What Water Temperature Do Catfish Prefer?

What water temperature do the Catfish actually prefer?

Catfish are some of the best fish to fish for.  If you are planning a fishing trip, take the time to consider your location (to be sure catfish are there) but also pay attention to the surroundings as well.  Catfish seem to be very particular fish.  Many like to come out only during the evening hours.  Others are willing to show themselves as long as the water temperature is correct.  Catfish are a great choice for those that are planning to camp because you can stay up late into the night fishing for them.


Nevertheless, when it comes to water temperature for these fish, it depends on how active they are.  Catfish are most active during the spawning season.  This is usually from about the middle of June through the fall months, depending on where you are located.  Most often, you will begin to see bites from the fish as the water warms to 70 degrees or a bit more.  Most catfish like the warm water.   During cooler months, then, they may not be found except in the more sun bathed regions of the lake or body of water you are fishing. 

Water temperature is only one factor of many regarding catfish fishing, though.  Make sure that you are not spending too much time in one location.  If after 20 minutes you have not gotten a bite, move off to another location.  They love to stay together!  Stay deep too, because most species of catfish perfect these locations over shallow water. 

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 “What Water Temperature Do Catfish Prefer?”

  1. Ryan Johnson says:

    Hello, I live on the Maumee river between the towns of Waterville and Grand Rapids in northwest Ohio. I have a sulphor spring that has a flow rate of over 300 gpm.
    From where the water comes up from the ground it then travels aprox. 125 to the river. The spring never freezes because the spring is a constant 60 degrees, nor does the small stream it makes flowing to the river.At the end of the stream where it enter the river it is also devoid of ice 20×20 feet opening. Question; would fish tolerate the sulphor to enjoy temperature change. that opening in the ice is about 5 feet deep.
    During the summer this is a good fishing spot…….am I wasting a winter hole?
    Thank you Ryan

  2. jimmy says:

    It seems to me as you’re saying catfish only bite in warm water which is not true some of the biggest caught for me are in the winter. You also said they stay together which is also not true as flatheads especially are more loners. Terrible site please get your facts straight.

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