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Best Time of Day to Catch Catfish

Best Time Of Day To Catch Catfish

The best time of day for catching the fishes is also referred to as the “Prime Time,” which is used by anglers to have the highest success rate when it comes to catching the fishes. The “Prime Times” varies from season to season and also depends on the conditions of weather.

You might be wondering now, what actually is the best or prime time for catching the catfish? The best time when it comes to the season 3 catfishes is from before sunset hours to something like 2 hours after the sunrise; this here is for the summer season.

When it comes to the winter season, the time is changed from the late morning to right before sunset time.

Here, we will provide you with a much more knowledgeable article that deals with the time slots, and during these slots, how can you catch the fishes? Like the more abundant catfishes.

You will also get to know which type of bait is best and where the best spot on the water body is, to get the best results

Best Time of The Day for Catfish:

Before we get started, I would like to mention that fishing for the Catfishes is most successful during the nighttime. So, when we lower it down to proper timing, the best you can get is from the hour before sunset to nearly all night long until an hour after the sunrise.

This timing is not practically based on the experience on anchors, but also because of the nature of Catfishes; they like to come on the top layer on the water body when sunset is near, and then they start to follow the bluegill and shad into the shallow flats and bays.

Best Time for Channel Catfish:

They are available throughout the year. The most favorite time on the other hand is during the summer season ranging from pre-spawn until the temperature of water drops in the fall (early). Fall and the Spring are also favorable in catching the Channel Catfish.

Best Time for Blue Catfish:

They are easy to find throughout the year, just like the channel fish with an exception that they are hard to get in the spawn. The favorable amongst the time for anglers is Spring season which ranges from mid-march towards the mid of April.

For catching the monster Blue Catfishes, the best-known times are from Decembers and towards the March.

Best Time for Flathead:

The best time of the year to catch beautiful Flatheads is generally from September towards October. This is because of the reason that fishes start to become more dependent on feeding as they are getting ready for the coming of the winter season.

The march towards the May can also be referred to as a favorable time in catching the pre-spawn flatheads.

Bait Strategy for Catfishes:

Now, it comes to the catching of Catfishes, the best way or typically called the key in catching these fishes it to use the live or dead bait as much as possible.

Catfish Bait

The natural would be the bluegills, shad, perch, clams, or even carp. So, looking for something which is naturally favorite to the Catfishes would be perfect in luring them into biting the bait. After that, it all depends on you and your equipment.

So, what not to use? The answer to this question is that you shouldn’t face the stink baits because they are not good with fishing when it comes to the catfishes.

It is also essential that you get the bait that soaks for a longer time at night because catfishes are most available at near night time, so there are typically more chances for you at night time.

The time required for casting is typically 45 minutes; you can extend it up to 50 minutes or so. Nighttime catfishes are referred to as somewhat more forgiving (with the poor bait replacement) than the ones found in the day time.

Seasonal Considerations:

A specific time of the year doesn’t define that it is best for catching the catfish, rather it depends on the variables like the species you are targeting during your fishing trip.

We have a discussion about three types of catfishes in the article, like the flathead, blurs, and the channel catfishes, especially when your main goal is to aim towards the number of sizes.

So, the best time or rather the season depends mainly on the target species like smaller or bigger ones.

Here you have it, an easy to understand and follow seasonal consideration that represents the best time for fishing the Catfishes.

Spring Season:

This season is absolutely like the fall because it depends on the time of fishing. Specifically, in the case of Catfishes in the early stage of spring, when the ice melts and the final cold night is gone, they will behave similarly to the season of winter customs.

There are more chances of catching the Catfish in the middle part of the day according to the Spring season as compared to the time of night or the early morning.

Just as the temperature of water rises, the Catfishes become more frequent and more active. But as the season reaches its peak or end, the night time is best for the fishing. The time of sunset until the sunrise is known as the hottest time for anchors.

So, it is much easier for you to catch the catfish because they will come to your bait, as they are more aggressive. Hence, you can also find them, but at the depts of water when it comes to the middle of the day, the following will seasonal guide will allow you to catch catfish.

Summer Season:

As, we have talked about the Spring season and also acknowledged you about the hottest days, where you should go fishing at the night time. The summer season is the same as that because in the summer days it is much harder to find the catfishes on the water body.

Therefore they are readily available at night time for catching. It is the best time to catch the catfishes in the night to nearly 2 hours after the sun’s rise.

The reason for this timing is that the catfishes start emerging from the deep holes and then try to spend their whole day in. When the bluegills, shad, or perches appear on the shallow waters, they try to catch them, therefore, appearing on the shallow bays or flats.

Hence, the nighttime is best and proven most successful when you are fishing from the bank side.

The key here is to get the bait that soaks longer at the time of night because when you are catching them at that time, there are out there hunting for food. In case you are a person that fishes on the board, then the daytime is best for catching the catfishes because they are close together.

Fall Season:

The best bait known in catching Catfishes during the Fall season is Shad because Catfishes upon seeing these baits turn on the hunting mode. The early fall season, time ranging from the sunset to the sunrise, is best to catch the catfishes out there searching for some food.

This was early of the fall season, in the late fall, the water temperature becomes colder, and the real winter season feeling comes into play. When this time of season arrives in the day, you should go for the middle portion because it is the best to catch the catfish.

The bait you should look out for is, cut or live bait for these fish. Bluegills having smaller sizes are best for the mighty flatheads, following it, the cut shad for the blue, and also the channel cats.

Therefore, the early time of fall is referred to as the best season to start fishing for the car fishes.

Winter Season:

When the winter season arrives, the main aim of the catfish is to be as warm as possible this is because of the reason that during the cold waters, the catfishes swim towards the deep holes near the mouth of streams or the reservoirs. Therefore, it is essential to be knowledgeable about this season catfishing as much as possible.

Now comes the best time of this season to catch the catfish, it is probably around late in the morning through the near or rough sunset.

It is perhaps known to you now that fishing for the catfish during winter is not the best idea, and the results will be miserable because winter nights are too cold for the catfish, and they will turn down into the caves and deepest water points. When you find the Catfish having mud on their bellies, it would probably be because of this.

Another fantastic thing that can help you in catching the catfish in winter is that when there is snow or rain or the other events that can cause the temperature to rise degrees, the catfishes come on the surface of the water and start looking for food. Then you can easily catch them with their favorite bate.

Evening Vs. Morning Bite:

When it comes to the early morning, which typically caries colder temperate of water, it is best to use your skills in catching the catfish just like the other fishes like the bass, panfish, pike, and even trout.

The prey availability is much for you to find a decent amount of catfish at a place. Generally, the best time from two hours before the sunset to the 2 hours after the sunset is best known for finding and catching the catfish

Therefore, when comparing the evening with the morning, the later afternoon is considered much better. I would probably prefer to fish for the Hungry ones just after the time of sunset.

Night Time Vs. Day Time:

Generally, the night time behavior of catfishes is way different from the day time behavior. In the day time or specifically the warmer months of the season, catfishes be found at the cooler or much comfortable water body. If you can go further, they are much more located in holes deep down into the water.

In the deep waters, the bluegill and the shad are available for the catfish to feed on. Therefore, for you to lure them in. You need to bring them their favorite food, doing so will pack them inside, and they won’t be able to escape. During the day, they are tightly packed inside the smaller lake areas, so you can also catch a decent number of catfish.

The time is basically from the hour before sunset to the morning when the catfishes emerge from the deeper water holes and then move towards the shallower flats near the deeper holes.

They are basically out there hunting for the food they like, for example, shed and the bluegills who also come on the shallow waters at the night time. Therefore, catching catfish at night is way more accessible because they happen to find the bait you used primarily.

Research has also been made, which shows that Catfish are usually more active for a feed at night time as compared to the day time.

But for the comparison reasons, you can catch a lot more catfishes in the day time from the same location you are fishing because of the reason that they are packed inside the smaller deep holes. Hence, that is much harder to do so because the location is always harder to find.

Best Time for the Bank Fishing:

The time of sunset and leading towards midnight is best known when you are fishing from the shores. The assumption in between these is that your lake has a fair amount of gradual slope.

The best thing to do here is that you should focus more on the land around the lake called the bank. When you have more of the steeper banks or, the more prominent hills or even mountains on the side of the lake, then it is an indication that the deeper holes are nearer to the shore.

In these scenarios specifically, you can easily catch the catfish down deeper into the water holes against the walls. The fishes can be found stacked together tightly so you can easily cast on them and catch a decent amount of fishes from these holes.

We talked about the slopes, but when you have the flatter land around the lake, then nighttime is the best you can aim for. At that time, the catfish will move towards the flatter land near the bank, and the perfect timing is an hour before the time of sunset while staying there for the whole night.

The day on the lakes like these is typically bad to catch the catfishes because they are far away from the shore. It is also found from the research that younger catfishes are much in danger to come close to the shore because of the diurnal birds.

Slowest Time of the Day for the Catfish:

During the seasons like summer, fall, and spring, the slowest time of the day is usually mid of the day. In the winter season, the slowest time of day is night time.

During this time, the catfishes will feed all day while all the night during the warmer months like the summer season or near to it. They lurk down in the deep water during the middle time of the day.

They may still be feeding, but it is not essential that they are always active and hunting. During the day time, when you are fishing for them, you will have to move towards a different location for the purpose of finding them.

Then you will have to be careful about the bait because it should soak for about 30 minutes, and in case you don’t get any bites, changing the location is the best tactic.

Generally, along the steeper banks, you should look down for the deep pools, and preferably the best tactic is to choose ones with the sunken lay or timber. The bait you should focus on are bluegills, shad because you will also find them along with the catfish.

Does the Moon Phase Affect Catfish?

Here, the moon phases do affect the angling related to catfish, which is much different from the other fishes and their species. Specifically, the fishes like the bass and the pike are the ones that rely mainly on their vision to hunt.

That is why they seem to be performing on the nights that have a full moon, that can also quickly locate the food on the upper part of the water body.

The other thing is in reverse order to this; they don’t bit onto the hook due to the darkness at the night time and they can’t see anything. But when it comes to the catfish, they don’t see properly and are a lot slower on the darker nights with a full moon.

That is why catfish angling is much more successful on the nights involving darkness. That is why the Mon phases affect catfish differently as compared to the other fish species.

Conclusion: Best Time of Day to Catch Catfish

Well, we have provided you with some decent knowledge on which time is perfect for catching catfish. Actually, the time varies from seasons to season; that is why the best time for catching them would be late evening towards the whole night long, specifically, during the warmer months.

But during the colder months, catfish usually move towards the warmer conditions and are also most fond of it.

The night time bite is something that is easy to do but requires patience to catch a more significant number of catfishes. As compared to that, the day time doesn’t require much effort in finding a lot of them because they are together in smaller holes inside the water, still day time comes with location problems.

Therefore, natural bait is the perfect option with the catfish, while locating them is an essential part of whole fishing. So, being at the right place at precisely the right time is something that can make up your day of fishing. Getting the first part right can allow you to make the whole process easier.


What is the proper time to go fishing for some Flatheads?


The most appropriate time to get some flatheads is during the day, which is from nearly two to three days of lead towards the full moon and then again, the following two to three days after it. The tide time also matters; for that reason, the perfect time would be the high time from 7 to 9 am. After the top of the tide, fishes are known to be most active.

What is the proper time to go fishing for some Blues?

The most appropriate time for catching bluegills is the nearly two-and-a-half-hour window, ranging from 4:30 to 7 pm, which slows down an hour near the sunset. These rules are not proper and can vary according to conditions, but still, it is excellent for having a higher success rate in fishing.

Which time is actually best known in catching the catfish?

The best time for catching the catfish depends on the night and the day. At night time, they are usually found in shallow water because they move shallow in water, but during the day time, they are found in the deeper water because they are still somehow active during the day time.

What would be the best bait available for night catfishing?

The best bait would be nightcrawlers because they are known as the best bait for luring catfishes. They are small, natural, and are favorite to catfishes. The general rule anglers apply is that the more significant is the nightcrawler, the better bait it is.

What temperature is best known for catfish biting?

According to the specialists, catfishes start to feed less when the water's temperature reaches 50-degree Fahrenheit. The active feeding still doesn’t begin even towards the 60-degree Fahrenheit limit. But the best range known for catfish biting is around 55-degree Fahrenheit towards the 60-degree Fahrenheit.

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