Attracting catfish in a pond may be a little different than say river fishing, but it’s the same principle, figure out what they like to eat in their specific environment. In my area, I have the luxury of pond fishing in several types of ponds. Many farmers in the area have farm ponds stocked with channel catfish and my overall experience is that it’s easier to catch them from a pond than a lake. That’s probably because you can locate fish in a smaller body of water than that of a multi-acre lake.
What is the best bait to attract catfish in a pond?
Chicken livers have been the go-to bait for me when catfishing in a pond. I’ve found that the blood scent can spread across the small body of water and give you a better chance of the catfish being able to smell the livers. Catfish can smell food from far away.
My second best bait for attracting catfish in a pond is cheap hot dogs. I have better luck using hot dogs in a pond more than lakes or in moving water because you don’t have to cast very far when using hot dog bait in a pond. The biggest complaint catfish anglers have about hot dog bait is that it’s hard to keep them on the hook when trying to cast a long distance, but you don’t have to throw the bait 50 yards when fishing in a pond.
I’ve also found that using food that they’re used to eating can be very effective for catching channel catfish in a pond. Things like grasshoppers and other insects that are native to their water can work well to attract the catfish. I have better luck fishing a couple of feet from the top when using insects and on the bottom when using chicken livers. Hot dogs work for topwater fishing or the bottom.
Finding the catfish in a pond
Locating the catfish is the pond is the first task to land some big ones. Walk around the pond and observe air bubbles and watch for the catfish jumping out of the water. Once you’ve located them start using bait that they’re used to eating. If the fish are hanging around on top of the water, use a bobber and circle hook with the native bait. If that doesn’t work, go to the chicken livers
Best tackle for catching catfish in a pond
Whatever you do, don’t approach pond fishing like you would river fishing. You don’t need heavy egg sinkers and huge circle hooks or 50 lb. braid. Most channel cats in ponds don’t require heavy gear. You can get away with a couple of split shots, floats and 8 lb. mono. Catfish don’t grow very big in ponds that aren’t very big.
After you fish the pond a few times, you’ll find out the best ways to catch the catfish. A few fishing trips will tell you where they’re at and what they like to eat. Once you figure it out, you can catch fish at will as long as the pond is stocked.