Navigation Home - AA-Fishing Lakes Fish

Fishing For Catfish In Kentucky

Pick A LakePick A SpeciesPick A State

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

Kentucky is a fantastic destination for catfish fishing, offering anglers the opportunity to target a variety of catfish species. Whether you're after the hard-fighting channel catfish, the massive flathead catfish, the behemoth blue catfish, or the lesser-known white catfish, the waters of Kentucky provide ample opportunities to land impressive catches.

Channel catfish are the most abundant and widely targeted catfish species in Kentucky. They can be found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout the state. Anglers often target channel catfish using a variety of techniques, including bottom fishing with bait such as worms, cut bait, or stinkbaits. Popular catfish destinations like the Ohio River, Kentucky Lake, and the Cumberland River offer excellent opportunities for landing channel catfish.

For those seeking a trophy-sized catch, Kentucky's waters are home to massive flathead catfish. These powerful fish can reach sizes exceeding 100 pounds and provide an exhilarating angling experience. Flathead catfish prefer deep, slow-moving waters and are commonly found in large rivers and reservoirs. Anglers often use live bait such as sunfish or shad to entice these monstrous predators. Waters like the Ohio River, Green River, and Barren River are renowned for their flathead catfish populations.

Blue catfish, known for their size and strength, are another prized catfish species in Kentucky. These behemoths can grow to massive proportions, with individuals weighing over 100 pounds not uncommon. Blue catfish are typically found in larger rivers and reservoirs, such as the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, and Kentucky Lake. Anglers targeting blue catfish often use cut bait, such as skipjack or shad, and heavy tackle to handle these powerful fish.

While not as prevalent as other catfish species, Kentucky is also home to the white catfish. These fish can be found in certain waters throughout the state, including the Ohio River and several smaller lakes and reservoirs. White catfish are known for their adaptability and can be caught using a variety of baits, including worms, cut bait, or stinkbaits.

Whether you're targeting channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, or white catfish, Kentucky's waters offer excellent opportunities for catfish anglers. It's important to familiarize yourself with the state's fishing regulations and obtain the necessary licenses. Respecting size limits and practicing catch-and-release for larger catfish can help maintain healthy populations and ensure the sustainability of the fishery. So grab your fishing gear, head to the catfish hotspots in Kentucky, and get ready for an exciting catfish fishing adventure in the Bluegrass State.

Catfish Fishing Lakes in Kentucky

Catfish fishing in Kentucky

Barren River Lake, Cedar Creek Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Dewey Lake, Fishtrap Lake, Grayson Lake, Green River Lake, Guist Creek Lake, Herrington Lake, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, Lake Malone, Laurel River Lake, Martins Fork Lake, Nolin River Lake, Paintsville Lake, Rough River Lake, Taylorsville Lake, Wood Creek Lake and Yatesville Lake all have a healthy population of catfish. Rivers, streams, private ponds and most smaller lakes also contain catfish.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kentucky

Catfish in Kentucky

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 32.0 lbs

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 97.0 lbs

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 106.9 lbs

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 5.27 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in Kentucky?

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.

Kentucky State Record Catfish

The state record channel catfish was caught from the Ohio River.

The state record flathead catfish came from the Green River.

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

The state record white catfish came out of Guist Creek Lake.

Catfish Fishing Video

Catfish fishing from the bank

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 Kentucky. 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