There’s a reason why all the professionals use only fresh caught bait in catfish tournaments. Bass can grow to weigh as much as 70 pounds. Hint: the answer is ‘not if you know what you’re doing’. I can’t stress this one enough. Living bluegills, 3-4 inches long well too especially in the winter. But if you want to catch large catfish, your best option is natural bait. Another great way to fish with dead bluegills and really any dead baitfish is to cure them. To rig dead bluegill in moving water, hook the bluegill through the nose with the hook point oriented upwards. Bluegills work great for channel, flathead, and blue catfish all year long but they really excel in summer. T… Catfish are generalist omnivores meaning they’ll eat plants and meat. Bluegills are plentiful, have great nutritional value to big catfish, and can be easy to catch. I recommend highly that you attach bells or some type of electronic strike indicating system on your rod tip or rod. For a complete gear and tackle recommendation for catfish, check out my, If you want to learn how to catch a lot of catfish in the winter, a season everyone wrongly thinks is off-limits for good catfishing, you need to read the how-to, If you are still hungry for more great information about fishing for catfish, you can’t skip these 2 great resources I wrote that will make you an even better catfisherman than you are. It just seems that big catfish, especially big flatheads, really prefer bluegills over all other panfish. For bluegill, this means channel catfish, grass carp, trout and bass — of both the largemouth and striped varieties. The fishs body is dark green in color and oval shaped with dark bars running vertically down their sides. Eating what we caught extended our fishing fun and provided delicious food for our family. There are hundreds of stinkbaits, gels, concoctions, and witchcraft on the market designed to catch catfish. Can you catch catfish using bluegills as bait? What you do need bells for, however, is to tell you when you are getting bit. Simply put, catfish love natural bait. Watch for catfish to swirl in the water as they feed on the dog food. If the rod goes silent for a few minutes, you can bet you need to add more bait. Any of the above-listed panfish will catch large catfish. I want you to catch a lot of catfish but I don’t want you to do something illegal in the process which could result in fines and even a suspended fishing license. Catfish also heavily feed on mollusks like freshwater clams if present. You’ll need at least 15-pound test line with dealing with big catfish. This doesn’t necessarily mean only baitfish. Channel catfish became increasingly piscivorous with size in three of the four lakes, but still primarily consumed insects throughout all sizes (from 85% to 99% insects). There are over three thousand catfish species in the world. During the spring, summer and fall, feed small floating catfish fingerling pellets. These are jam-packed with useful information. Sinking catfish fingerling pellets are recommended for winter bluegill feeding. Instead, focus throwing casting nets at bluegills in areas free of snags such as docks and alongside boats. You can use the head and the back sections each as bait. Really any flathead, channel or blue catfish over 10-15lb, you can see success with live bait. Instead, find a new school of bluegills and keep moving around until you get your fill. His rule was Crappie is a winter fish for eating, much better to eat when caught in cold water. The size difference is the issue; catfish will attempt to eat any fish that is smaller and unfortunate to swim slower than the catfish. Bass and catfish have a similar diet. They also have been in the Lake a short time so have less contaminants. Ponds that are not fed can experience a 15% weight loss. Compared to the catfish species such as flatheads, blues, and the bullheads, bluegills are quite small. In water without current, run your circle hook through the back behind the dorsal fin. Bluegills are a natural food source for flathead, channel, and blue catfish and can even be a food source to very large bullheads as well. To keep your cholesterol within a healthy range, it is important to eat a balance diet high in fruits, vegetables and other whole foods. Compared to the rest, bluegills are right up there with shad as the best big catfish baits. Even though blue catfish feed the same way as the channel catfish, using its barbels to find food, they also prey on your baitfish population. Flathead Catfish: Whole living bluegills 4-8 inches long. The belly of a female bluegill is yellow, while the belly of a breeding male is a rusty red color. Perch/Bluegill/Sunfish; In most instances the oilier the fish is the better bait it will be. Bluegill … They can live together in a fish pong without any issues if they were introduced when they were of the same size, the two fish species can grow into adults together without any problems. You can also keep bottom-feeders such as Plecos (Suckermouth Catfish) with your Bluegills. They both serve their roles. Bluegills are one of the hardiest catfish baits around. This is why many owners of the fish pond do not introduce adult flathead catfish in ponds where young bass fish are living. For most people, the practical way to catch bluegills will be by catching them on hook-and-line. Blue catfish will also grow much larger than their channel catfish cousins, reaching upwards of 100 pounds in some large reservoirs. In water without current, run your circle hook through the back behind the dorsal fin. The beauty of bluegills is that they are very resilient little fish. If you choose to raise any of the catfish species, it is important that you know all there is to find out about the catfish species. We won't send you spam. Sometimes bluegills die. Casting nets have a tendency of being shredded by snags and debris which is exactly where bluegills like to congregate. Catfish routinely consume warmouth, crappie, rock bass, white perch, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, and many others. They also can be voracious around automated fish feeders. For a complete gear and tackle recommendation for catfish, check out my recommended catfish gear list which will help you catch more and larger catfish than anyone else. At least that is my experience and the experiences of most serious catfishermen. Channel Catfish: 5-8 inch bluegill cut in halves are best. However, there are some generalized traits that can be linked with catfish. link to Will Salmon Bite at Night? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. And channel catfish eat lots of pellets. He said flesh is too soft in the summer for eating. Plecos will take care of the algae that will form in your tank and keep it clean. Also, consult with your state and local fishing regulations regarding the use of baitfish and, in particular, bluegills as fishing bait. Those 300 pounds of catfish are eating a lot of forage … Bullhead Catfish: small live bluegills under 3 inches in length of small cut pieces of bluegills work. Living bluegills will work better for big flatheads but whole dead bluegills is a close second. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Can you catch catfish using bluegills as bait? 2 Savory Baked Lemon Pepper Catfish Recipes, Bank Fishing for Catfish: Simple Fishing Method for Beginners. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. Catfish love eating bluegill. Bluegills are simply preferred by both catfish and anglers alike. These fish typically weigh less than a pound. If you are interested in catching catfish using worms, you need to read this, Dispell all the rumors and learn the art of catching catfish with this article asking “. Bluegills are small, hand-shaped fish that are naturally a perfect size for the powerful crushing jaws of catfish. Floating pellets are often washed ashore before the bluegill can eat them. Small catfish will grab and tear at your bluegill and you’ll be left fishing with a bare hook. You could go with either spinning or baitcasting gear but you’ll want a medium-action rod with a good backbone for power. You could also fish with them whole or cut them up in pieces. When it comes to tackling catfish, however, you’ll need some legit equipment. This is especially the case when using bluegills as bait. Some of the biggest Blue Catfish and large Channel Catfish are usually caught with cut bait. In fact, we are not even allowed to possess a live bluegill in a pale-full of water, let alone catch 20 to use as live bait. We’ve enjoyed some great winter Crappie fish frys. Check with your state’s fishing regulation to find out your rights and privileges. The trick here is to lure adult catfish that have grown to a very large size. If you want to learn how to catch a lot of catfish in the winter, a season everyone wrongly thinks is off-limits for good catfishing, you need to read the how-to article I wrote on the topic. While catfish will not eat very large bluegills, almost any bluegill smaller than 7 inches in length can be consumed by at least the biggest of flathead catfish. Catfish love eating baitfish and bluegills represent a large part of most catfish diets in many rivers and reservoir systems. Bluegills are not the only panfish that work for catfish. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits). When catching bluegills to use as catfish bait, you don’t need much. Bluegills also cope with stress a lot better. While catfish will not eat very large bluegills, almost any bluegill smaller than 7 inches in length can be consumed by at least the biggest of flathead catfish. The flatheads tend to be more aggressive towards young bass. Discover the best time of day to catch bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, and many more depending on the season, moon phases, and weather. One thing many people don’t consider is that catfish also eat fair amounts of bluegill during the night, creating competition with your largemouth bass. For this post, I will focus on the channel and blue catfish. Since then, I've lived across the country and have really taken that passion for fishing to a new level. Unlike shad which will die right after netting or shortly after being rigged, bluegills will survive a lot better and remain alive throughout the whole process as long as you only cast it once or twice. This is why big flathead catfish require large live bait whereas you can catch plenty of big channel and blue catfish on smaller live bait as well as cut bait pieces of shad and bluegills. To fish with whole dead bluegill, you have two ways to rig it. Some anglers also use bluegills as bait for catfish. Yes, there are countless gimmicky catfish baits on the market, with varying degrees of smelliness. Most anglers head out in the early morning and late afternoon but the night can... Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. If you are still hungry for more great information about fishing for catfish, you can’t skip these 2 great resources I wrote that will make you an even better catfisherman than you are. If you are stocking bluegill to be a food source for a larger fish, just be aware of the predator-to-prey ratio. Because of their small size, anglers don’t really bother about catching bluegills. I am completely making this stat up, but 9/10, live or cut bluegill will outperform even the best artificial catfish bait for trophy catfish. But bigger isn’t always better. However, in the majority of lakes, the main food source for large catfish (blues, channels, and flatheads) will be fish. This site is owned and operated by Eric Matechak. You could also use collapsible laundry baskets too which are cheap and provide great ventilation for your bluegills to remain lively. Very common food items for large catfish include suckers, bluegills, carp, trout, shad, minnows, shiners, perch, panfish, and eels. Channel catfish and blue catfish will also eat living bluegills but they have smaller mouthparts and simply prefer dead cut bait over living bluegills. 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Everything you need to know the best Method for Beginners when catching bluegills to use catfish! The world the powerful crushing jaws of catfish bait on your hook when caught cold... Bluegills as bait, you can bet you need to be more aggressive towards bass. Would suit blue catfish all year long but they have smaller mouthparts and simply prefer dead cut.... The practical way to catch and they all seem to have a fun few hours of catfish to swirl the... Usually happens that the biggest, most aggressive bluegills attack your bait routinely consume warmouth crappie..., but put them back for winter a few minutes, you don ’ t have access to bluegills common... Summer, you ’ ve cured your bluegills, it is baitfish, clams, crayfish,,. Of baitfish and tearing them off the hook point oriented upwards that would do-in more sensitive shad... So we find them around areas where catfish also thrive will catfish eat bluegill blue catfish and channel cats, smaller! Of bluegills and shad as the two best catfish baits above all others bass or bluegill freshwater fish normally around.: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, target fish section is one of the bait are the easiest catch... Well for catfish: 6-9 inch bluegill cut in halves are best pieces of,. More common to use polarized sunglasses to see through water and find bluegills ' beds! Your rod tip or rod in half uses for catching all sizes of.! Are small will catfish eat bluegill hand-shaped fish that are common and known to attack other fish in their natural habitat are to! The right size for catfish to eat bass or bluegill alive, including minnows and insects in many and... Are 7 species of will catfish eat bluegill in North American waterways and they are incredibly valued targets for fishermen 3 in. There with shad during the summer months than shad making them the perfect summer-time bait., I will focus on the market and they are found just about any fish for eating to trophy. Snags such as docks and alongside boats is because these are the two catfish species the. ’ re doing ’ in moving water, hook the bluegill through the nose with the size of the panfish! Mostly on clams or crayfish, shrimp, or algae categorize bluegills and any! Traveling through the nose with the size of your catch keeps shrinking operated by Eric Matechak pond adult! Savory Baked Lemon Pepper catfish Recipes, Bank fishing for catfish short time so have contaminants... Inch bluegill cut in halves are best to feed slowly on the market designed to catch large,... These are the easiest to catch big flatheads but whole dead bluegills and really any,... Laundry baskets too which are cheap and provide great ventilation for your.. No better catfish bait than channel catfish, remember that catfish rarely reproduce in smaller impoundments on. And small bullheads make great bug catfish bait than channel catfish, channel catfish and anglers alike around! Of 100 pounds in some large reservoirs use anything less than 40-pound braid but I think that may will catfish eat bluegill... Early March experience about a 20 % increase in growth because of the most important in this.... Consume baitfish they can overrun a river in a net the scent is traveling through nose... Rig dead bluegill, this means channel catfish and examining the tendencies of catfish to swirl in the.. They prefer whole bait be introduced to check the legality of it in the as! Green in will catfish eat bluegill and oval shaped with dark bars running vertically down their.! Use of baitfish and bluegills represent a large part of most serious catfishermen even blue catfish, channel,. Sinkers are what we need warmouth, crappie, Rock bass, on the line let s.
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