Patterning Big Catfish in the Current seams

Current seams are created naturally by the obstruction of the water flow. Major structural elements in a river that create current breaks include points, wing dams, eddies, backwaters and deep holes. The diagram shows a cross section view of how current is diverted by a point extending into the main channel.

fishing for catfish

Bait placement on a current seam

Obstructions such as points and humps have developed on the river bank or river bed that will cause the water flow to slower, creating a seam between the fast flowing current and the slower diverted water.

In most cases deeper holes are created on the back side of these obstructions creating Eddy’s [dead mostly slower water] the water is funneled from the tail of the Eddie towards its head creating a whirlpool effect. Current seams and particularly eddies can concentrate drifting food. Small forage fish will use the current seam to pick through the drift, in turn these current seams will also attract the trophy catfish as they feed on the forage fish.

Current speed will effect the way the seam develops on each break or structure, so the trick is to learn and understand when each spot (or spot within the spot) will be productive and when the fish will use them and only concentrate on these areas and fish these them during the correct water flow.

If the flow is to slow, the seams will just disappear and look nonexistent and therefore not very productive in low water times.

In a nutshell, understanding where the catfish hold at during the different water levels and current speeds on this particular seam will help you catch them. When the flow changes the catfish will change so you should too.

However setting up or anchoring on these current seams can sometimes be tricky, boat placement is crucial.

If you anchor too far out in the fast side of the seam, this will cause your bait presentation to drift further out into the main current away from the seam, and if you anchor too far in on the slower side of seam, (the Eddie) will cause your boat to spin in the whirlpool effect the eddy produces. There is a fine line between these two transitions, once you find your positioning you will drastically increase your chances of hooking into a trophy catfish.

fish current seams for catfish

Catching big catfish on current seams


Current seams and eddy’s are not limited to guys who only fish from a boat, bank anglers can also fish these types of spots as there are many different size current seams created naturally from river bank erosion. Small points and cut away banks all create a current seam even in small rivers and streams. Setting up on a point with moderate current flow and casting your rig out, allowing the current to sweep it into the seam is the same as anchoring a boat on it.


ATTENTION ANGLERS: Here is a video of some safety tips and possible dangers of fishing current seams.

The best way to use chicken livers for catfish bait

catfishing bait
Folks have been catching Catfish on many different concoctions and un natural offerings throughout time, un natural meaning the offering is not normally found in the catfish’s environment such as deer hearts, ivory soap, kool aid soaked chicken breast to name a few,but I guess, of all the un natural baits that have been thrown at the catfish over the years, the chicken liver is going to be hard to beat as far as attract ability goes.

Chicken liver will flat out catch catfish but it will mainly attract the channel cats but the one drawback to using chicken livers for bait is, it’s not angler friendly.

Although chicken livers make a great bait for channel cats and is very easy to obtain at most grocery stores.

It has still always been sort of a challenge to fish with chicken liver as they are hard to keep on the hook as they are being casted to the cats.

“Lobbing it” as I call it was my best attempt to get the liver where I wanted it be and still sometimes I couldn’t get it where I wanted it to land for fear of throwing it off my hook; lobbing it is a gentle side hand cast will generally get it out there close to my target without slinging the chicken livers off.

Don’t get discouraged though, I have a solution for this annoying issue of keeping them on the hook long enough to catch a catfish.

Thanks to our modern medicine field, you can now fish with chicken livers at your favorite fishin hole and sling them pesky livers anywhere you want without worrying about slinging them off of your hook.
It’s called tubular elastic; it’s designed in the medical world for keeping gauze in place on different body parts such as legs, arms and fingers and it comes in many sizes for each need but catfish anglers have repurposed the 1 inch tubular material for a new way to keep chicken livers on your hook and help your catch ratio improve.tubular elastic for chicken liver bait

Here’s how it works

1. Using some thread or light lb. fishing line tie off a two inch section of tubular elastic with a simple over hand knot and cut it behind the knot leaving one end closed and one end open, creating a bag to load the livers in.
2. Now turn the tube inside out and give it a good stretch to tighten to insure the splice will not come loose as it now creates a bag.
3. Now you begin to load the livers in the bag putting in enough in each bag to expand the elastic so it will keep the liver in a compact ball.
4. This step will close the tubular bag up, securing the liver in the bag. Simple run the hook through the top of the tubular elastic bag and give it a twist, it doesn’t matter if the hook makes it through any of the liver at this point, we just want to secure the top so the liver cant fall out or be slung off.
5. Give the bait a twist and run the hook back through the top of the bag a couple of times to help stretch the elastic even more to expose the livers as it starts to bleed and soak through the bag.
6. On the last step, stab the point of the hook through the meat or bulkiest part of the liver leaving the hook exposed for the final assault.

With this method you are now able to fish with chicken livers like never before without worrying about slinging your bait off your hook or even having the small fish steal your bait. Of course the small ones can still aggravate us with pecks rolls but it is extremely hard for a small fish to completely rob us of our chicken liver bait now giving us a better chance of a good fish hook up.
This is ideal for most all presentations used in catfishing, I’ve used it and it works well when still fishing from the bank or anchored boat and I’ve also used it for float fishing around cover.
A once delicate and hard to fish but popular catfish bait has become very reliable and durable bait for catching channel catfish in rivers, streams and lakes when loaded into the tubular elastic bags.

Tips on using chicken livers
Fresh not frozen

Chicken livers are awesome bait for catfish I think because of the blood content within the liver itself and I believe it is what does a lot of the attracting plus it’s an awesome bait because it is so easy to obtain by everyday anglers, but remember all chicken livers is not the same and the liver that you want to avoid is chicken livers that have been frozen.

Some grocery stores handle fresh livers and these are the ones you want and others handle frozen livers and the fresh livers will always be better as they haven’t been broken down from the freezing process.

When you are choosing the livers for bait always look at the freshness of the livers by looking at the reddish tint of the contents, fresh livers have a stronger more durable texture for using for catfish and will not be mushy as the frozen ones will get, which will allow the liver to escape from the tubular bag much too quickly so fresh is always the better option.

Keep em cool

For chicken livers to remain firm and suitable for catfish bait it is always better to keep them cool, it seems the warmer they get the more delicate and mushy they become.

I keep mine in a small cooler until I’m ready to load a sack for bait but sometimes I will pre-load 20 or so bags before I get to my fishing destination, but I will keep them in zip loc bags and away from direct contact with any ice until I’m ready to use I want all the blood juices to not be diluted with melted ice water.

Now is the perfect time to use this method bait preparation for channel catfish as they have recently quit spawning and now are feeding heavily to regain their strength for the remaining summer.
catfish caught on chicken livers

If you would like to try this method of fishing with chicken livers and land more catfish, you can buy this 1 inch tubular elastic online, it’s not expensive at all and it comes in a 25 ft roll which will last for quite some time when cutting it at 1½ inches at a time.

Here is the link to where you can buy a box  of “1 inch tubular elastic”  be sure to grab a box for your next trip and enjoy catching some nice catfish instead of wasting fishing time and always re-baiting a hook.

If you would like more information on catfishing you can visit my You Tube channel and see many of my catfishing How-to videos on my You Tube page at