August 21, 2020
By John N. Felsher
Check out these great locations in the South to catch a big catfish.
1. Mississippi River and Tributaries
No waterway in the country holds more giant catfish than the legendary Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio river system. In July 2010, an angler pulled a 130-pounder from the Missouri River near Florissant, Mo. The great river system also produces giant flatheads, including some approaching 100 pounds. Tributaries like the Arkansas and Red rivers also offer excellent catfishing.
2. Tennessee River Lakes
The Tennessee River impoundments in northern Alabama, such as Pickwick, Wilson and Wheeler lakes, regularly give up monster blue cats, some topping 100 pounds. The system also produces big flatheads.
3. John H. Kerr Reservoir
Also known as Bugg’s Island Lake, Kerr Reservoir straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border. The 50,000-acre lake produced the world-record blue, a 143-pounder caught by Nick Anderson in June 2011.
4. Santee Cooper Lakes
The Santee Cooper Lakes of South Carolina could produce a world record blue or flathead at any time. Connected by a canal, the two lakes, Marion and Moultrie, cover about 170,000 acres. Lake Moultrie produced the world-record channel catfish, a 58-pounder.
5. Lake Texoma
Lake Texoma covers 89,000 acres on the Oklahoma-Texas line. This lake produced a 121 1/2-pound blue in 2004.
Lake Conway, Arkansas; Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas/Louisiana; Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma; Lake Guntersville, Alabama; Apalachicola River, Florida; Lake Eufaula, Alabama/Georgia