Catfishing Rigs for Bank Fishing

It is easy to catch catfish even when you don’t have a boat to go inside the ocean or sea. You can get the channel, flathead, and blue catfish right on the shore if you have set up your catfish rig properly and hooked a delicious catfish bait onto it.


How to Find the Best Bank Fishing Spot for Catfish Rigs?

Catfish are hungry all the time, so if they are near the place you are casting, they will quickly grab the bite. The advantage of banks is that you can easily move from one bank to another. You can also find catfish in muddy waters, river bends, humps, etc… so, if you don’t get a bite in one location, you can go to another. Casting is easy on flat and brush-free banks, so you should prefer those spots.

Price Comparison to Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing

S.R. NO.RigsPriceBuy Now
1Cylinder Cork Float$6.99Buy Now
2South Bend Slip Sinker Rig$4.99Buy Now
3Sea Striker High Low Claim Rig$7.75Buy Now
4Boone Single Hook Live Bait Rig$8.48Buy Now
5Breakaway Far Out Rig$6.58Buy Now
6Circle Pulley Rig$9.65Buy Now
7Santee Cooper Rig$7.99Buy Now
8Fishing Line Sinker Slide Rig$9.99Buy Now

Top Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing

There are several types of rigs used to catch fish. The main advantage of using rigs is that you can adjust the depth of your cast and make the bait float or swim just by angling the rig properly. Rigs can contain anything – hooks, lines, sinkers, swivels, bobbers, beads, lures or other tackles. When you go in deep waters, usually rig is attached to the boat. But, for bank fishing, you can hold it with your hand or a rod.

Although most of the rigs work well to catch catfish, some work better.

Here are the most popular catfish rigs for bank fishing:

1. Cylinder Cork Float

Using the float rig keeps the bait (live or lure) floating off the bottom. This makes it easy to move the cast around easily to different nearby spots. This gives a floating movement to the bait thus making it flow slowly with the water current. To make this rig (bottom-up), you need hooks, swivel, split shot weights to attach to the line, bead to be placed below the mainline and finally the stop knot. It is the stop knot that prevents the bait from sinking to the bottom, so sliding it up and down the mainline decides the depth of your bait.

2. South Bend Slip Sinker Rig

The slip-sinker rig can be used for catfish as well as bass using lures. Depending on the lure, the rig can be either set to float above the weight or sink and go to the bottom. This rig is the most popular amongst experienced anglers because it is versatile. Also called as the ‘Carolina rig’, the slip-sinker works best when set to the bottom in a stationary fashion. The set up with a swivel-head-weight combination lets the bait sit properly without moving. The catfish think of it as the most natural food and give the least resistance. Setting up this rig is easy – just pass the fishing line through a sliding sinker and then through the bead (optional). Tie the line to the swivel, and then tie the leader to the other end of the swivel. The open end of the leader is then tied to the hook. You can choose the length of the leader based on the type of sinker you want to make.

3. Sea Striker High Low Claim Rig

This is one of the best rigs for bank fishing. You can offer two different baits at once in the same rig. The hooks are placed above the weight, but the weights are fixed. If you are lucky enough, you can catch two big fish with this rig. If you set it up properly, there shouldn’t be any problem with your first fish holding on for some time till you get another fish on the second hook. However, it is important to be careful and fast, as catfish are good fighters and might try to escape if you let them struggle for too long. It takes some practice to tie this rig, especially for the loops and knots to come right, so before you start bank fishing, practice tying the T knots at home so you can do it perfectly near the shore.

4. Boone Single Hook Live Bait Rig

Catfish are best caught by using live-baits rather than artificial lures. The Gizzard shad is one of the best live bait for blue and flathead catfish. There are multiple ways to rig a live bait.

  • Through the back: you have to go deep for the hook to hold well, otherwise, the hook might rip out or go back into the bait
  • Through the nose: a good way when you need to quickly get the bait deep into the water because of the added weight
  • Through the anal area: this is a good place to hook the bait as the movement of the bait is swift and natural

Take some time before you strike, as the bait can be taken easily – remember catfish are fighters!

5. Breakaway Far Out Rig

This type of rig is best suited for heavy currents and rocky bottoms. The idea to break away the speargun from the rest of the rig so that the shooting line and fishing line are directly attached. You should always have a hold on the rig line otherwise due to the fast water movement the fish might rip out the breakaway. The advantage of this type of rig is that even if you lose the other gear, you will still have the gun. Use this rig when you have to catch that fat channel or flathead because it is not as easy to use as the other rigs.

6. Circle Pulley Rig

Pulley rig is a neat arrangement with a swivel on the mainline. The hook and the weight are on the same line. You can then use impact shield for the hook and place it just above the weight so that the hook and weight don’t entangle. This rig works best on rocky or snaggy seabeds. Pulley rig works like a basic pulley system when the catfish hooks on to the rig and you start reeling. Due to the weight of the fish, there is downward pressure on the rig and this causes the attached weight to move upwards, preventing snagging. Pulley rig is efficient and easy to use for catching large fish.

7. Santee Cooper Rig

The catfish that are moving around on the bottom can be easily caught using this rig. The rig can be used to drag the bait on the bottom. The mechanism is simple. You should have a stationary weight with the swivel, hook and the inline float bottom. The weight drags on the bottom and prevents snagging. This easily attracts catfish. It is one of the most popular methods to mainly catch blue and channel, but you can get some flatheads too. You can lift the bait by using the cigar float or the peg float. Santee Cooper rig is known to effectively bring the bait in the line of sight of the catfish. It is a slight variation from the basic slip-sinker rig.

8. Fishing Line Sinker Slide Rig

It is a versatile rig that works well for shore fishing, anchored fishing or drift fishing. The leader is tied to the hook on one end and the swivel on the other. The running line has a sinker that secures the weight. That way, the sinker can rest on the bottom but the fish doesn’t feel any tension when you reel. You can use a sliding mechanism to attach the weight and adjust the weight, as per requirements (especially while fishing on the shores of a river). With this rig, you can slowly set the hook when you feel the weight of the fish at the end of the line.

Tips on Using Catfish Rigs for Bank Fishing

Here are some tips that will help you with efficient bank fishing:

  • Examine each spot carefully – that could become your regular fishing spot.
  • You can use a float marker to check water depth in various spots that you are looking at.
  • I found bluegill to be one of the best baits for attracting catfish.
  • Don’t stick to one place for a long time, just keep moving around – its easier to do that near the bank
    Make many casts so that the chances of getting a fish become higher.
  • Don’t bring too much stuff with you – carrying some basic equipment should be good enough – 2-3 rods, baits, scissors, pliers.
  • Don’t wear bright clothes – this may sound weird but many times, wearing bright colors scares the fish away.


Bank fishing is quite easy and fun, once you get the knack of it. Try some of the rigs and follow the tips and you should be good to go fishing. The pro tip here would be to carry a few chairs and beer on your bank-fishing adventure. If possible and if the rules allow it, clean the catfish and build a campfire then cook that delicious catfish on a grill or in a pan. Now, sit back and enjoy.

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