Channel catfish

Known by its other names such as Forked-Tail Cat, Willow Cat, etc., the Channel Catfish is a type of fish species native to Southern Canada and North America.

This fish species commonly resides in fresh, salt, brackish waters and spawns during late spring/early summer in water temperatures of 75? F.


This one has a long slender body with a deeply forked tail and uneven jaws. Their upper jaw tends to be longer and overlaps their lower jaw.

Smooth and spotted skin can be found, which eventually disappears after they mature. They also have a mini dorsal fan and vary in color.

However, they generally have a color scheme of dark-brownish and slate gray at the top with faded light brownish-gray sides.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Channel Catfish are well-known residents of lakes and larger rivers composed of clean bottoms of stones, gravel, and sand.

They also inhabit deep, slow pools consisting of swift and clear-running streams. While in large reservoirs, they are usually found under dams.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

Channel Catfish are most abundant in areas of large streams with minimum or moderate current.

They are distributed across a vast region, making them quite accessible to fish. But, they do get into deep river holes from late fall to winter.

Any bait that usually stinks can easily grab the attention of a Channel Catfish. Hence, shrimp, suckers, and chicken are all common bait options while fishing. Normally, a catfish rod & reel can get the job done along with bait.

Peak Season

The Channel Catfish usually spawn from April all throughout July when the water temperature reaches 80?82?F.

Hence, the months of late March, April, along with early May serve as a great peak season for the Channel Catfish.

Best Bait

Here are some common bait options that can be used against the Channel Catfish:

  • Shrimp
  • Suckers
  • Chicken
  • Nightcrawler
  • Livers
  • Anglers