Catfish Basics #013 – Preparation Pays – Cindy Stokes

Cindy and her husband Lyle Stokes have been tournament fishing as partners for several years. Lyle is well known in catfish circles as cohost, with Tim “Doc” Lange, on the Catfish Weekly Online TV show.

Cindy enjoys catfishing because of what Larry Muse refers to as the OOOH factor. “I like the thrill of seeing how big the fish is when you reel it in,” said Cindy. “I also enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones at tournaments. They become family.”

Cindy follows a regular routine before her next fishing trip with several major elements of preparation. “To prepare for our fishing trip, whether it’s for fun or a tournament, the first thing I do is check maps on Google to find some structure and contour. The locations found on the maps give us a starting place to check out and possibly fish.”

Next, Cindy turns her attention to naturally occurring bait in the area. Once discovered, she concentrates on finding a source of that bait for the time of her trip. Sometimes it is a matter of catching bait and other times it a matter of purchasing the best bait for the area.

An equipment check comes next. Rods, reels, line and terminal tackle need to be checked. “Check out all of your equipment and make sure it is ready to go,” advises Cindy.


An often ignored preparation and follow up is not overlooked by Cindy. “Make sure you have sunscreen. You don’t want a bad burn from being out on the boat all day. I have a niece that has melanoma and we need to take precaution when in the sun all day. Also, check your skin and watch for any place that is questionable and get it checked out”.


From this point on it’s simple. “Have fun and don’t forget to put the plug in the boat,” joked Cindy.

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