How to set up a simple catfish rig for lakes
with Matt Collins from Beausoleil French Carp and Cats
A simple bottom bait rig setup
I developed this rig specifically for use
at my 4-acre lake in France, Beausoleil,
but whether you’re targeting catfish in
a lake in the UK or abroad, this rig is
suitable for catfish from 10lbs to
I wanted something that was very safe,
easy to tie, super strong and used as
few components as possible. Its
principles can be readily applied to any
I have been using it for over 2 years
now and recommended it to many
customers. This rig has accounted for
Basic catfish bottom bait rig
This may look like the most basic
rig in the world. However if you take
a closer look there are some details
which make it special and very
Hair loop and baits
In this rig, I am using my homemade 22mm
Blue Oyster baits.
Much as specialist catfish anglers might
object to the concept of using boilies to catch
catfish, the fact of the matter is that boilies
are highly effective for catfish.
If you are at a venue with both carp and
catfish, the secret of catching catfish with this
rig rather than carp is the way you use it!
When the catfish are active all you need to do
is to bait heavily with boilies and pellets and
you’ll catch catfish and not carp and the carp
will not come anywhere near feeding catfish!
Note here the length of the hair loop.
If you’re using a standard hair stop
then the length should be 1.5 times
the diameter of the baits. This
positions the hair knot in the middle
of the top bait as shown and locks
Hook and hook link
Sharpness is everything! I
hand sharpen every hook
when I go fishing
This is the most important part of the rig.
My hook link of choice is Kryston’s 45lb
Quicksilver (it’s actually designed as a
snag leader but makes a very tough hook
link). This is connected to the hook with a
standard knotless knot but I add a couple
of extra turns beneath the hair as a kicker
and then another turn to over wrap the
knot to help prevent it from slipping.
I then whipped down the shank 10 times.
This means that the hair exits the back of
the hook perpendicular (90 °) to the point.
5 turn double
I’ve left the tail from the mainline
knot 40mm long. This tail gets
tucked into the hole inside the lead
to create an indicator lead that can
tell you the difference between a
dropped take and a big liner
There are only two knot options for
the mainline: the Palomar knot or
the 5-turn grinner. Here, I used the
5-Turn grinner. I always use a 5-Turn
grinner for the hook link.
Lead setup, knots and rig tube
Lead setup, knots and rig tube
Rig tube super
glued in place
from in-line lead
To protect the mainline against the risk of failure, you
should use 2 - 3ft of rig tube. The rig tube should not
slide away from the swivel knot during the fight. To do
this, just dab a blob of super glue on the mainline just
above the knot before sliding the rig tube down to meet
the knot. Within a few minutes the rig tube will be
immoveable and prevent the catfish pectoral fins from
slicing through your mainline. To dismantle, simple cut
through the bottom 5mm of rig tube and mainline.
To optimise hooking and bite indication I always
use my Beausoleil carp rig lead setup. To do
this, push the tail rubber over the swivel to the
distance shown on slide 3. Then slide the lead
over just hard enough for it to stay in place
when you lift the rig by the baits. A quick shake
of the baits should see the lead drop off and
turn into a running rig. This will confuse the
catfish and it will move off with the rig. No
matter which way it swims you will get a run!
My ultimate catfish rig for lakes
This simple catfish rig has accounted for countless captures at Beausoleil and is up to the task of tackling the real monsters.
My only word of caution is this: before you use it, spend some time down the gym, you’ll need to be in good shape for the
battles that are to come!
About Beausoleil French Carp and Cats
Enjoy exclusive carp and catfish fishing holidays in Northern France at Beausoleil
where you can fish for big carp and monster catfish in your own private 4 acre
fishing lake. With exclusive use of the lake and accommodation, this stunning
fishing venue is perfect for couples, families and groups of anglers.
Click here to learn more:
BY MATT COLLINS.