Hand fishing for catfish (how to)

United States
January 27, 2007 9:26am CST
Does anybody have any good ideas or experiances hand fishing for catfish? I have been wanting to try it since my state has recently opened a season for it. Let me know anything you can about handfishing or tell what you have caught.
4 responses
• United States
1 Feb 07
forget the beaver how bout that snapping turtle!!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
I wouldnt want to get bitten by a Snapping turtle either. I think it would be really exciting to feel around and not know what your feeling at first. Im sure it would make your imagination run wild for a sec when you first feel something! There wouldnt be very many dull moments unless you just never found anything at all.
@Eisenherz (2912)
• Portugal
4 Feb 07
Turtles could work, they're not that harmful :)
@bilook1 (152)
• United States
1 Feb 07
It is easy put on your waders, lose your mind, and find a hole in the bank insert hand if its not a beaver (thank God) fish bites and he is yours. I am sorry but I'm a ex bull rider I am not afraid of most anything but you are a tougher man than me to fish this way but I have seen a lot of folks who do you can also put a barrel in the water and they will use it.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
Dont get me wrong, handfishing scares the c rap outta me. I want to find out everything I can before I try it myself. My relatives have handfished as a team and one person would stand on the bank and hold a rope tied to the person handfishing. This way he could swim down in deeper water and feel around and if he paniced and tugged the rope the other would get him out quickly. Also, if he did what he wanted and found a big catfish and got his hand through its mouth and out its gill, then he had the task of getting to the surface FAST. thats where the second guy with the rope came in. I dont want to convey that I think its easy or that Im not afraid of it but I really want to experiance it now that its coming back to the fishing regulation books. Thanks for the comment!
@Eisenherz (2912)
• Portugal
29 Jan 07
Handlining is one of the oldest forms of fishing and is still common. The method consists of a single fishing line with a weight and one or more lure-like hooks are attached. The line is jigged or moved up and down in a series of short movements, most often close to the sea floor. The motion attracts the fish, which are normally caught while trying to eat the lure but also as they move close to jigged the lure. The line is then hauled onboard and the fish removed. Handlining are most often used to catch groundfish and squid but also other species are sometimes caught, including pelagic species. Tried that?
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
Thats a interesting method to fish but I am talking about handfishing not handlining. Its a real method believe me. I have relatives that grew up handfishing and explained it to me a long time ago when I was too young to try it myself and occassionally I meet someone that still handfishes today. But it is a fairly dangerous way to fish because you have to get in the water and feel for the fish with your hands and since the fish are spawning at the time they are very protective of their eggs and they dont swim away. There are several reasons why it is dangerous, First the catfish can be very large and aggressive and they bite at anything that comes close to their eggs. Second, If a really big aggressive catfish that wants to bite your hand isn't bad enough, sometimes you find something other than that in the deep watery holes your feeling through. Sometimes its a snake, either a common water snake or maybe a water Moccasin, or a beaver. I have been told that a beaver can be pretty bad news when your in their territory. Please, if somebody has any experiance with handfishing, let me know some of the do's and dont's, and where and how. :)
• United States
17 Mar 07
You want to know some stuff about handfishing well here you go. These tips are from the old timers that talked to me when I was growing up and helping on a farm. They say that after a while you get a feel for what holes are beaver/turtle/catfish and even what kind of catfish. They could not really explain what to feel for becasue they said that you just know by how the mud feels on the outside of the hole. They also say that you can get metal lined gloves if you are worried about lossing a finger/hand. If you feel something bit the glove that is not a fish well you pull your hand out of the glove. Sure you might lose the glove but hay look at that you have all your fingers. Another thing that they said was what ever you do after you have your arm/hand inside the catfish's mouth do not I repeat DO NOT just pull backwards, esp. if you do not have a glove on. This is because the sandpaper like small gripping teeth part of the lips will and can actually pull off a layer of skin. You stick you arm/hand into there mouth wait for them to bite down "do not pull back" and you then grab onto there gills "if you are using your right arm then you grab onto there right gills and vis versa for left arm" This will help the oxygen intake of the catfish to be cut in half which will help you where the catfish out. After you have a good hold on the gills put you oposing arm/hand under the catfish to help you control the fish and lift the catfish up and out of the hole. Please note that you do not want to lift the catfish completely out of the water untill you are right by the boat and/or by a bank that you can easily got onto. This is because the catfish will be lighter in the water and equally important the catfish should be calmer. Any more questions please post comment after mine. Hope this helps