Sure, they don’t do gravity-defying leaps when hooked, and also nobody has actually ever called them pretty.

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But catfish space dogged fighters, and also they’re among the biggest, toughest fish in many of the lakes and rivers they call home.

Plus, with a little bit of cornmeal and also just the right seasoning, no fish renders a far better meal.

Channel catfish room the target species for most catfish anglers in Washington.

Easily figured out by their forked tail, channel cat can grow to 20 pounds or more (but 1 to 5 lb fish are far much more common and much better eating). They flourish in slow-moving rivers and deep reservoirs and lakes.

The best channel catfish angling in Washington has tendency to be in the Columbia River and its bigger tributaries. These room the primary areas in the state where developed river-loving channel catfish populations are self-sustaining.

That’s no to to speak channel catfish don’t do well in lakes. In fact, the Washington department of Fish and Wildlife has also stocked channel cats in dozens of lakes.

These fisheries count on continued stocking, however still sell some fun fishing opportunities.

Several types of bullhead catfish also inhabit lakes, ponds and also rivers across the state. Brown bullheads space the most common.

Though they rarely exceed a pound or two, bullheads have the right to be a lot of fun come catch, specifically for kids.Check the end our county-by-county fishing pages and also you can easily uncover bullhead to catch close to home, so us won’t fool with them in this article.

Washington Catfish Fishing Tips

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Photo by Daniel Cozad (Canva)A tiny lake at just 178 acres in Chelan County, Roses Lake is fantastic fishing destination all the same.

Known as an excellent bass and crappie fishery, and popular because that stocked trout, Roses Lake has also been stocked through channel catfish and has yielded some genuine giants.

Cut bait, nightcrawlers and chicken livers are all popular here.

Anglers that come here looking for catfish execute well to emphasis on depths below 20 feet throughout the warm summer months, especially throughout the day.

At night, channel catfish move right into shallower water and also patrol the exterior edge of the reeds and also weed beds that thrive along the shore. Yes a hard night bite top top Roses Lake.

Roses Lake is open up to boats, and also there’s a windy launch website off environment-friendly Avenue on the southern shore of the lake.

Because the the private property and also the proliferation that reeds along the shoreline, bank fishing is essentially restricted to the watercraft launch area.

Liberty Lake

This 706-acre lake is located just a couple of miles indigenous Spokane, and also it’s among the most famous fishing destinations because that the city’s anglers.

Liberty Lake is a well-rounded warm water fishery through bass and also panfish and also catfish. Trout are stocked here every spring as well.

Catfish have tendency to dominate records from June with August, after ~ the rush to capture spring stocked trout fizzles out. Brown bullheads room extremely usual in the lake, but there space decent number of channel cats, too.

Fishing ~ above Liberty Lake is just open native March 1 through October 31. Return the shoreline is an extremely developed, anglers have actually two solid options for coast fishing.

The DFW boat ramp top top the north shore is a an excellent option, with restricted open shoreline and also a fishing platform. Much more access is available at the south finish of the lake in ~ Liberty Lake local Park, which additionally offers campsites and also a swim beach.

More: Liberty Lake Fishing

Lake St. Clair

Just near Olympia and just 45 minute from Tacoma, Lake St. Clair is just one of the much better catfish lakes within basic reach in the southern Puget Sound area.

Like a the majority of lakes in the state, channel cat don’t seem come reproduce normally here, but they have actually been stocked.

The very first thing you’ll notice about Lake St. Clair is its strange shape. The 233-acre lake was formed by a huge chunk of ice from a receding glacier, which at some point melted to form this somewhat blob-shaped lake with its countless islands and also channels.

Much of the lakeshore is privately owned and developed, however there space two WDFW watercraft launch sites on the lake, both that which offer some coast fishing access.

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You don’t hear around a many of gigantic fish here, yet there are aabundant channel cats as much as 5 pounds. Shot fishing close to the boat ramps together the sun goes down, or deep ledges and also drop-offs throughout the day.

More: Fishing in ~ Lake St. Clair

Washington Resources

WDFW Fishing and Stocking ReportsWDFW Fishing RegulationsNational Weather business forecasts