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Guide To The Best Fishing Spots For Catfish In Minnesota

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All about fishing for flathead, blue and channel catfish in MN.

Minnesota is a hidden gem when it comes to catfish fishing, offering opportunities to catch various species, including channel catfish, flathead catfish, and even the elusive blue catfish. Anglers seeking catfish thrills can explore the many lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Channel catfish are abundant in Minnesota's waters and provide excellent angling opportunities. These catfish are known for their willingness to bite and can be found in lakes and rivers across the state. Anglers can target channel catfish using a variety of baits such as cut bait, stink bait, or live bait. Fishing near the deeper areas, river channels, or areas with submerged structures can increase the chances of landing a channel catfish.

Flathead catfish, often sought after by trophy hunters, can be found in select Minnesota waters. These large and powerful catfish are known for their strength and can provide an exhilarating angling experience. Flathead catfish are typically found in deeper river sections, near log jams, or around submerged structures. Anglers often use live bait, such as large minnows or sunfish, to entice these voracious predators.

While less common than the channel and flathead catfish, the blue catfish can also be found in certain Minnesota lakes and rivers. Blue catfish are known for their impressive size and strength. Anglers targeting blue catfish often focus their efforts on larger river systems, where these fish are more prevalent. Fishing with large cut baits or live bait near deep holes or river bends can increase the chances of hooking into a blue catfish.

The best time to fish for catfish in Minnesota varies depending on the species and location. Catfish are generally more active during the warmer months, particularly late spring, summer, and early fall when water temperatures are higher. However, catfish can be caught throughout the year, with specific tactics and locations varying with the changing seasons.

Minnesota's lakes and rivers provide a diverse and exciting catfish fishery. Whether it's the challenge of landing a trophy-sized flathead catfish, the thrill of reeling in a feisty channel catfish, or the pursuit of the elusive blue catfish, Minnesota offers ample opportunities for catfish enthusiasts. With its picturesque landscapes and bountiful waters, Minnesota is a fantastic destination for catfish fishing adventures.

Catfish Fishing Lakes in Minnesota

Catfish fishing in Minnesota

Rivers are notorious for serving up monster catfish and many state record catfish come from rivers all across America. For larger schools of catfish and to fulfill your desires for a fish fry, try some of the larger Minnesota lakes including Lac Qui Parle Lake and Lake Traverse.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Minnesota

Catfish in Minnesota

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 0 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 70 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 52 lbs 8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in Minnesota?

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.

Minnesota State Record Catfish

The state record channel catfish was caught from the Mississippi River.

The state record flathead catfish came from the Saint Croix River.

The unofficial state record blue catfish came out of the Minnesota River.

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 Minnesota. 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.

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 Video

Additional catfishing information resources.

Catfish Conservation Group

U.S. Catfish Anglers Tournaments

Planet Catfish


Information for states with catfish.

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