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The Best Time of Day to Catch Catfish (Tips and Techniques)

best time of day to catch catfish

If you’re like me, you’ve probably always heard that the best time to go catfishing is at night. But is that necessarily true? What if you can’t sneak away for some night time catfishing? Can you catch them during the day?

If so, what is the best time of day to catch catfish? After doing a little of my own hands on research, along with a few experiments, here’s what I discovered.

The Best Time of Day to Catch Catfish

While you’ll probably find that catfish will bite at all times during the day, you’ll almost always find that you have the best luck during the hours of just before sunset all the way through the late morning hours. Once the bite starts after sunset, you’ll typically find that the bite remains pretty good all night clear until the next morning.

Why does this seem to be the case? Why are catfish biting during this time of day? The cooler temperatures during the night seem to cause the fish to be much more aggressive and willing to strike. However, with that said, if you have enough patience, you can still catch plenty of catfish during the day.

What If You Can’t Fish At Night?

If you’re unable to get to the lake during the evening, night or early morning hours, you still have a chance to hook into some catfish. It might require just a little more patience than at night, but you’ll still find them.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when fishing for catfish during the day.

Tips For Catching Catfish During The Day

Most anglers will agree that overall, the nighttime hours are the best for targeting these whiskery bottom feeders, but the bite can sometimes be just as good (if not better) during the day!

Fish Cool Water Periods

This is especially true if you happen to be fishing during cool water periods such as after a good rain, or during the cooler months!

Fish The Pre-Spawn

Another time that you might want to try your luck during the day is during the pre-spawn.

In most parts of the country, catfish start their spawning season in the spring. It’s during this time, catfish seem to be much more aggressive and will be more likely to feed during daytime hours.

Outside of these two events, if you plan on fishing for catfish during the day, you’re probably going to want to try and do it from a boat if you have access to one in order to increase your odds of getting into the cats.

Post-Spawn and Hot Days

Once the summer hits, most catfish will fall into their normal patterns. This means that during the hot summer days, they will likely be hunkering down in holes that contain structure, deep-water channels, and drop-offs in order to get away from the warmer water temps.

While you can sometimes access these areas from the bank, you will often times need a boat.

However, you can catch catfish in any part of a lake, creek, pond or canal! You’re just likely to have more success if you can get to where they are likely holed up.

Read More: How To Catch Catfish In A Lake From The Bank

Fishing Shaded Areas With Structures

Another popular spot for catching catfish during the day is around bridges and piers. The reason these make good spots for finding catfish is because of the shade and shelter that they provide. During the daytime hours when the sun is up and things start to warm up, the catfish will hide underneath or behind underwater structures.

If it’s a river you’re fishing in, the footing of a bridge is a great spot to target, as they cause a disruption in the flow of the water and provide shade.If you can find one that you can access by foot, you’re good to go!

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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