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Washington Catfish Fishing

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

Catfish fishing in Washington

Catfish Waters In WA

The Columbia and Snake Rivers are notorious for big catfish. Most rivers in WA are likely to contain at least a few catfish. They will also be found in some ponds, parks, small lakes and of course some of the major lakes in Washington. These major lakes include Alder Lake, Banks Lake, Franklin D Roosevelt Lake, Lake Bryan, Lake Chelan, Lake Sammamish, Lake Umatilla (John Day), Lake Wallula (McNary), Lake Whatcom, Mayfield Lake, Palmer Lake, Riffe Lake, Spirit Lake, Vancouver Lake and Wanapum Lake.

Fishing for catfish in Washington

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

WA State Record: 30 lbs 3 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

WA State Record: 22 lbs 13 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

WA State Record: 17 lbs 12 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

WA State Record: 19 lbs 14 oz

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

Catfish fishing from the bank

The WA state record blue catfish was taken out of the Columbia River and the state record channel catfish was caught from the I-82 Pond No. 6 . The Snake River produced the record flathead catfish. The Walla Walla River was home to the state record white catfish.

Washington Catfish
Hanako Kilburn caught this 15-pound channel
catfish while trolling at Hart's Lake in WA.

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 Washington. 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.

Camp out and catch some catfish!

Camping and campgrounds nearby fishing

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 Washington 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 WA Catfish Fishing Knowledge

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Fishing boats and boat rentals

Best catfish fishing lakes in Washington!