Lake Erie Catfish Fishing

Ranging anywhere from flathead to channel cats, catfish fishing has always been a good Lake Erie fishing pastime. From shore to off-shore fishing, these lucrative beauties have a great accessibility. And put up a good fight, to boot.



Catfish get their namesake from their barbels–whisker-like projections from their mouth. Both channel and flathead catfish can be found in Lake Erie and its tributaries.

Catfish never stop growing. The older the catfish, the bigger it is. Their average lifespan is 15-20 years.

Tackle for Catfish

Not only are they good fighters, but they can achieve great sizes. For this reason, you should use heavier tackle: higher test pound line, and heavier fishing rods. They are essentially bottom-feeders, so you’ll want to fish the bottom with sinkers or catfish rigs. They have a strong sense of smell, and rely on it for feeding. The smellier the bait, the better, so use stink or cut baits, though nightcrawlers will do. If you’re after larger catfish, use sunfish.

How to Catch Lake Erie Catfish

They feed primarily at night, so the best time to catch them is after dark or just before dawn. Keep your bait on the bottom. They like cover, especially places where crayfish hide and come out to feed.