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The Best Fishing Spots For Catfish In Arizona

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Guide to fishing for flathead and channel catfish in AZ lakes and rivers

Catfish fishing in Arizona

Most lakes in the state offer catfish opportunities. The major Arizona lakes with a healthy population of catfish include Alamo Lake, Apache Lake, Bartlett Lake, Canyon Lake, Lake Havasu, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Pleasant, Lake Powell, Martinez Lake, Rainbow Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Saguaro Lake, San Carlos Lake, Show Low Lake and Watson Lake.

Catfish Fishing in Arizona?

Arizona is a fantastic destination for catfish fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to catch both channel catfish and flathead catfish. These species can be found in various lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across the state, providing anglers with thrilling fishing experiences and the chance to land some impressive catches.

Channel catfish are one of the most common and widely distributed catfish species in Arizona. They can be found in lakes and rivers, often near structures such as submerged logs, rock formations, or areas with vegetation. Anglers targeting channel catfish often use techniques such as bottom fishing with cut bait, stink bait, or live bait. Popular catfish hotspots in Arizona include Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant, and the Colorado River.

Flathead catfish, also known as yellow catfish or shovelhead catfish, are a prized catch for catfish anglers. These predatory fish are known for their large size and powerful fights. Flatheads prefer deeper waters and are often found near submerged structures such as sunken trees, rock ledges, or holes. Anglers targeting flathead catfish typically use live bait such as live bluegill or sunfish, fished near the bottom. The Colorado River, Bartlett Lake, Lake Havasu, and Lake Pleasant are known for their flathead catfish populations.

The current state record for channel catfish stands at over 33 pounds. The record for flathead catfish is over 76 pounds, caught in Bartlett Lake. These records indicate the quality of catfish fishing opportunities in the state and the possibility of landing remarkable specimens.

Whether you're targeting channel catfish or flathead catfish, Arizona offers a range of fishing locations and techniques to pursue these formidable fish. With its diverse catfish populations, stunning natural landscapes, and the chance to break state records, catfish fishing in Arizona promises excitement, memorable catches, and a rewarding angling experience.

Catfish in Arizona

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 33 lbs 5.76 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 76 lbs 8.64 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

The state record channel catfish came form Upper Lake Mary.

Bartlett Lake yielded the state record flathead catfish.

What's the best bait for catfish in Arizona?

Choose from the top 5 all-time catfish baits and try them on local waters. Appealing to the keen sense of smell and taste could turn a so-so day into a memorable event.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Arizona

There are many species of catfish and even more ways to catch them. Adults range in size from less than a pound to hundreds of pounds. Catfish are found in all types of water including ponds, streams, lakes and rivers throughout Arizona. There are even species which spend a limited amount of time on dry land. Big giant catfish put up a very noble fight once hooked.

Additional catfishing information resources.

Catfish Conservation Group

U.S. Catfish Anglers Tournaments

Planet Catfish

Most catfish are considered bottom feeders to one extent or another. They will generally eat anything that can get in their mouth. Their strongest sense is smell which they use to locate potential food sources. Capitalizing on this sense is the primary weapon in your search for these creatures. Aggressive catfish have been caught on most types of fast moving bass lures so don't under estimate their ability to catch live bait.


Information for states with catfish.

AL Catfish Fishing AR Catfish Fishing AZ Catfish Fishing CA Catfish Fishing CO Catfish Fishing CT Catfish Fishing DE Catfish Fishing FL Catfish Fishing GA Catfish Fishing HI Catfish Fishing IA Catfish Fishing ID Catfish Fishing IL Catfish Fishing
IN Catfish Fishing KS Catfish Fishing KY Catfish Fishing LA Catfish Fishing MA Catfish Fishing MD Catfish Fishing ME Catfish Fishing MI Catfish Fishing MN Catfish Fishing MO Catfish Fishing MS Catfish Fishing MT Catfish Fishing
NC Catfish Fishing ND Catfish Fishing NE Catfish Fishing NH Catfish Fishing NJ Catfish Fishing NM Catfish Fishing NV Catfish Fishing NY Catfish Fishing OH Catfish Fishing OK Catfish Fishing OR Catfish Fishing PA Catfish Fishing
RI Catfish Fishing SC Catfish Fishing SD Catfish Fishing TN Catfish Fishing TX Catfish Fishing UT Catfish Fishing VA Catfish Fishing VT Catfish Fishing WA Catfish Fishing WI Catfish Fishing WV Catfish Fishing WY Catfish Fishing

Learn the lifestyle of catfish

The more you know about the seasonal migration of catfish, the easier it will be to catch catfish in Arizona lakes and rivers. Catfish feed on a wide variety of food sources. They can be caught on prepared baits as well as live and dead baitfish.

Contribute AZ Catfish Fishing Knowledge

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Best catfish fishing lakes in Arizona!