more about the reasons catfish have whiskers.


Knowing why cats eat each other can be beneficial to anglers who intends to dive into the catfish farm business. Catfish of the same size in a pond will certainly not eat each other. It’s not possible. However, placing a 15 weeks old catfish among a catfish of juts 8 weeks could be catastrophic for the little catfish and your catfish farm in general. As an angler who catches cats for eating purposes, this information can also be beneficial to you.

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