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Want to catch a catfish?

Here’s what you need to know

Chris Penne is an aquatics biologist in the DWR's Ogden office, where he specializes in reservoir and lake management. He works with a crew of six other biologists and is responsible for fish and amphibians in seven counties of northern utah.

Where to go

You’ll find catfish in ponds and lakes across Utah. From Willard Bay and Lake Powell to Utah Lake and dozens of community fisheries, there’s usually a good catfishing hole somewhere close to home.

When to go

You can catch catfish throughout the year, but they are a popular summertime fish. They thrive in warm water and will bite on even the hottest days. Surprisingly, catfishing is also great just after ice-out on many of Utah’s lakes. This is when catfish swim along the windblown shores, gorging on the carcasses of weaker fish that died over the winter. We will stock 70,000 pounds of channel catfish in Utah’s community fisheries in 2009. To see where we’re stocking, visit the stocking report between June and September.

What bait to use

Catfish anglers often have great success fishing the lakeshore and using a chunk of minnow or chub meat as bait. Unlike many other fish, catfish aren’t finicky. They’ll eat worms, chicken liver, cheese, PowerBait®, bread, dead fish, hot dogs and shrimp – or just about anything else you toss their way.

How to hang onto your catch

After you’ve hooked a whiskered wonder, they’re easy to land. Catfish practically come with handlebars. Those sharp spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins of catfish make great grips – if you’re willing to slide the stem of each spine between your fingers. Catfish are great table fare and can be prepared a number of different ways. One of my favorite recipes is blackened catfish.


This young angler shows the catfish he caught at The Cove, a community fishing water in Herriman. Photo taken on May 11, 2008.

8 Responses to Want to catch a catfish?

  1. […] Want to catch a catfish? […]

  2. Hi,

    Would you have any photos of any of the local urban fisheries that I could post with my article I’m doing for


    Shane Roe

  3. Hello Shane,
    We generally post our best photos on . We’re constantly adding more photos to this site.
    Specifically, this page may help you. If you are looking for something more, I could talk to Chris Penne and see what he’s got.
    Parker Jones

  4. Thanks for the links to the photos sites. There are some amazing photos there. Whomever shot them is an awesome photographer!

  5. Great article and an even better picture. The smile on that kids face is PRICELESS. That is what it is all about right there.

    Can you guys catfish up there in the winter or is it too cold for you?

    I live in Texas where we have year round fishing, so I am always interested in hearing how the weather effects the catfishing in other places.

    Tight lines, and keep up the great work. Looking forward to more articles and pictures!

  6. wonder if any one has looked into why the catfish are die off in pioneer park brigham city thanks

  7. hello all, just a quick question. my son and i are looking for a good catfish lake or reservoir near our home at lake Powell, yes lake Powell lol. we are tired of strippers and next to none on the catfish. any help would be great- really like utah..

  8. hello all looking for a catfish lake or reservoir near az– utah border hwy 89, live at lake powell

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