July is an excellent time to catch catfish

By Don Ingram  
   July is an excellent time to catch catfish.
   Catfish usually “go under the rock” or nest in logs and rocks during the months of May and June depending on the water temperature. When catfish are nesting, feeding is of little interest to the species of fish. However, when they complete the process, catfish feed with a vengeance. Rains during July cause catfish to feed in rivers and creeks and migrate to the back of the creeks and coves on lakes.
   Two important things to remember that trigger catfish migrations are current and water level. The water flowing into the lake, river, or creek must rise and become discolored. Discoloration in the water means sediment and food is entering the water. On reservoirs, the overall lake level must increase significantly to trigger a migration to the end of the coves and creeks. Generally, the lake level must rise a couple of feet before a migration will occur.
   Several techniques that work well on lakes and rivers during this time of year are limb lines, trotlines, and jug fishing. On lakes, use all three techniques in the last ¼ section of the coves. On rivers and creeks, look for the deeper wholes of water below the riffles. Key areas to look for on lakes are main lake coves and secondary creeks. Main lake coves are better during the heavy rain or the next couple of days after the rain when the water is muddy or stained. Big cats will migrate to the muddy water to feed and remain until the water begins to clear.
   The best main lake coves are the ones that have a well-defined secondary channel or gully near the end of the cove. A small channel in the back of a cove indicates that during a heavy rain a large amount water will flow into the cove and increase an anglers chance of catching several catfish. The chances of catching a huge, 40 plus pound catfish are better in the coves because they are adjacent to the main lake which offers deep water and security. In the rivers and creeks, the deepest water will support the largest catfish.
   Secondary creeks are better when the current begins slowing down which is usually 3 or 4 days after a rain. An angler will have a better chance of catching more fish in the creeks than in the coves because the creeks will have a larger population of catfish.
   Make sure you are familiar and comply with all state regulations concerning the use of limb lines, trotlines, and jug fishing. Catfishing in July can produce huge catfish. When all other anglers are inside in the air conditioning, a select few fishermen are catching huge catfish.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.


  1. dillon says:

    hey im fishign at brownsford tonight in allen county. and i was wondering, because this dosent help much to people who have to fish off the bank. but what should i look for to catching alot of bigg catfish at browns ford. the river channel is right under the brige. so u could easily fish in it

    • Clay says:

      Good Luck with the catfish. With temperatures as high as they are, both above and below the water, go deep. I would think that the river channel would be a good place to start. Let me know what you caught. If you send me a photo, I will post it online. Thanks for writing.

      • dillon says:

        ok well we didnt catch nothing but a small small mouth and we had 4 people. so then we went off the the beach beside of the lighthouse thing and we was catching catfish on bottom. weonly got 3 good sized ones. but we was having bites all night that nearly took our poles in the water

  2. Brandon says:

    I was thinking of going catfishing tonight. Any good spots to go from the bank that you can actually have a shot at catching a couple of decent sized ones at now?

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