How to be a successful catfish farmer

Being a successful catfish farmer takes time, effort, and a strategy. Some people do it as a side source of income. Others though want it to be on a large scale and it will become their only source of income. Profits are what you have left from the money you bring in minus the expenses. With that in mind, you need to keep your overhead low and plenty of money coming in.

The start up costs for catfish farming aren’t too bad, but it depends on the types of materials that you are going to work with. While you do want to save money, you don’t want to cut any corners with overall quality. In the end, that will cost you more money than if you shaved a few dollars off early on.

You are going to need to start with at least 50 acres of surface water. It doesn’t have to be one larger area though. Many catfish farmers have several small ponds. The cost of creating them though can be a few thousand per acre. If you already have the land though and the ponds then you are ahead of the game.

You will need to cut your costs by buying items such as feed for your catfish in bulk. By doing so, you can cut down your daily costs. Of course, that means you will have more invested initially for you start up costs. Make sure you compare the prices on per unit so that you don’t assume you are getting a better deal than you really are.

The location for the catfish farm is really a critical issue that you need to think about. You want it to be close to the feed suppliers. This means that the cost of transporting it is less. For example if the feed supplier is only 30 miles away versus 200 miles, the freight cost will be significantly less.

When it is time to sell the catfish, you want to be close to a very busy market. The cost for shipment to get them there will be much lower than if you are far away. Such elements really do make a huge difference for the overall success of your catfish farm or not. Use this information to help you pinpoint locations that could work and to eliminate those from your list that will be too expensive.

The idea of being a successful catfish farmer is something that you may be enticed by. If that is so, make a plan of action so that you will be able to see what you have to work with. You may be able to get a small business loan or a personal loan to pay for what you don’t have the funds to cover. Try to do what you can so that you don’t have to pay someone else to do it for you.

You will also want to have good insurance on your catfish. If you bank on the fact that your production rates will always be good, then you are taking too high of a risk. The goal is to produce large fish at a small price so that you can get a higher level of profit. Make sure you keep good records too of your income and expenses.

You can’t put every dime you make back into the business. You need to be able to put some of it into savings. If you have employees then you will also need to think about their wages and any benefits you are willing to offer. When you get enough money put aside from profits, you may want to think about expanding your catfish farm.


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

One Response to “How to be a successful catfish farmer”

  1. felisha says:

    My husband and I live in AZ and he recently brought home some catfish he had caught to fatten up and eventually eat. We were feeding them craw-dads that he used to catch them with and all but one have died. What else could I feed it?? Anything I could feed it to fatten it up quicker? Or do you think that th kiddie pool I put it in is the problem? I’d love to hear any advice you would have for me. THANKS

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