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Virginia Catfish Fishing

All about fishing for flathead, blue, white and channel catfish in Virginia.

Catfish fishing in Virginia

Catfish Waters In VA

Catfish can be found in most fishing waters across Virginia. Most rivers, small lakes and ponds have one or more species of catfish. The major containing a healthy population of catfish include Claytor Lake, Kerr Lake, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Drummond, Lake Gaston, Lake Moomaw, Leesville Reservoir, Philpott Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Reservoir.

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 Virginia. 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.

Catfish fishing from the bank

The Virginia state record blue catfish was caught from Buggs Island Lake and the VA state record channel catfish was taken out of the Rappahannock River. The Occoquan Reservoir served up the VA state record flathead catfish and the state record white catfish was pulled from Western Branch Reservoir.

Camp out and catch some catfish!

Camping and campgrounds nearby fishing

Fishing for catfish in Virginia

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

VA State Record: 32 lbs 0 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

VA State Record: 66 lbs 4 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

VA State Record: 143 lbs 0 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

VA State Record: 7 lbs 6 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected catfish.

Additional resources for catfishing information.

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.

Catfish fishing information for states with catfish.


Learn the lifestyle of catfish

The more you know about the seasonal migration of catfish, the easier it will be to catch catfish in Virginia lakes and rivers. Catfish feed on a wide variety of food sources. They can be caught on prepared baits as well as live and dead baitfish.

Contribute VA Catfish Fishing Knowledge

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Fishing boats and boat rentals

Best catfish fishing lakes in Virginia!