By small I mean catfish from six to 10 inches long. These fish cook whole, golden brown with fins and tail still attached. A medium-large guy like myself can eat eight or 10 of these morsels with no trouble. These crispy brown tails of the brown catfish can be eaten much like a potato chip, and flaky white meat will just fall off the sides of the fish. When all the meat is gone from the fish, the bones will look like a comb used by a cartoon cat to comb his hair with.
There are several ways to catch these small catfish, but they all have one thing in common, they have a small mouth. In order to catch one you must use a small hook. My hook of choice is a style 84 bait hook in a size number four. The best bait is an earthworm or a bight crawler, but larger ones should be cut in half.
Some people like to fish a trout line to catch lots of catfish at a time. This is heavy nylon line stretched across the creek with a drop line and hook about every two feet. There could be several hundred hooks on the line. There is a lot work involved in trout line fishing, but the rewards can be great.
Jug fishing is another way to have fun and catch plenty of catfish. You will need to take a five foot long foam swimming noodle and cut it into 18 inch pieces. Attach a four or five long drop line from the noodle and use the same number four hook. When a fish gets on the hook the noodle will stand straight up on end and race across the water. Now you will have to chase it down with the boat.
Although these methods will catch more catfish, the most fun way to do it is with a light crappie rod and light line. Now tie two number four hooks on your line about 18 inches apart and bait both hooks with a piece of a worm. Pitch the rig about 20 feet from the boat and let the wind push you along while your bait drags along the bottom. With two people in the boat you can fish rods each. Now you have eight hooks in the water. Fishing should pick up now.
If you just want to do some fun fishing then catfish is where you need to be and the fish fry will be something you have never had before. Remember, light tackle, small number four hook and a small piece of earth worm.