What is Hole Fishing?

What is Hole Fishing

We all get bored with regular things very easily. The same is the case with recreational activities as well. After some time, things start to look consistent and the activity that seemed so much fun the first time, felt absolutely boring the last time you did it. That can happen to you if you love going fishing. Well, if you are feeling similar things, it is time to bring something innovative to the table and try hole fishing. Though most people have not heard of this term, doing it is absolutely fun, and you will find your missing spark as well.

Hole fishing is not something new. It is an old technique that originated in Africa. As it is obvious from the name, it involves digging a hole and trapping fish in it for easy catching. The hole dimensions are not specified; however, it can be about 3 feet deep and 2 feet wide minimum as a general rule of thumb. The key thing in hole fishing is to keep the water low enough that it does not flood. Flooding will basically destroy the essence of hole fishing.

What more is there to know about hole fishing? What kind of fish live in a hole? What kind of bait should you use for a fishing hole? Where and how you can create a fishing hole? Keep reading till the end to find out answers to these questions.

Detailed Information about Hole Fishing

The most important thing to know about hole fishing is knowing about digging of the hole itself. You cannot just dig a hole anywhere. There are specific requirements for the place. It should be near the waterline, river, canal, wetland, overflooded rice field, or even a swamp would work. When digging the hole, one needs to take care that the sides of the hole are separated from the waterline. Otherwise, the hole will be filled with water, and the whole idea becomes useless.

The depth of the water should be kept shallow. This is done to avoid killing the fish from drying out or lack of oxygen from the water before they are even collected. You can use anything to cover the top of the hole. Any green cloth, natural foliage, or grass would do the trick.

The covering will act as a protective shadow from the sun’s scorching heat and will keep it away from the prying eyes of any predators. As the hole is near to a water source, fish do not suspect anything and enter inside. For them, it is a nice resting place without any danger. Once they enter, they are trapped and are unable to find a way out. That is how hole fishing works!

What is unique about it?

What makes hole fishing unique is how it captures a whole lot of fishing without making much effort. Usually, a fisherman has to spend his whole day out in the open, trying different baits and other techniques to catch fish. However, with hole fishing, smart work takes the lead. Without doing as much of hectic activity, a lot of fish can be caught.

Why is it effective?

It is much more effective than regular fishing because it gathers fish at a single place and that too ready to catch. The amount of effort is reduced to almost none as compared to traditional fishing.

What kind of fish live in a hole?

That’s a tricky one. You will not be able to catch a whole lot of variety of fish if you are opting for hole fishing. It also depends on what kind of fish is available there. In South Asian conditions, the typical fish expected while hole fishing is Perch or snakeheads of genus Channa. They are the ones that can easily be lured into a trap just because they like a vegetative cover. It protects them from other predators and also gives them shade from the sun. Both these fishes are normally found near the banks of any water body. They are in search of food or cover or both.

Other than these, catfish and lungfish are some species that can found in a hole. Lungfish are fond in moist soil, and that is why they are often found trapped in a hole. On the other hand, Catfishes like to dig holes in the moist soil and bury themselves in it. They might dig their own hole, or if they find an existing hole, they will just use it as it is. There are three reasons why catfishes prefer living in a hole. First, it protects them from predators and any other harmful things. Secondly, they nest their eggs while being inside, and it is also safe. Thirdly, their eggs are sensitive and need protection from harmful sunlight. Staying underground serves this purpose as well.

How do you bait a fishing hole?

Learning how to bait a fishing hole is an essential thing. However, there is one thing you need to confirm. There are places where baiting a fishing hole is illegal. SO, do check out with the local authority before you attempt this.

If you are specifically aiming to catch catfish, the best bait you can take with you is cat food. It may sound absurd, but it is true. Cat food is highly effective while baiting a fishing hole filled with catfish. Do make small holes in the can of cat food to lure them. Through those holes, pass your fishing line and submerge the can. The holes will lure the fish without giving out much food, and you will easily get a lot of bites.

If you do not want to use cat food, you can always prepare a good bait yourself. All you would require is grain or wheat, water, sugar, a little beer perhaps. You just need to mix all of these in a good consistency to prepare your bait. Take a bucket and throw all grain in it. Fill it with water a touch higher than the amount of grain in it.  Add beer and sugar to help the fermentation process. This addition will result in a more lucrative bait. Make sure to scatter your bait in the hole well so as to tantalize the fish. It should not be thrown all in one single spot in the hole so as to feed the fish. It is recommended to bait a fishing hole for an extended duration to maximize the results.

How do you catch a catfish hole?

Except for South Asia, hole fishing is generally meant for catching catfish. A catfish hole is a resting place for catfish. Most of them like to lay low in swampy, marshy areas without much light and away from the predators. They are dug by the catfish themselves most of the time.

The best time to catch a catfish hole is during the night when they leave it in search of food. Even when they are holed up, they will respond actively to the right kind of bait. This right kind of bait maybe cat food or any home-prepared bait by yourself.

Chumming is also a good way to catch a catfish hole. All you need to do is throw small amounts of food over an area and wait for them to bite. Chumming is just like baiting but for a small duration.


It would be best if you always were trying out new techniques in order to improve your experience. Hole fishing is one of such fun technique. If you ever get a chance to try it, do not hesitate. You will never regret it.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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