Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

The channel catfish is very highly regarded for its food and sports value.

Midwest, South
Catch Ease
Lake, River, Stream

How to identify a Channel Catfish

The distinctive channel catfish can often be recognized at a glance by its deeply forked tail and spots on the body (though not all specimens have them). The only other catfish with forked tails occurring in the U.S. waters are the blue catfish and the white catfish, neither of which is ever spotted.In addition to the spotted specimens, some channel catfish may be entirely black dorsally (males during the spawning season), or dark blue without spots, or even uniformly light blue or silvery exactly like a blue catfish or white catfish. In the latter cases, the species can be identified by the number of rays in the anal fin. White catfish have 19-23 rays, channel catfish have 24-30, and blue catfish have the longest anal fin with 30-36 rays. Internally, the channel catfish has two chambers in the swim bladder and the blue catfish has three.

Where to catch Channel Catfish

The channel catfish is currently distributed through most of the U.S. and parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico. In the U.S. it is most abundant in the central part of the country east to the Appalachians. Its occurrence is sparse along the west coast and east of the Appalachians because of its recent introduction.Channel catfish prefer clean bottoms of sand or gravel in larger lakes and rivers. At spawning time they will enter and ascend small tributaries and streams. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:

how to catch Channel Catfish

They feed mainly on crayfish, fishes, and insects generally at night in swifter moving currents. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:

Channel Catfish lures, tackle & bait

The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:

Find Channel Catfish

View Map

Recent Articles from the Blog

Angler holding a bass by the mouth

How to get a fishing license

Read More

numerous fishing rods and reels on a stand

How to Choose a Fishing Reel

Read More

Fishing boat on an ice lake

7 Tips for Breaking Ice With Boat Hulls: Say What?

Read More

Purchase a Virginia Fishing License

Subscribe to our Newsletter