Catfishing Near Me: Finding Catfish Fishing Spots Near You

If you’re wondering, “where can I go catfishing near me?” this article includes insider information on where to find the best spots—plus helpful and expert tips for successful catfishing. 

What Is Catfishing? 

Dead catfish on a net

Catfishing is a popular angling activity for catching various catfish species. Veteran anglers use the best catfish reels with a smooth drag and cast power due to the catfish’s fighting and pulling ability. They also use smelly cut bait like gizzard and chicken livers because catfish have a great sense of smell. Live baits like minnows and worms are also recommended for catfishing. 

What Are the Best Catfish Fishing Spots?  

Lakes and rivers are perfect spots to catch catfish. You can also find them in ponds and streams. But, if you want to maximize your chances of catching catfish, you should visit these good fishing locations for catfish:

Lake Tawakoni  

Angler catfishing at Lake Tawakoni  

Lake Tawakoni, the catfish capital of Texas, is filled with blue, channel, and flathead catfish. It is also popular for white bass and hybrid stripers. 

To fish here, you must observe a minimum length of 18 inches for flathead catfish. On top of that, you must have a maximum of 5 flathead catfish in your daily bag. Also, remember to get your license if you’re above 17 years of age. 

Although the lake’s maximum depth is 70 feet, it has shallow, long points with submerged trees attracting fish throughout.  

Lake Fork 

This big bass lake is also popular for channel cats, but you can also reel in some flatheads and blue cats. You cannot go wrong with this fishing spot since it has the best habitat features for catfish to thrive. The shoreline is natural, and Lake Fork has submerged and emergent vegetation for catfish to hide.

Like Lake Tawakoni, you will need a fishing license. There are also other fishing regulations:

CatfishDaily Bag Limit
Channel and blue catfish25. Only 10 if 20 inches or more 
Flathead catfish5, with 18-inch minimum length

Mississippi River 

Are you thinking of spots for catfishing near me? The Mississippi River is the perfect spot. This river has one of the largest freshwater fish, the blue catfish.

Here, expect to catch catfish weighing up to 100 pounds. However, observe these guidelines:

  • Channel and blue catfish – Possession and a daily limit of 20
  • Flathead catfish – Daily and possession limit is 10

Many reservoirs make the Mississippi a favorite for many anglers because they’re a good catfish habitat. Plus, many other fish species, like striped bass, paddlefish, and bighead carp, are common in the Mississippi. 

Reelfoot Lake 

Reelfoot lake is a good spot for catfish, but yellow bass is in abundance here too. The lake has excellent pockets of aquatic vegetation thanks to its average depth of 5.5 feet. So you won’t have an issue catching large channels and flatheads. However, you must have a special lake permit to access the five public boat ramps for your fishing boats. 

Catfish is a popular fish here, but you’ll also enjoy catching the following at this lake:

  • Black crappie 
  • Yellow bullhead 

Santee Cooper Lakes

Photo of Santee Cooper Lakes

Catfishing in these lakes is among the best in the country. You’ll find white, blue, flathead, and channel catfish all year round. Besides, these lakes are deep, making the water perfect for catching 20-pounders – a good size for trophy catfish! In fact, anglers caught the world’s biggest channel catfish in 1964

You don’t need a state fishing license. Instead, a permit from the General Store is enough. 

Lake Lavon 

Lake Lavon is famous for crappie and bass fishing, but you can also get the channel and blue catfish. Besides, Lake Lavon has the perfect depth, shallow flats, and small creek channels – features that make it exciting and fun to catch big catfish. 

So, if your “catfish farm near me” search is unsuccessful, grab your gear and head to Lake Lavon. Still, remember to observe statewide bag and length limits

Osage and Missouri Rivers

These rivers have monster channels and blue and flathead catfish. They are also home to walleye, white bass, and spotted bass. Besides, the deep holes and open waters are best for sport fishing. However, remember that the daily limit of channel and bluefish is 20 and 10 for the flathead. Also, you need a fishing license. 

Where to Go Catfishing Near Me?

an angler fishing at a catfishing spot.

Looking for the best catfishing near me spots? Fortunately, catfish are common in many water sources, like reservoirs and bottom channels. Look for these areas when catfishing: 

Bottom Channels and Ditches

Bottom channels and ditches are perfect because of their prominent or subtle drops. Look at features such as cuts in the bank or brush piles to find spots for catfishing near me. 

In the daytime, catfish move toward the deeper waters. However, they do the opposite at night, so anchor correctly to take home a good catch. 

Inundated Lakes and Ponds

Inundated ponds and lakes are excellent because catfish move to deep waters to hide and shallow waters to feed. Use sound navigation to locate points, sunken islands, or humps. These spots attract catfish. However, watch out for tree stumps while fishing. 


These man-made lakes favor catfish because they have varied habitats. They are also deep enough for you to catch catfish. It is easy to spot a reservoir by finding drop-offs, peninsulas, or rock piles. These areas are catfish hotspots. 


These large rocks placed to prevent erosion attract forage animals and provide cover for large catfish. When fishing, look for big boulders changing to smaller rocks. Also, underwater points created by slides of rocks are indicators of this location.  

Underwater Humps 

These humps are mostly near deep water. Here, fish have enough cover and enough food to grow large. For efficiency, use sonar technology to find suitable fishing zones for cats. 

Outside River Bends

These bends are dark and hollow. Logs, fallen trees, and debris accumulate in these spots, so you cannot miss them while fishing. Catfish hide from their prey in the undercuts, making feeding easier. 

How to Find Catfishing Near Me

Check Your State’s Department of Natural Resources Website

Understanding where to go catfishing near me is as important as knowing how to fish. Fortunately, different states have websites to help anglers identify fish hotpots. For instance, if you visit Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission’s website, you can access the best Texas state parks, rivers, and lakes. 

Join Fishing Forums 

Screenshot of catfishing subreddit in Reddit

You can join fishing forums to find other anglers who know where to find cats. Some of the forums you should be a member of: 

Use an Interactive Fishing Map 

Another way you can find catfishing near me spots are by using interactive fishing maps. These maps use your location to get accurate and relevant information, like nearby fishing lakes and fishing forecasts. 

Letting the Catfish Out of the Bag

Finding catfishing near me spots doesn’t have to be challenging. You can visit the best catfishing locations, try our insider tips on where to locate catfish, and how to search catfishing areas.