In my experience "good spots" are only good when they are producing fish. They suck when they are not. Weather conditions play a huge role in dictating whether a spot will be productive or not. However, there are some spots that consistently produce fish, usually due to some sort of structure. I don't know enough about catfish fishing to tell you what to look for, but when you go fishing pay attention to where people are fishing. If people are always fishing a particular spot, there's a good reason why. Well, 2 reasons why. Either it's a productive spot or it's really convenient, and convenient spots aren't generally productive. Just don't go crowding people - give them space since they were there first.
As for equipment - if you can't buy new stuff, then see if you can buy old stuff. Flea markets and yard sales are great places to pick up cheap fishing equipment.
125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta