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Fishing For Catfish In Idaho

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Guide to fishing for flathead and channel catfish in ID.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Idaho offers fantastic opportunities for catfish fishing, with two popular species being the channel catfish and the flathead catfish. Channel catfish are widely distributed throughout the state and are known for their strong fight and delicious flesh, making them a favorite target for anglers. They can be found in many lakes and rivers, including the Snake River, Lake Lowell, and Brownlee Reservoir. Channel catfish are often caught using a variety of baits such as nightcrawlers, chicken liver, stink baits, or prepared catfish baits.

Flathead catfish, on the other hand, are larger predators known for their size and powerful strikes. They are primarily found in the lower portions of rivers, including the Snake River and the Boise River. Flatheads prefer live bait, such as sunfish, bullheads, or large minnows, which can entice their aggressive nature. Flathead catfish fishing often requires heavy tackle and patience, as these fish can grow to impressive sizes and put up a remarkable fight.

Both channel catfish and flathead catfish can be caught throughout the year in Idaho, but they are most active during the warmer months when water temperatures rise. Catfish tend to seek out areas with cover, such as submerged logs, rock piles, or deeper holes, where they can hide and ambush their prey. Fishing for catfish is often done from the shore or from boats anchored near potential catfish hotspots.

Idaho's catfish fishing offers a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you prefer the challenge of targeting flathead catfish or the abundance of channel catfish, the state's lakes and rivers provide ample opportunities to land these impressive gamefish. So grab your fishing gear, choose your preferred catfish species, and get ready to enjoy a memorable catfishing adventure in Idaho's diverse waterways.

Catfish fishing in Idaho

Lakes in Idaho which have standing populations of catfish, or lakes which are stocked with catfish, include the likes of Brownlee Reservoir, C J Strike Reservoir, Cascade Reservoir, Crane Creek Reservoir, Hells Canyon Reservoir, Lake Lowell, Mann Lake, Mud Lake, Paddock Valley Reservoir, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and Spirit Lake all have healthy populations of catfish.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Idaho

Catfish in Idaho

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 31.0 lbs

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 58.5 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in Idaho?

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.

Catfish fishing from the bank

Mann Lake served up the state record channel catfish.

Brownlee Reservoir was home to the state record flathead catfish.

Catfish caught in ID by Vincente Arredondo
Vincente Arredondo - Payette ID.

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 Idaho. 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.

Catfish Fishing Video

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