What Are the Best Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing – 5 Rigs to Try

Catfish are one of the most interesting fish for anglers to catch. Many anglers target them at riverbanks, where they’re available in large sizes and quantities. If you want to step up your fishing game and catch more catfish, you will definitely need the right type of rig.

What Are the Best Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing? The best catfish rigs for bank fishing include rod and reel rigs, jugs, trotlines, 3-way rigs, and Carolina rigs. Some of the biggest catfish come from riverbanks, so many professional anglers recommend these rigs to make fishing for catfish by riverbanks easier and more successful.

Keep reading to learn more about the many types of rigs that can be used when fishing at riverbanks.

The Best Rigs for Bank Fishing

A fishing rig is a combination of snaps, swivels, hooks, and sinkers that you can add to the end of your fishing line to help you catch fish.

They also include corks, bobbers, and sometimes even a second hook.

Many professional anglers recommend certain types of rigs that can ease your fishing experience by riverbanks. So, here are the best rigs for bank fishing:

Live Lining Rig

With this rig, you should use live bait and keep it at the bottom of the river. This type of rig can get through holes and rocks where fish could be hiding.

The type of bait you use should depend on the type of fish you are trying to catch. This is one of many anglers’ favorite types of rigs.

Drift Fishing Rig

This type of rig, in particular, can get you a wide variety of fish because it can lead you to fish in many different habitats.

You can use this rig while you are on a boat or during currents or wind movements. You can change how deep you drift with this rig using your float and bobber.

A drift rig can be used at any time of day and year. It is recommended to use lures, jigs, and especially artificial flies while using this rig. However, anglers swear by using natural baits since they have brought the best results with drift rigs. They highly recommend this rig.

Still Fishing Rig

Still fishing rigs are great for beginner anglers because they are easy to use and they are extremely versatile. You can use this rig when fishing by riverbanks, from a bridge, or an anchored boat. Still fishing can be done all year round and at almost any time of the day.

Sliding Sinker Rig

For anglers who prefer to drift fish, a sliding sinker rig will work great for them. This type of rig sits at the bottom of the river with the bait presented right above it.

That way, fish can’t feel the pressure of the line or the weight of it. This works especially well for catching bass.

Sliding sinker rigs are also extremely versatile and can be used from riverbanks and while drifting in a boat. You can catch almost any type of fish by riverbanks using this type of rig. Pairing it with the right type of bait is key for this technique to be successful.

Flat Float Rig

This rig involves presenting the bait to the fish at the very bottom of the river. The line is typically long; it can be as long as 24 inches depending on the depth of the water. You then let the bait lay on the riverbed.

To set this up, you can use a large dropper by putting it under your Olivette, a weighted fishing line, and put a plummet on your shot. You then shoot this up into the water till it reaches the bottom but have a long bit of your line below it, and you can add a few small shots to the line.

This type of rig has been known to catch many fish, such as eels, chub, perch, and barbel. There are different sizes of float rigs.

They can range from 2g to 30g. Knowing which size to use for the type of fish you are trying to catch can be very handy when using this method.

Professional anglers will advise you to use a silicone tube when fixing flat floats on a line. This can allow you to change the pattern of your flat float as quickly as possible to make fishing by riverbanks more efficient. 

They recommend you pair that up with a lock and slide Olivette, so you can change the weight easily. This technique can be very easy to set up and will guarantee you many catches, specifically by riverbanks.

Running Rig

This rig is another angler favorite. It is when your sinker runs up and down your line, followed by a swivel, then your leader and your hook come next.

It is often used with shallow water and a little bit of current, which is great for some riverbanks.

Anglers use this when they fish on shallow surfaces rather than using a stick float. You have to adjust the depth of your rig to be able to catch fish on riverbanks. Using a long line with this rig is usually helpful because it allows the bait to get to the feeding area pretty quickly.

What Are the Best Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing?

a photo of a a hooked catfish to show the best catfish rigs fro bank fishing

Some of the best and biggest catfish come from riverbanks, according to anglers. Fishermen love fishing there because of the quality of fish and the challenge that comes with it. You can learn more about the best time to catch river catfish here.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the best catfishing rigs you should use when fishing at riverbanks.

Rod and Reel

A rod and reel are one of the simplest rigs to use when catfishing at riverbanks. They are crucial to have when trying to catch big catfish, especially.

Anglers advise you to use a medium-heavy rod and reel. The ‘J’ shaped hook usually does wonders because of how long it stays sharp. Check out these recommendations for the best catfish rods and reels.

Pairing your hook with a leader and a brain line would also help. It’s also important for anglers to choose the right type of bait when fishing by riverbanks. Some make the mistake of using stink or rotten bait, but the truth is, you need fresher types of bait when fishing by riverbanks.

The best baits to use with your rig are cut mullet and fresh shrimp. Most catfish prefer those types of bait. Some types of catfish, such as flathead catfish, prefer live bait, such as bream. It is important to remember to use live, fresh bait rather than more pungent ones.

Jugs

Using jugs, sometimes referred to as noodle lines, is a great way to catch catfish in rivers. It involves putting a bunch of jugs with a line attached to all of them on the water. On that line is where your hooks should be. It is also cheap and requires minimal effort.

You could also put up a foam swimming pool noodle above your line to reinforce it. You can let these jugs drift freely and once any of your jugs starts to wiggle, that is when you know a catfish has taken your bait. It is an easy rig to use; even beginner anglers will not have much trouble setting it up.

This is a fun way to catch some of the biggest catfish by rivers, and many anglers love using this technique. The one thing about it, though, is that it can be illegal in some areas. It is important to check your local laws to be sure whether it is legal in your area or not.

Trotlines

Trotlines are strong fishing lines that are tossed on rivers or any other body of water and have hooks attached to them on smaller lines at equal intervals. This is a great type of rig to use in rivers and can be quite easy to use.

A trotline has from 30 to 25 hooks that are spaced six feet apart. It is important to insert a weight between every five hooks so that it holds it down and keeps the line closer to the bottom. You can use a big rock at the end of the trotline to balance it out.

Using this technique can get you multiple catfish at once by the river. Sometimes, you will get the biggest types of catfish with trotlines. It is vital to keep up with it so that you do not miss out on any of your catches. Some anglers stated that they have caught catfish as big as 100 pounds.

3-Way Rig

A 3-way rig is another great rig for catfishing at riverbanks. It contains a 3-way swivel, a dropper line for weight, and a leader line. It is vital for you to use a lighter line than the one you normally use because the weight could drag your line down to the bottom.

This type of rig is best used in rocky areas and heavy currents. You could also use this for distance if you are trying to cast your line further than normal. It is also advised to use a shorter leader so your bait does not sink to the bottom.

Matching the length of your dropper line and leader line can come in handy for this technique. You can catch all types of catfish with this rig because it is durable during heavy currents. Flathead, blue, and channel catfish are best caught with this rig.

Carolina Rig

The Carolina rig is one of the best to use when fishing for catfish near freshwater, in particular by rivers, ponds, and lakes. The way it works is when you use this rig, it minimizes catfish resistance. Using a bait runner on your reel with a Carolina rig can up your catfishing game.

You do not have to be too picky about your leader length with a Carolina rig. Your leader length should depend on the location you fish in and the type of bait you are using. It is recommended to use a longer leader when using live bait and a shorter one with dead bait.

Anglers suggest that you shouldn’t use this in fast-moving currents because they can tangle your line easily and result in your line drifting out further than your weight. Heavy currents have the power to move your rig and leader, but not your weight. This can make your catfishing experience harder.

Some general tips for bank fishing include using a black silicon tube when float fishing instead of using a pen marker when fishing. This saves a lot of time, and it can be much more effective than a pen.

Another good tip is to use a long line so that you are able to cut it and adjust its size to how you want it, rather than having a line too short. Labeling your draws is also a handy tip when trying to select your bait and rigs.

While using any other rig other than a float rig, it is better to label your line with a marker. That way, you can save plenty of time. Some anglers prefer to mark at the 4m and 5m mark.

Outdoorskilled’s Recommended Gear for Superb Catfishing

I’ve tested dozens of reels, rods, and lines for Catfishing, and after years of testing, here are my quick picks that will definitely improve your current setup and results!

My recommended reel is the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Reel C3-7000 which is ideally suited for catfish.

The rod I always recommend is the KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod. It’s lightweight, durable, and affordable. Furthermore, you’d have a wide selection of models to choose from, whether you’re looking for a spinning or casting rod. Lastly, it comes in twin-tips models, which means you’ll be getting two rods rather than one.

What I use is the Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line as it’s the strongest, toughest mono I’ve ever tested and because it has exceptional shock strength, great knot integrity, tremendous abrasion resistance, and a high-visibility color option, you really can’t find better options

Related Questions

What Are the Best Rigs for Catfishing in Heavy Currents?

The 3-way rig and a slip rig are two of the best rigs to use for catfish in heavy currents. They are both very versatile and popular among anglers who like to catfish. They are both durable enough to be able to catch some of the biggest fish in both fresh and saltwater.

What Is the Best Rig for Catfishing Lakes?

The drift rig is the best rig for catfishing in lakes. It is best paired with fresh-cut bait and can be used from a distance. Another great rig for catfishing at lakes is a basic bobber. It is one of the most preferred rigs among anglers.

Helpful Resources

How to Create and Set up Fishing Rigs

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