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Learn About Fishing For Catfish In California

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All about fishing for flathead, blue, white and channel catfish in CA.

Catfish fishing in California

Most lakes, streams, ponds and rivers hold catfish of one kind or another. Major lakes tend to hold the larger populations yet you're liable to catch a monster in the tributaries that feed the lakes.

In Northern CA the major lakes with catfish include Bucks Lake, Clear Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Almanor, Lake Berryessa, Lake Combie, Lake Mendocino, Lake Oroville, Lake Shasta, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Lake.

In Central CA try Bass Lake, California Delta, Eastman Lake, Hensley Lake, Lake Don Pedro, Lake Cachuma, Lake Camanche, Lake Del Valle, Lake Kaweah, Lake McClure, Lake Sonoma, Lake Tulloch, Lake Nacimiento, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, New Melones Lake, Pine Flat Lake, Pinecrest Lake, San Luis Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shaver Lake, Success Lake and The Delta.

Southern CA offers lakes like Big Bear Lake, Canyon Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, El Capitan Lake, Laguna Niguel Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Castaic, Lake Elsinore, Lake Hemet, Lake Havasu, Lake Hodges, Lake Perris, Lake Piru, Lake Silverwood, Lake Skinner, Lake Sutherland, Littlerock Reservoir, Lower Otay Lake, Pyramid Lake, San Vicente Reservoir, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir to wet your whistle for some tasty catfish.

Catfish in California

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 53 lbs 8 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 72 lbs 14 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 113 lbs 5 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 22 lbs 0 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in California?

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.

San Vicente Reservoir boasts the state record for blue catfish.

The San Joaquin River yielded the state record for channel catfish.

The state flathead catfish came out of the Colorado River.

William Land Park Pond gave up the state record for white catfish.

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 California. 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