Top Gear for Scoring Winter Blue Cats

Three essential items for your cold-weather quest

catfish rod
[2] Ugly Stik Tiger Big cats require a stout rod. The 7-foot, medium-heavy Tiger is practically unbreakable, Eberwien says, but maintains good bite ­sensitivity. $70; uglystik.com Ugly Stik
catfish sinker
[3] Modified Bank Sinker You can buy special flat cat sinkers, but Eberwien says a bank sinker smashed with a sledgehammer works just as well for less money. $5–$7 per pack; basspro.com Bass Pro