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Iowa Catfish Fishing

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

Catfish fishing in Iowa

Catfish Waters In IA

Most lakes and rivers in IA have catfish but the most consistent stringers are caught from major lakes like Big Creek Lake, Big Spirit Lake, Black Hawk Lake, Browns Lake, Brushy Creek Lake, Clear Lake, Coralville Lake, DeSoto Bend Lake, East Okoboji Lake, Five Island Lake, Lake Icaria, Lake MacBride, Lake Manawa, Little River Lake, Lost Island Lake, North Twin Lake, Pleasant Creek Lake, Rathbun Lake, Red Rock Lake, Rock Creek Lake, Saylorville Lake, Silver Lake Palo Alto, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Three Mile Lake, Trumbull Lake, Tuttle Lake, Twelve Mile Creek Lake and West Okoboji Lake.

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 Iowa. 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.

John Walsh with a big Iowa catfish.

Lake Ellis yielded the Iowa state record flathead catfish while the IA state record blue and channel catfish came out of the Missouri River.

Camp out and catch some catfish!

Camping and campgrounds nearby fishing

Fishing for catfish in Iowa

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 38 lbs 2 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

IA State Record: 81 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

IA State Record: 74 lbs 8 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 Iowa 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 IA Catfish Fishing Knowledge

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Fishing boats and boat rentals

Best catfish fishing lakes in Iowa!