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Catfish are a diverse group of fish. There are nearly 3,000 different species of catfish placed in about 36 families. These fish are classified into seven groups. Plus, they are abundant. You can easily catch them from lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.

Where does catfishing come from? The “Catfishing” word came from a documentary named “Catchfishing,” directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman in 2010. However, anglers use “Catfishing” word when catching various catfish species.

Where Does Catfishing Come From?

In 2010, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, directors of “Catfish,” used “Catchfishing” in their documentary.

The documentary portrays the story of Nev Schulman. He develops a romantic relationship with a woman named Megan on Facebook, only to discover that she has been using a fake identity.

At first, he believed he was talking to a woman, but it was later discovered that the person behind the profile was actually a middle-aged woman named Angela.

She had used someone else’s pictures and information to create the fake profile.

Angela explains a story in the documentary. The term “catfish” originates from a story told by Angela.

In the story, she explains how live cod transported from Asia to the United States became lethargic and had mushy, tasteless flesh.

Some fishermen added catfish to the tanks to prevent the cod from becoming inactive. The catfish would pursue the cod and keep them in motion to produce more lively and fresh meat.

Angela used the metaphor to explain how she had used a fake identity to keep herself active and entertained.

Since the documentary’s release, the term “catfishing” has become widely used to describe the act of pretending to be someone else online to deceive another person.

Where Does Catfishing Come From

What Does “Catfishing” Mean In Fishing Term? 

A “catfish” is a type of fish that belongs to either the Siluriformes or Nematognathi order of ray-finned fishes.

The common name of catfish is derived from their barbels. The barbels of catfish look like the whiskers of a typical domestic cat.

In fishing, “catfishing” refers to the act of angling for catfish, a type of freshwater fish found in many parts of the world.

Simply put, catfishing means targeting a particular type of catfish. It can also refer to the practice of using a specific kind of bait or lures to catch catfish, like stink bait or chicken liver.

Instead of always using fishing gear, anglers sometimes use their direct hand for catfishing.

It is often referred to as noodling, which involves snatching the unaware or unready slow-moving fish directly out of the water.

Fishermen sometimes use nets or traps to catch catfish. The main reason behind their increased popularity is the availability of acquiring them in so many ways. 

When Did Catfishing Become A Thing?

The practice of catfishing as a method of fishing has been around for a long time

After all, catfish are a popular game fish in many parts of the world, especially in North America, Europe, and Asia.

However, the exact origins of catfishing as a term in the context of fishing are unclear

 But, the term has likely been used for many years to describe the practice of angling for catfish using certain types of bait or lures.

Top Catfishing Tips For Any Anglers

Utilizing sophisticated tactics and tips based on various fishing conditions will increase your chance of catching catfish. Also, you will need catfishing rods, reels, and hooks.

The following are the pro tips for catching catfish in different water conditions.

01. Have A Proper Idea About The Water

Are you catfishing for the first time in a particular spot?

If so, having a good idea about the water depth and fish species is crucial.

You can talk with other anglers to learn various important things.

They will tell you which thing you should be more aware of and the best fishing technique.

02. Go Through The Map

If you are an expert in reading the map, don’t forget to go through the map of your particular fishing location.

It will give a good idea of various aspects of the fishing water, such as access points, depth contours, structures, channels, etc.

It will show you key fishing areas and save you valuable time. You are more likely to catch catfish easily.

03. Don’t Overlook The Weather And Water Conditions

Catfish tend to be more active during overcast days and after a rainstorm when the water moves faster.

Also, look for areas where the water is murky, as catfish tend to prefer these areas.

04. Develop A Sophisticated Plan

A successful fisherman doesn’t just randomly visit any fishing spot. He creates a plan to increase the chance of catching fish.

For example, catfish live in different locations in a body of water, such as deep holes, under logs or brush, etc.

Besides, catfish have a strong sense of smell and taste. Choosing the right bait or lure is important to entice them quickly.

In addition, you don’t want to overlook the best time and ideal fishing gear for catching catfish.

05. Catfishing At Night

Nighttime is better for catfishing than daytime as they are likely to feed aggressively in lowlight conditions.

Their shallow movements and minimal sweltering in lowlight conditions make them easier to catch.

One of the most popular baitfish for catfish is shad. This type of baitfish is attracted to lights.

It is why many pro anglers prefer to catch catfish at night.

06. Use Several Fishing Lines

Several fishing lines can cover more area and increase your chances of catching fish.

Besides, it saves time as you can catch more fish at a time.

In addition, you can experiment with different types of bait and lures simultaneously.

It helps you determine the best lure or bait for a particular fish species.

Also, you can catch various fish species simultaneously without waiting for one after another.

07. Utilize Different Baits

Catfish are attracted to various types of baits.

To attract them, you can use chicken livers, dip bait, shad, and many other options.

However, it will vary based on fish species and other fishing conditions.

The following table shows different types of baits for various catfish species.

Type of CatfishBest Baits
Channel CatfishWorms, chicken liver, prepared baits, shrimp, stink baits
Blue CatfishCut bait (shad, herring, skipjack), live bait (bluegill, shad, perch), chicken liver
Flathead CatfishLive bait (shad, sunfish, suckers), cut bait (gizzard shad, skipjack), live crawfish, nightcrawlers
Bullhead CatfishNightcrawlers, worms, prepared baits, cut bait, chicken liver

08. Keep Your Bait Fresh

Fresh baits are more attractive to catfish. It increases the chances of catching fish.

The natural smell and texture entice them to bite the bait.

Besides, fresh baits are highly attractive to attract a variety of fish species.

Make sure to check your bait often and replace it when necessary.

09. Practice Catch And Release

Catfish can be slow-growing and long-lived.

Hence, it is important to practice catch and release to ensure their population remains healthy.

Avoid keeping any catfish that you don’t want to eat.

Make sure to release the unwanted catfish immediately to avoid harming them.

10. Be Patient

Fishing involves calmness, patience, and persistence. Not quitting in the middle of fishing is the key to success.

It is a good rule of thumb to wait patiently until something good happens.

You may have to wait for hours to catch a catfish finally.

Closing Thoughts

The thrill and the challenge involved in catfishing make catfish fun to catch among anglers. Large catfish can be as big as 100 pounds.

Their abundance in various lakes, rivers, and ponds attracts anglers to catch them. Besides, catfish are delicious to eat due to their tasty flavor. You can prepare them in a variety of ways.

Hopefully, you got the key term for “Where does catfishing come from?” Let us know which catfish you like and how you catch it easily.

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