Fishing for Channel Catfish

One of the largest and most tasty fish around is often neglected. The channel cat is found nearly everywhere.
Its one of the most prolific fish found in lakes, rivers ponds, streams and even some creeks.

The largest ones will be found in ponds or rivers, and those can be quite large. I’ve personally pulled them in weighing about fifteen pounds and over 30 inches long from a smaller river and the Tionesta Dam area in Pennsylvania. Channel cats are omnivorous, which means they will eat a whole lot of different things, and have a super sense of smell to sniff them out.

One of the big boys, the catfish is more than a panfull.

Primarily the larger ones, those over fifteen inches, eat fish.

Their diet however will also vary according to availability, which means, according to the seasons, since catfish tend to be somewhat opportunistic feeders as well.

Late winter and early spring sees their most abundant food source as a wide variety of things, including fish, that have died due to the winter weather.

These organisms, , in various stages of decomposition, are consumed in large quantities by catfish. It is not unusual to find catfish gorged with decaying fish during winter while when the water warms into late spring and summer the diet of catfish shifts continually to food items that are again most available and vulnerable. The most prevalent foods at this time of the year are aquatic and terrestrial worms, fish, frogs, crayfish, mulberries, insects and their larvae forms.

Nation wide, streams and lakes are virtually loaded with channel catfish. Low fishing pressure on these rivers is due mostly to the relatively poor access provided by public facilities and the more difficult and challenging fishing conditions presented in flowing water. For those fishermen that don’t mind a little walk or a bit of extra work to get them, catfish are one of the biggest and best fighters, and some of the tastiest eating you will ever come across.

“One of the best ways of improving your catch of catfish is by closely observing the characteristics of locations that produce fish or likewise do not produce fish. Some careful observations and the tried and proven techniques of trial-and-error will make any angler a good stream catfisherman.”

Some of the best places to find a channel cat are places like rippled areas just above pools, cut-banks, snags, rocks, sunken trees and other submerged structures that are located in the stream.
The outside edge of nearly any river bend usually has a cut-bank and deep water which has the capacity to hold a large catfish populations.

Lakes also offer you some really good channel catfish fishing. The largest catfish caught each year are invariably taken from lakes and ponds. Fish caught in some of the man-made lakes in excess of 10 pounds are quite common.

Like catfish that inhabit rivers, lake-dwelling catfish are not evenly dispersed but concentrate into specific locations. Most ponds and fishing lakes will end up having three thermal layers 10 to 15 feet below the surface and the lower water just simply wont have any fish. so keeping your fishing to depths above there, in areas where there is cover is going to be your best bet.

The best advice we’ve seen or heard is to look for diverse habitat — the more diverse the habitat, the more attractive it is to catfish.


Using the right bait is probably the most confusing part of channel catfish fishing, and there are nearly as many concoctions as there are catfishermen.

A few of the things I’ve personally used are nightcrawlers, chicken livers, fish entrails, grasshoppers, crawdads, minnows, salted minnows, and a whole range of stink bait, and I’d have to say, depending on the day, no one really works better than another.. All of them are fine for a hungry and not too particular catfish and if you match the bait size to what you want to catch, you ‘re normally going to pull at least one or two out.

I fish mostly late afternoon or evening, and I shoot for pan-sized catfish during mid-summer — June, July and August.

Summer is the normal period of low stream flow, and smaller streams can be fished most effectively by wading in just my old tennis shoes. Catfishermen who are looking for some of the larger fish during this period use large-sized baits such as dead bluegill, live chubs, water dogs, crayfish and frogs.

Large catfish are always looking for a good sized morsel or a whole meal, so the movement will attract their attention.

For more fun visit fishing4fun.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function adrotate_group() in /home/outdoor/public_html/wp-content/themes/min/single.php on line 135