Top Tips for Catching Catfish


I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t fish freshwater too much. I grew up fishing the salt, so it’s what I’m comfortable with and what I will pick given the choice. There are times, though, when I can’t always get on the ocean or even to the beach for a surf session. I store away articles like this one for just those times.

In this piece, professional catfish angler John Jamison reveals his top secrets for consistently catching the whisker fish.

jamison_catIn recent years, news has travelled north and south that dips can be among the most alluring offerings for 1- to 5-pound channel and blue cats, perhaps the best bait of all time for catching a serious pile of catfish. Gradually, old-school dips such as Sonny’s Super Sticky have begun to give way to several gnarly new concoctions. Bootleg #131, a particularly potent blend brewed by Rippin Lips, has rapidly risen to the top among modern dipbait practitioners.

Jamison, who’s used dips to tackle big blue catfish in tournaments, and to catch serious strings of eater-sized cats, recently switched from Super Sticky to Bootleg, having experienced exceptional results. “I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it,” he claims, “because, well, the brewmasters won’t tell me. And truthfully, it’s probably better that we don’t have the ingredient list. All I know is, the stuff is nearly intoxicating, and catfish seem to gobble up jars of it, no matter where I fish

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Photos: Fish and Boat (top), Outdoors Unlimited (above)

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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.