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Learn About Fishing For Catfish In Iowa

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

Catfish fishing in Iowa

Most lakes and rivers in IA have catfish but the most consistent stringers are caught from major lakes like Big Creek Lake, Big Spirit Lake, Black Hawk Lake, Browns Lake, Brushy Creek Lake, Clear Lake, Coralville Lake, DeSoto Lake, East Okoboji Lake, Five Island Lake, Lake Ellis, Lake Icaria, Lake MacBride, Lake Manawa, Lake Red Rock, Little River Lake, Little Spirit Lake, Lost Grove Lake, Lost Island Lake, North Twin Lake, Okamanpeedan Lake, Pleasant Creek Lake, Rathbun Lake, Rock Creek Lake, Saylorville Lake, Silver Lake, Storm Lake, Three Mile Reservoir, Twelve Mile Creek Lake and West Okoboji Lake.

Catfish in Iowa

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 38.13 lbs

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 81 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 101.0 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in Iowa?

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.

Iowa State Record Catfish

The state record channel catfish was caught from Missouri River.

The state record flathead catfish came from Ellis Lake.

The state record blue catfish came out of the Missouri 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 Iowa. 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.

John Walsh with a big Iowa 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.

Additional catfishing information resources.

Catfish Conservation Group

U.S. Catfish Anglers Tournaments

Planet Catfish

 

Information for states with catfish.

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