Learn To Catch Catfish
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Expert advice, tips, tricks and how to information on fishing for catfish

Tarrant County Times Record

Thursday July 25th, 2002

Catfishing with a sensitive nose

By Chad D. Ferguson

Chumming is not a miracle way to produce catfish, but it will concentrate them in an area to decrease the amount of water that you have to cover to bring home a stringer of fish.

Soured grain (milo, corn or wheat) is the best way to chum for catfish, but it does take somewhat of a strong stomach to handle this stuff. Keeping it around your home is not an option for some people due to the smell involved (my 50 plus gallons of soured grain in the backyard becomes a hot topic with both my wife, and my neighbors each summer as the weather warms, the smell gets worse).

There are other options available if you choose not to use the grain. They are clean, easy to handle, readily available, and there are no foul smells involved. The best option I have found in the smell free category is Range Cubes.

Using the methods other than soured grain is most effective if you can throw some cubes in the area where you intend to fish the night before you are going to fish, but it will work using them 30 minutes to an hour or so before you fish.

Range Cubes are a substitute cattle feed that is readily available at any feed store. They are made of cottonseed meal, and various other grains that are compressed together into a large pellet. The pellet is typically about 2-3 inches long and about inch in diameter. They can be purchased in 50-pound bags and the cost typically is less than $5 a bag. The only thing to be aware of is to make sure you ask for a 20% range cube, as the others will dissolve too quickly in the water.

To chum with range cubes, you have a couple of options.

The first is to simply pick your fishing area and throw out 3 or 4 handfuls of cubes across the area that you intend to fish. You should broadcast them around the water and avoid just dropping them in a big pile in the water. As the water penetrates the cubes, they will begin to break down and the smell will travel, drawing the catfish into the area.

Once you have thrown your cubes in the water you should give them thirty minutes or so to work before you begin fishing the area. You can also repeat the process in your fishing area every few hours, or when the fishing slows down.

The second option is to take the range cubes and place them in a large burlap sack (tow sack) and sink the bag into the area you intend to fish. You should always place a rope on the bag with a float (a plastic 2 liter soda bottle is easiest) so you can get the bag out of the water when you are finished fishing.

Sinking the cubes in a sack will help keep the scent and the food source in the area for an extended period of time, and help prolong your fishing action. In addition, thousand of tiny particles of the cubes will seep through the sack, attracting baitfish, and increasing your fishing odds even more.

For more information, and to get fishing reports, visit the Texas Catfishin' Resource at www.whiskerkitty.com.

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