The World’s Biggest Channel Catfish

What’s the word record channel catfish caught? Is there a technique you can use to target only the big ones?

The world record channel catfish was 58 pounds.  It was caught in 1964 in Lake Marion in South Carolina.  Now, that’s not the world record biggest catfish ever caught, but when you consider that a big channel cat is something like 15 pounds, and anything over 20 is considered a monster, that’s no little fish. 

Now, how you go about catching the next world record channel cat is another story.  Every angler will tell you something different, but in general, here are some guidelines.

First, you have to know where the big channel cats are.  Channel cats are all over the middle and eastern United States, from Canada down to Mexico.  They prefer clear waters without much current, and you have better luck of finding one in a major river tributary or big reservoir.  The big boys don’t tend to get too close to the surface, so you will have to set your hooks deep in the water.  Using a slipweight rig or some other deep-water method is probably your best bet.

You also need the right gear.  You need big, heavy poles to catch big, heavy fish.  You also need to have the right bait.  Anything stinky will do, and definitely go with live bait.  Big channel cats will only eat something that’s fresh out of the water.  If you only want a big one, go for big bait.  Catfish don’t have very big mouths, so if you really want to catch a whopper, use something big on the end of your line.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

2 Responses to “The World’s Biggest Channel Catfish”

  1. fishguy says:


  2. Jimmy Nolan says:

    I caught a 60+ pound channel catfish at Lake MV in OC, CA last Saturday night.

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