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Fishing For Catfish In Nebraska For 2024

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Guide to fishing for flathead, blue and channel catfish in NE.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Catfish fishing in Nebraska

Nebraska is a fantastic destination for catfish fishing, with several species of catfish available to target. The most common species found in the state include channel catfish, flathead catfish, and blue catfish. These catfish species are known for their size, strength, and delicious taste, making them highly sought after by anglers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about catfish fishing and catfish waters in the state.

2024 Catfish Fishing Options

Channel catfish are the most abundant and widely distributed catfish species in Nebraska. They can be found in rivers, streams, reservoirs, and lakes throughout the state. Some popular locations for channel catfish fishing include the Platte River, Missouri River, and lakes such as Lake McConaughy and Harlan County Lake. Channel catfish are known for their excellent biting habits, providing anglers with consistent action and the opportunity to catch a good number of fish.

Flathead catfish, also known as "yellow cats," are highly prized by catfish enthusiasts for their large size and challenging nature. They are typically found in larger rivers and reservoirs, such as the Missouri River and Lewis and Clark Lake. Flathead catfish can grow to impressive sizes, reaching over 50 pounds in some cases. Catching a trophy-sized flathead catfish is a thrilling experience that attracts many avid anglers to the state.

Blue catfish, while less common than channel and flathead catfish, can still be found in Nebraska's larger rivers and reservoirs. The Missouri River is a popular spot for blue catfish fishing, with anglers targeting these powerful fish. Blue catfish are known for their size and strength, often putting up a fierce fight when hooked. Catching a big blue catfish can be a memorable achievement for any angler.

Nebraska's catfish fishing season generally spans from late spring to fall when water temperatures are optimal for catfish activity. During this time, catfish can be found in shallow areas, near submerged structures, and in deeper holes. Catfish are opportunistic feeders and can be targeted using a variety of baits, including live bait, cut bait, and prepared stink baits.

Whether it's targeting channel catfish, seeking trophy-sized flathead catfish, or pursuing the hard-fighting blue catfish, Nebraska offers excellent catfish fishing opportunities. With its diverse waterways and abundance of catfish species, the state provides anglers with memorable experiences and the chance to reel in some impressive catches.

2024 Best Catfish Lakes In The State

Catfish inhabit most of the fishing waters in Nebraska. They are in many private ponds, most rivers and streams, and the vast majority of larger lakes including Bluestem Lake, Box Butte Reservoir, Branched Oak Lake, Calamus Reservoir, Conestoga Lake, Davis Creek Reservoir, Elwood Reservoir, Enders Reservoir, Glenn Cunningham Lake, Harlan County Reservoir, Harry Strunk Lake, Hugh Butler Lake, Jeffrey Lake, Johnson Lake, Kimball Reservoir, Lake Maloney, Lake McConaughy, Lake Minatare, Lake Ogallala, Lake Wanahoo, Lewis And Clark Lake, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Merritt Reservoir, Oliver Reservoir, Pawnee Lake, Red Willow Reservoir, Sherman Reservoir, Sutherland Reservoir, Swanson Reservoir, Wagon Train Lake, Wehrspann Lake, Whitney Lake and Willow Creek Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In NE

Catfish in Nebraska

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 41 lbs 8 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 80 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 100 lbs 8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Best 2024 bait for catfish in Nebraska

Choose from the top 5 all-time catfish baits and try them on local waters. Appealing to the keen sense of smell and taste could turn a so-so day into a memorable event.

State Record Catfish

Merritt Lake produced the state record channel catfish.

Loup Power Canal was home to the state record flathead catfish.

The state record blue catfish came out of the Missouri River.

Mosnter Flathead Catfish
Roger Lockhart - monster flathead

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 Nebraska. 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.

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.


Information for states with catfish.

AL Catfish Fishing AR Catfish Fishing AZ Catfish Fishing CA Catfish Fishing CO Catfish Fishing CT Catfish Fishing DE Catfish Fishing FL Catfish Fishing GA Catfish Fishing HI Catfish Fishing IA Catfish Fishing ID Catfish Fishing IL Catfish Fishing
IN Catfish Fishing KS Catfish Fishing KY Catfish Fishing LA Catfish Fishing MA Catfish Fishing MD Catfish Fishing ME Catfish Fishing MI Catfish Fishing MN Catfish Fishing MO Catfish Fishing MS Catfish Fishing MT Catfish Fishing
NC Catfish Fishing ND Catfish Fishing NE Catfish Fishing NH Catfish Fishing NJ Catfish Fishing NM Catfish Fishing NV Catfish Fishing NY Catfish Fishing OH Catfish Fishing OK Catfish Fishing OR Catfish Fishing PA Catfish Fishing
RI Catfish Fishing SC Catfish Fishing SD Catfish Fishing TN Catfish Fishing TX Catfish Fishing UT Catfish Fishing VA Catfish Fishing VT Catfish Fishing WA Catfish Fishing WI Catfish Fishing WV Catfish Fishing WY Catfish Fishing