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Illinois Catfish Fishing

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All about fishing for flathead, blue and channel catfish.

Catfish fishing in Illinois

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 Illinois. 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 Waters In Illinois

Most waters in Illinois have a population of one kind of catfish or another. Rivers often yield monster catfish while the more consistent stringers come from major lakes and reservoirs like Anderson Lake, Carlyle Lake, Cedar Lake, Crab Orchard Lake, Fox Chain O' Lakes, Governor Bond Lake, Heidecke Lake, Kinkaid Lake, Lake Carroll, Lake Decatur, Lake Lou Yeager, Lake Mattoon, Lake Shelbyville, Lake Springfield, Lake Taylorville, Newton Lake, Otter Lake, Rend Lake and Sangchris Lake.

The state record blue catfish came from the Mississippi River, Baldwin Lake served up the state record channel catfish and the state record flathead came from Carlyle Lake.

Fishing for catfish in Illinois

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

IL State Record: 45 lbs 4 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

IL State Record: 78 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

IL State Record: 124 lbs 4 oz

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

Additional catfishing information resources.

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.