How to catch catfish in Iowa

One thing that is very important to remember is that the water condition affects the way the catfish respond to your bait. You will find more fish in the parts of water that has the most oxygen. If the water is shallow and it’s the hot part of the day you may not find any catfish on the bottom of the water because they will most likely be closer to the top where the oxygen is more plentiful.

The Best Bait to Use in Iowa Waters

The best rule to follow when choosing the bait to use for fishing in Iowa is to make sure that you stick with something that is close to their natural food source. Anything that appears to be foreign to the catfish will be ignored. As a general rule some of the best bait to use for Iowa catfish fishing includes nightcrawlers, cut bait, minnows, crawdads, stink baits and cheese baits. Bullheads are a great choice for catching blue catfish when fishing in the Mississippi or Missouri river.

When choosing the bait to use on any given trip, you need to take into consideration the size of the catfish. It is important to use bait that matches the size of the fish because bait that is too big will discourage the catfish while using bait that is too small will prevent you from getting the most from your trip. The water temperature should be taken into consideration as well. For example, you don’t want to use bait such as dead minnows or cut bait in water that is above sixty degrees.

As the water temperature rises above sixty degrees the most popular type of bait used for catching catfish is prepared bait. However, if you are in search of the larger catfish you may want to give crayfish, frogs and live chubs a try. The larger the catfish the bigger the bait needs to be because they do enjoy a good meal.

Catfish have a very strong sense of smell which is the main reason any bait with a strong smell tends to attract their attention and lure them in your direction. Iowa is well-known for being a great place to fish for catfish. In fact, you will not find better catfish fishing anywhere else in the nation. Therefore, if you get the opportunity to fish in the lakes and rivers of Iowa, don’t pass it up.

To get the full “How to catch catfish in Iowa” article you’ll need to download it here.


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

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