Catfish Fishing Lakes: Complete Guide

Every fisherman I know loves catfish. They are very tasty when cooked the way they should be. The secret to successful catfish fishing is knowing where the fish live, knowing what they like to eat, and knowing the techniques to use to catch them. In this publication, I’ll share part of the secret with you: I’ll tell you exactly where and how deep to fish for catfish so you can soon have this tasty fish on your table for you and your family to enjoy. Learn all about catfish fishing lakes in this guide.

Catfish Location

Many professional catfish anglers often record the depth at which they catch catfish. This information is usually recorded by competing for professional anglers.

The fact that there are many such records means that we can easily tell the approximate depth at which a catfish is most likely to be caught. The depth is between 15 and 20 feet deep in the lakes.

Therefore, if you are going after catfish in your local lake, you should cast your bait somewhere between 15 and 20 feet deep, as this is the best area to catch catfish.

Where to Find Catfish in Lakes

In large lakes, you will find catfish along their inlets and old creeks. When examining such locations for catfish, use a depth finder to identify the deepwater areas near them.

It is in these deepwater areas where catfish will spend most of their time. It is in these areas where you are most likely to catch them, trying to bait deep.

At night, the big catfish in the lake often move shallowly to feed. Therefore, you can catch them from the shore if you position yourself near-flat ground.

When you find creeks, follow them to the back of them slowly and look for possible feeding areas. Chances are you will find several potential feeding areas and you will be able to catch plenty of fish.

Seasons affect when you can fish for catfish. In winter and summer, catfish generally move to deeper water with enough oxygen to sustain them.

This can be about 20 feet deep, which is very deep and means fishing with a depth finder to identify potential catfish areas.

During the spring season, catfish generally move from deep water to shallow water with solid bottoms to spawn.

They are easy to catch in such areas. In the fall, as the water on top becomes more bearable, they generally move to shallower water.

In midwinter, catfish can be caught through ice fishing. However, this requires experience and creativity with ice fishing. It also requires a lot of caution so that the ice doesn’t break and you end up in the cold water.

In a nutshell, what I have been trying to say is that the depth at which you can fish for catfish depends largely on the time of year.

how to catch catfish

Best Time to Fish for Catfish and Where to Fish for Catfish

The best time of day to fish for catfish is at night. This is because catfish tend to feed a lot at night.

Their special eyes and whiskers will find it quite easy to find food at night. They usually hunt around weedy areas, shorelines, points, bars, and flats to feed.

Therefore, fishing those areas at night will increase your chances of catching a good number of catfish.

During the day, you can fish for catfish early in the morning or late afternoon-evening near lake inlets and deep structures such as humps, deep holes, drop-offs, and river bends.

Catfish Fishing Lakes: Equipment

Catfish is one of the easiest fish to catch if you find your weak spots, it is important to use the right fishing equipment and proper fishing techniques.

I have already shown you how to find catfish in lakes and rivers. Now let me tell you about the right fishing gear and proper fishing techniques for catfish.

A typical list of fishing tackle for an experienced catfish angler will include: a 7-foot spinning rod (medium size), 14-pound strength fishing line, size 3/0 and size 1/0 hooks, 1-ounce and 2-ounce sinkers, bobbers, jig heads.

It will also include live baits such as worms or minnows. Because catfish are very sensitive to odor, they can be easily attracted to strongly scented artificial baits or cut baits.

In my opinion, the best hooks for catfish fishing are circle hooks. This is because they rig up along with the bait practically by themselves; you don’t have to do any weird maneuvers to hook fish when you use them either.

You simply have to reel in your line once the fish bites. They’re also perfect for catch-and-release because they don’t cause much damage going in or pulling them out.

Treble hooks are also excellent for landing catfish. However, many people don’t like them because they are somewhat difficult to remove and tend to cause damage when removed and therefore increase the catfish mortality rate.

Now that you know what you need to fish for catfish, let me share with you how to do it. After you have your fishing setup ready, you need to place it near the bottom of the lake or river.

Considering how active and sensitive catfish are, the moment your hook is close to where they are, they will strike quickly. When they do this, you simply have to play them a little bit and then reel them in. There is no need to maneuver to hook them, as mentioned above.

catfish fishing lakes

Catfish Fishing Lakes: Conclusion

The best depth to fish for catfish is between 15 and 20 feet deep in lakes. This is known as the catfish zone because they reside at these depths in most lakes.

However, depending on the time of year and water temperature, they can also reside in shallow areas. In rivers, catfish like to live near river tributaries and near structures that can form hiding places.