9 Tips for Catching Blue Catfish in Texas

By Debbie Hanson

Feb 19, 2016

Blue catfish can be caught year-round in the state of Texas, but the month of February and the first few weeks of March can be one of the best times to target large fish.

Blue catfish can be caught year-round in the state of Texas, but the month of February and the first few weeks of March can be one of the best times to target large fish. During this time of year, when the water temperatures are cooler, blue catfish are often found congregating in deep holes.

If you are planning to go on a Texas fishing trip, read these tips and increase your chances of catching a big blue catfish.

1. Focus on fishing Texas waterways 

Focus on fishing TX waterways that have a high population of threadfin or gizzard shad. Since these baitfish are popular prey for blue catfish. A few examples of these types of waterways include Lake Texoma, Lake Fork, and the Trinity River. Some of the best spots to catch blue catfish in Texas are also likely to be featured in the America’s Top Places to Fish and Boat. They might end up on the new list of the Top 100 places to go fishing and boating with your family.

2. Find a spot where there is some type 

Find a spot where there is some types of structure that is adjacent to a channel of deep water. Blue catfish are often found in holes or transition zones between shallow and deeper water.

3. Look for schools of shad

When blue catfish are actively feeding, they will position themselves underneath schools of baitfish during the cooler months. According to user data provided by our friends at FishBrain, natural bait is the number one type of bait used when targeting blue catfish in Texas.

4. Use a heavy fishing rod and a conventional reel 

Use a heavy 7 to 8-foot fishing rod and a conventional reel that has plenty of line capacity. Blue catfish are known to be fighters and can take out plenty of line. Monofilament line will work best -- you may want to go up to 30 lb test so that you are prepared if you get a bite from a big one.

5. You can try using hooks that range different sizes 

You can try using hooks that range in sizes from 3/0 to 9/0. Depending on the size of the baits. With bigger baits, use larger hooks.

6. Check to make sure that your hooks are sharp

Since the mouth of a catfish is made of thick cartilage, it's important that your hooks are sharp enough in order to get a good hook set. Be extra cautious when handling sharpened hooks.

7. If fishing with kids, use a variety of bait sizes

While you may be hoping for a large fish, it's a good idea to rig some small baits on a lighter rod to encourage consistent action. More action, even from smaller fish, will help keep the kids entertained.

8. If you are targeting blue catfish try bottom fishing

If youare targeting blue catfish for the first time, your best bet is to try bottom fishing. FishBrain user data suggests that bottom fishing is one of the top fishing methods for blue catfish. Although, you might be surprised to learn that blue catfish can even be caught on a fly rod, so don't be afraid to try new techniques.

9. You can fish for blue catfish from the shore

You can fish for blue ctafosh from shore or from a boat and have plenty of success in either situation.

Before you pack up your tackle and gear, don't forget to check the Texas fishing regulations and make sure that you have a valid fishing license. I have no doubt, that if you apply a few of the above tips, you'll have a "purr-fectly" good time catching blue catfish in Texas.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.