Channel Catfish

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Channel Catfish

Species Information

Scientific Name:Ictalurus punctatus
Common Names:channel catfish, channel cat
Environment:Lake, River
Ideal Temp:75-86ºF (24-30ºC)

About Channel Catfish

The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is North America's most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a "channel cat". In the United States, they are the most fished catfish species with around 8 million anglers targeting them per year. 

The channel catfish has a deeply forked tail with black spots on its back and sides. Its top and sides vary from gray to slate-blue and are often olive with a yellow sheen. Its body is scaleless, and it has eight barbels (whiskers) around its mouth that serve as taste sensors for locating food. To distinguish between a channel catfish and a blue catfish, look at the anal fin. The anal fin of a channel catfish is round with 24 to 29 rays. The anal fin of a blue catfish has a straight outer edge and 30 to 36 rays.

Young channel catfish feed mainly on plankton and aquatic insect larvae. As they grow older, they feed on aquatic in-vertebrates and small fish. Adults are omnivorous, eating plant material, insect larvae, crayfish, mollusks, small fish and even dead fish. They are bottom feeders and rely on taste buds on their skin and barbels to locate food.

Native to the Mississippi Basin, channel catfish have been introduced throughout the United States. Highly adaptable, they are found in ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs throughout North Carolina. Tens of thousands of channel catfish are grown in the agency’s state hatcheries annually and stocked at various Community Fishing Program sites to provide angling opportunities in urban settings.

Channel Catfish Fishing

World Record:26.30 kg (58 lb 0 oz) Santee-Cooper Reservoir, South Carolina, USA 07-Jul-1964
# Fish Caught:527123 documented in database.
Earliest Record:7/28/1789 12:00:00 AM and located at 37.05591, -88.54739.
Latest Record:5/10/2024 12:31:37 PM and located at 33.62573, -83.67955.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig
Fishing Spots:135 Channel Catfish fishing spots.


Latest Channel Catfish Fishing Reports and Spots

Fort Worth Fishing Guide Report – June 2024 - 6/3/2024 9:07:37 PM

It’s that time of year again—fishing on a full Eagle Mountain Lake is incredible! The channel catfish are biting like crazy and the white bass (View)

Georgia Fishing Report: May 10 2024 - 5/10/2024 12:31:37 PM

Georgia Wildlife Resources Division fisheries staff are hard at work with fish production and fish stocking. In fact fish hatchery production ha (View)

9/21/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES - 9/21/2023 7:45:10 PM

The post 9/21/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES appeared first on FishingLakes.com. (View)

Fort Worth Fishing Guide Report September 6 2023 - 9/6/2023 8:19:51 PM

August has delivered another incredible month of catfishing here in Fort Worth and the action has been nothing short of spectacular. At North T (View)

9/7/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES - 9/7/2023 9:22:38 PM

The post 9/7/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES appeared first on FishingLakes.com. (View)

8/24/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES - 8/24/2023 7:59:51 PM

The post 8/24/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES appeared first on FishingLakes.com. (View)

8/10/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES - 11/8/2010 8:19:00 PM

The post 8/10/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES appeared first on FishingLakes.com. (View)

Channel Catfish - 8/1/2023 9:02:00 AM

Nice channel catfish on live bait. (View)

7/27/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES - 7/27/2023 8:41:32 PM

The post 7/27/23 STOCKING IMPERIAL “SILVER” CHANNEL CATFISH AT SANTA ANA RIVER LAKES appeared first on FishingLakes.com. (View)

Eagle Mountain Lake Fishing Report July 2023 - 7/19/2023 8:40:59 PM

Fishing on Eagle Mountain Lake has been insane! The channel catfish are fired up the blue catfish are coming off the beds and starting to bite (View)