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Fishing For Catfish In Florida

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Guide to fishing for flathead, blue, white and channel catfish in FL.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Catfish fishing in Florida

Florida is not only known for its exceptional bass fishing but also offers fantastic catfish angling opportunities. Anglers targeting catfish in Florida can encounter various species, including channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, and white catfish. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about catfish fishing and catfish waters in the state.

Catfish Fishing Video

Channel catfish are widely distributed throughout Florida's waterways and are highly sought after by anglers. They are known for their excellent table fare and can be found in lakes, rivers, and ponds. Channel catfish are opportunistic feeders and readily take a variety of baits, including live or cut bait, stinkbaits, or prepared commercial baits. They provide anglers with exciting fights and make for a delicious meal.

Flathead catfish, also known as yellow cats, are another popular catfish species found in Florida. They prefer slow-moving or still waters, such as lakes and deep river pools. Flatheads are known for their large size and powerful fights, making them a prized catch among catfish enthusiasts. Anglers often target them using live bait, such as sunfish or large shiners, near submerged structures or along river banks.

Blue catfish, while not as abundant as channel or flathead catfish in Florida, can still be found in certain water bodies. They are known for their size and can grow to impressive lengths and weights. Blue catfish are typically found in larger rivers and reservoirs, where they feed on a variety of prey. Anglers targeting blue catfish often use live or cut bait and focus on deep holes, ledges, or areas with strong currents.

White catfish are a lesser-known species in Florida but can still provide an enjoyable angling experience. They are commonly found in rivers, creeks, and backwater areas. White catfish are known for their willingness to bite and can be caught using a variety of baits, including worms, shrimp, or cut bait. They make for a tasty meal and are a welcome catch for anglers targeting catfish.

Florida's mild climate allows for year-round catfish fishing, but anglers often find success during warmer months when water temperatures are higher and catfish are more active. Late spring and summer are particularly productive periods for catfish angling in Florida.

With its diverse waterways and various catfish species, Florida offers a wealth of opportunities for catfish fishing. Whether you're targeting channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, or white catfish, the state's lakes, rivers, and ponds provide ample locations to enjoy this exciting angling pursuit.

Catfish Fishing Lakes in Florida

Some of the other major lakes with quality populations of catfish include Blue Cypress Lake, Crescent Lake, Crooked Lake, Deer Point Lake, East Lake Tohopekaliga, Jim Woodruff Reservoir, Lake Apopka, Lake Conlin, Lake Eustis, Lake George, Lake Griffin, Lake Harris, Lake Harney, Lake Hatchineha, Lake Istokpoga, Lake Jackson, Lake Jessup, Lake Kissimmee, Lake Marian, Lake Miccosukee, Lake Newnan, Lake Okeechobee, Lake Seminole, Lake Talquin, Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Weohyakapka, Newnans Lake, Rodman Reservoir, St. John's River and Tsala Apopka Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In FL

Catfish in Florida

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 45.5 lbs

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 69.9 lbs

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 69.5 lbs

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 18.88 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in Florida?

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.

Florida State Record Catfish

The state record channel catfish was caught from Lake Bluff.

The state record flathead catfish came from the Yellow River.

The state record blue catfish came out of the Choctawhatchee River.

The state record white catfish came out of the Withlacoochee River.

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 Florida. 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