Catfishing Around Knotts Island





Channel catfish feed mostly at night.


The white catfish is sometimes mistaken for the channel catfish. They feed more during the daytime than other catfish.



Catching catfish around Knotts Island is fairly easy sport. Anyone can do it without any special skills or fancy fishing gear.



Rod and Reel  All you need is a simple combo set from the department store or the bargain rack of the tackle shop. Even Knotts Island Market sells a decent fishing rod set.

This is as much rod and reel as you need to get started.

Bait  Catfish are bottom feeders but that isn't to say that they are strictly scavengers. They will take aything offered to them including live baits like minnows.  Start with cut up squid. It is a little smelly and can be "bulked up" on the hook as a sizable offering. Cut bait, liver, store-bought stink baits, and even hot dogs will attract the attention of browsing catfish.

Water  Catfish like deeper water than the other fish around the island. They can be found anywhere but the best place to find them is in the canals, under the bridge, and in the many underwater holes.  Holes aren't hard to find.  During windy days when the water is shallow, the holes are the last place with any water.  Also, if egrets and herons are walking in it, the water may not be deep enough for you catfish.

Technique  Drop your line into the hole you found, over the edge of the bridge, or with a small cast, get it over to a bank or overhang. Then wait. Catfish will take the bait and move along. Occasionally, they'll nibble like a panfish, but most times, you'll feel like you've gotten snagged in something. They fight with a lot of weight instead of running of to one side or the other.


Rig  Here is a diagram of a simple drop rig that anyone can tie.  Start with a hook that is as round as the tip of your pinky finger. 2 ounces of weight is the very most you'll need. These hooks are tied close- use snelled hooks to keep it them away from the line. The important part of any rig you use is to keep the bait near the bottom.



This is a good size cat for light tackle.
You can have a lot of fun catching these
all day.


If you have any questions about fishing on the island, drop us an e-mail. We'll try to find you an answer or some advice.



When you're ready for the big guys, you'll need to step up the size of your rod and tackle. Again, inexpensive gear will do the trick.

This one was caught during the annual catfish rodeo held at Pearl's Bay-Villa every May. If you really want to see some big cats and get some first hand advice, attend this event.



Get information about the fishing regulations and licensing.

Please visit the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.