Monster blues, oversized flatheads, lunker channels – they’re all out there waiting for you in the lakes and rivers on Fishhound’s “50 Best” list for catfish. Fishhound.com, one of the fastest growing membership-based websites and leading provider of real-time fishing reports, compiled its list with help from industry experts, outdoor writers, Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail, Operation Catfish, Rippin’ Lips and other authorities on the species.

“Catfish are among the most popular game fish targeted by U.S. anglers, and they inhabit countless bodies of water across the nation,” noted Rick Patri, Fishhound’s vice president, operations.  “Our goal was to narrow things down to a list of the 50 top locations – lakes and rivers that offer anglers plenty of action and a shot at some trophy size, maybe even record-breaking cats.”

The current blue catfish IGFA all-tackle record stands at 143 lbs. – a fish caught at Virginia’s Kerr Reservoir in June 2011. The official all-tackle record for flathead catfish is 123 lbs. (May 1998, Elk City Reservoir, Kansas), while the channel cat all-tackle record is 58 lbs. (July 1964, Santee-Cooper Reservoir, South Carolina).

Below are the 50 lakes and rivers that made Fishhound’s “50 Best” list for catfish.  To learn more about these waters, or obtain up-to-date fishing reports for the lakes on rivers listed, click here.

Fishhound’s 50 Best Catfish Lakes and Rivers

Best Catfish Lakes

  1. Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula), GA, AL
  2. Wheeler Reservoir, AL
  3. Ft. Gibson Lake, OK
  4. Lake Wylie, SC/NC
  5. San Carlos Reservoir, AZ
  6. Calamus Reservoir, NE
  7. Lake Texoma, TX
  8. Barkley Lake, KY
  9. Watts, Barr, TN
  10. Grand Lake, OK
  11. Kentucky Lake, TN
  12. Lake Ouachita, AR
  13. Chickamauga Lake, TN
  14. Merritt Reservoir, NE
  15. Lake Guntersville, AL
  16. Truman Lake, MO
  17. Kerr Reservoir, OK
  18. Lake of the Ozarks, MO
  19. Lake Caddo, TX
  20. Toledo Bend Reservoir, TX
  21. Logan Martin, AL
  22. Lake Conroe, TX
  23. Lake Mendota, WI
  24. Clear Lake, CA
  25. Lake Marion (Santee Cooper Lakes), SC

Best Catfish Rivers

  1. Trinity River, TX
  2. Colorado River, CA
  3. Cape Fear River, NC
  4. Red River, MN
  5. Cumberland River, TN, KY
  6. Missouri River, Waverly, MO
  7. James River, Hopewell, VA
  8. Tennessee River, Savannah, TN
  9. Ohio River, Vevay, IN
  10. Kansas River, Kansas City, MO
  11. Mississippi River, Cape Girardeau, MO
  12. Red River, Grand Forks, ND
  13. Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, LA
  14. Ohio River, Gallipolis, OH
  15. Mississippi River, Natchez, MS
  16. Missouri River, St. Joseph, MO
  17. Missouri River, South Sioux City, NE
  18. Rock River, Dixon, IL
  19. Cumberland River, Clarksville, TN
  20. Alabama River, Selma, AL
  21. Altamaha River, GA
  22. Colorado River (Lower Colorado)
  23. Red River, Alexandria, LA
  24. Apalachicola River, FL
  25. Illinois River, Peoria, IL

Image courtesy Fishhound

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