The Best Fishing Spots For Catfish In Ohio
Guide to fishing for flathead and channel catfish in OH.
Ohio is known for its excellent catfish fishing opportunities, with two prominent species being the main targets: channel catfish and flathead catfish. Anglers across the state enjoy pursuing these powerful and hard-fighting fish in various lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. 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 the most common and widely distributed catfish species in Ohio. They can be found in both large and small bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, and ponds. Channel catfish are known for their voracious appetite and can be caught using a variety of baits, such as live bait (such as nightcrawlers or cut bait), stink baits, and prepared dough baits. Anglers often fish for channel catfish using bottom rigs or float rigs near structures such as rocks, fallen trees, and deep holes.
Flathead catfish, also known as "yellow cats" or "mud cats," are highly sought after by anglers looking for a trophy-sized catch. They prefer larger rivers and reservoirs with deep, slow-moving waters and abundant cover. Flathead catfish are opportunistic predators and often feed on live baitfish, such as sunfish or shad. Anglers targeting flatheads typically use large, live baits and fish them near submerged structures, such as log jams or rock piles, where these massive catfish lie in wait.
Both channel catfish and flathead catfish provide anglers with exciting fishing experiences and the chance to reel in impressive catches. Ohio's diverse waterways, including the Ohio River, numerous lakes, and reservoirs, offer ample opportunities for catfish anglers of all levels. Whether you prefer the fight of a channel catfish or the challenge of landing a trophy-sized flathead, Ohio's catfish fishing scene has something to offer every enthusiast.
Major lakes in Ohio, including Alum Creek Lake, Atwood Lake, Berlin Lake, Buck Creek State Park Lake, Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek State Park Lake, Charles Mill Lake, Clear Fork Reservoir, Clendening Reservoir, East Fork Lake, Findlay Reservoir, Grand Lake St Marys, Hoover Reservoir, Indian Lake, La Due Reservoir, Lake Erie, Lake Milton, Leesville Lake, Mogadore Reservoir, Mosquito Lake, Nimisila Reservoir, Piedmont Reservoir, Pleasant Hill Lake, Portage Lakes, Pymatuning Lake, Rocky Fork State Park Lake, Salt Fork Lake, Senecaville Lake, Tappan Reservoir and West Branch Lake, Wolf Creek Lake are excellent places to find healthy populations of catfish.
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 37 lbs 10 oz
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 76 lbs 8 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
What's the best bait for catfish in Ohio?
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.
LaDue Reservoir produced the state record channel catfish.
The state record flathead catfish was taken out of Clendening Lake.
Catfish can also be found in rivers, ponds and smaller lakes.
Deanna Howes, 21 years old caught 64.69 lb, 49" flathead catfish at Seneca Lake in OH using bluegill for bait.
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 Ohio. 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.
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.