I fish for a living. What you need to do is get the bait to the bottom with sinkers, since catfish are bottom feeders. You should also invest in a rod holder - the spike kind, so you can place the rod in the holder when not holding it yourself. Cast out, let it sit on the bottom and keep the line tight so you can feel when the fish eats it. Catfish fishing is good at night, so you can get yourself a little glow in the dark bell to put on the end of the rod.
Fishing requires a lot of patience, but patience alone does not catch fish. Proper bait presentation and selecting the right place to fish are what produces fish. And a healthy dose of luck
If you want specifics for your area then it's best to talk to people who fish where you want to fish. Don't be afraid to ask people for help while you're out there. I met one of my best friends that way. Lots of us are happy to help people who are new to the sport. Don't be afraid to ask to go fishing with them sometime either