Best Catfishing in Missouri

Man holding large catfish caught noodling.
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Welcome, fellow anglers! If you’re in search of an unmatched catfishing adventure, Missouri beckons with its diverse landscapes and prime fishing locations. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the sport, Missouri’s waterways promise a unique blend of challenge and serenity. From the winding Missouri River to tranquil lakes, our journey through the best catfishing spots unveils the secrets of these vibrant waters. Join us as we explore the reasons to fish, and essential information for a successful fishing expedition. So, gear up, embrace the rhythm of the water, and dive into the art of catfishing amidst the scenic beauty of Missouri’s rivers and lakes. It’s time to discover why Missouri is a must-visit for those seeking the best catfishing experiences.



Lake Ouachita

in the heart of the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is a captivating destination for catfish enthusiasts. The lake, known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant blue catfish population, provides a serene escape for anglers seeking both a challenging fishing experience and a connection with nature. Surrounded by lush forests, Lake Ouachita offers not only exceptional angling opportunities but also a tranquil setting where anglers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors.

Reasons to Catfish in Lake Ouachita:

  • Clear Waters: The clear waters of Lake Ouachita provide a unique catfishing experience, allowing anglers to see the action near the surface.
  • Blue Catfish: Lake Ouachita is known for its healthy population of blue catfish, offering anglers the chance to catch these impressive and hard-fighting fish.
  • Scenic Surroundings: The lake is set in the beautiful Ouachita National Forest, providing a scenic backdrop for a relaxing fishing trip.
  • Diverse Fishing Opportunities: Along with catfish, Lake Ouachita supports various other fish species, adding diversity to your fishing experience.
  • Accessibility: With numerous access points and amenities, Lake Ouachita is easily accessible, making it suitable for both seasoned anglers and beginners.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Pliers, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Large Reel


Arkansas River

The Arkansas River, winding its way through the state, is a dynamic and thriving watercourse that beckons catfish anglers. With its robust population of blue catfish and a diverse array of other fish species, this river presents more than just a fishing expedition. Anglers can explore the rich aquatic life against the scenic backdrop of the river’s landscapes. The Arkansas River provides a unique blend of angling excitement and an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of a constantly flowing waterway.

Reasons to Catfish in the Arkansas River:

  • Blue Catfish Haven: The Arkansas River is renowned for its thriving blue catfish population, attracting anglers seeking trophy-sized catches.
  • Variety of Species: Besides blue catfish, the river supports a diverse range of fish species, providing anglers with varied and exciting fishing opportunities.
  • Scenic River Setting: Fishing along the Arkansas River allows anglers to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Accessibility: The Arkansas River offers multiple access points, making it convenient for anglers to explore different stretches of the river.
  • Historical Significance: The river has played a crucial role in the region’s history, adding an extra layer of interest for those exploring its waters.

Recommended Gear: Baitcasting Reel, Braided Line, Flashlight, Circle Hook, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Rod


Greers Ferry Lake

Embraced by the majestic Ozark Mountains, Greers Ferry Lake stands as a testament to the natural beauty of Arkansas. This reservoir, with its expansive waters, invites catfish anglers to an adventure that extends beyond the thrill of catching channel catfish. Panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, coupled with year-round fishing opportunities, create a multifaceted experience. Greers Ferry Lake not only offers an escape into nature but also a canvas for anglers seeking both adventure and a peaceful retreat.

Reasons to Catfish in Greers Ferry Lake:

  • Reservoir Fishing: Greers Ferry Lake, nestled in the Ozark Mountains, offers a unique reservoir fishing experience for catfish enthusiasts.
  • Channel Catfish Abundance: The lake is known for its abundant channel catfish population, making it an ideal spot for anglers targeting this species.
  • Panoramic Views: Anglers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains while catfishing, adding to the overall experience.
  • Year Round Fishing: Greers Ferry Lake provides year-round fishing opportunities, ensuring that anglers can enjoy catfishing in various seasons.
  • Recreational Activities: Besides fishing, the lake offers opportunities for various recreational activities, making it a great destination for a family outing.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Dry Bag, Rod Holder, Cooler, Fillet Knife, Sunglasses, Sunscreen 


Lake Dardanelle

Stretching along the course of the Arkansas River, Lake Dardanelle unfolds as a vast and dynamic playground for catfish anglers. This lake, recognized as a hotspot for channel catfish, beckons anglers with its diverse fishing opportunities and the scenic beauty of its surroundings. Anglers can cast their lines against the backdrop of rolling hills, making Lake Dardanelle not just a fishing destination but a picturesque locale where fishing tournaments and natural beauty converge.

Reasons to Catfish in Lake Dardanelle:

  • Expansive Fishing Grounds: Lake Dardanelle, part of the Arkansas River, provides expansive fishing grounds, giving anglers plenty of space to explore.
  • Channel Catfish Hotspot: The lake is a hotspot for channel catfish, attracting anglers looking for a rewarding catfishing experience.
  • Fishing Tournaments: Lake Dardanelle hosts fishing tournaments, adding a competitive element for those seeking more than a casual fishing outing.
  • Scenic Beauty: Anglers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and its surroundings, enhancing the overall fishing experience.
  • Diverse Fishing Options: In addition to catfish, Lake Dardanelle supports a diverse range of fish species, offering anglers varied fishing opportunities.

Recommended Gear: First Aid Kit, Pliers, Paddle, Fishing Net, Circle Hooks, Live Bait, Fillet Knife 


Millwood Lake

Tucked away in the southwest reaches of Arkansas, Millwood Lake is a hidden gem for catfish enthusiasts. Renowned for its flathead catfish, this lake offers a unique blend of angling challenges and tranquil surroundings. Anglers can explore the tranquil waters, follow scenic nature trails, and relish the thrill of reeling in impressive catches. Millwood Lake promises not just a fishing adventure but an immersive experience in the heart of Arkansas’ natural beauty.

Reasons to Catfish in Millwood Lake:

  • Southwest Arkansas Gem: Millwood Lake, located in southwest Arkansas, is a gem for catfish anglers seeking a diverse fishing experience.
  • Flathead Catfish Opportunities: The lake is known for its flathead catfish, providing a thrilling challenge for anglers targeting this species.
  • Scenic Nature Trails: Anglers can take a break from fishing and explore the scenic nature trails around Millwood Lake, adding a touch of adventure to their trip.
  • Bird Watching: The lake is a haven for bird watchers, offering opportunities to observe various bird species in their natural habitat.
  • Quiet and Serene Atmosphere: Millwood Lake provides a tranquil and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful fishing getaway.

Recommended Gear: Dry Bag, Fish Stringer, Pliers, Sunglasses, UV Clothing, Fishing Net, First Aid Kit 


White River

Flowing through the picturesque landscapes of Arkansas, the White River stands as a testament to the state’s natural wonders. While renowned for its trout fishing, the White River also offers an exciting opportunity for catfish anglers. With a healthy population of channel catfish, this river provides a unique blend of fishing experiences against the backdrop of serene riverbanks and scenic beauty. Anglers can enjoy the challenge of catfishing in a setting that combines the tranquility of nature with the thrill of reeling in sizable catches.

Reasons to Catfish in the White River:

  • Trout Fishing and Catfishing Combo: While the White River is famous for trout fishing, it also offers exciting catfishing opportunities, providing a unique combination for anglers.
  • Channel Catfish Abundance: The river is home to a healthy population of channel catfish, making it a preferred spot for anglers targeting this species.
  • Beautiful River Banks: Anglers can enjoy fishing along the beautiful river banks, appreciating the natural beauty of the White River.
  • Fly Fishing Possibilities: Besides conventional catfishing methods, the White River also presents opportunities for fly fishing, adding diversity to the angling experience.
  • Year Round Fishing: The river’s consistent flow and temperature make it suitable for year-round fishing, ensuring anglers can enjoy catfishing in any season.

Recommended Gear: Rod Holder, Bucket Seat, Cooler, Lip Gripper, Scale, Tackle Box, Sunglasses 


DeGray Lake

In the vicinity of Arkadelphia, DeGray Lake emerges as a picturesque waterway inviting catfish enthusiasts to its clear waters and diverse fishing opportunities. Boasting a notable population of channel catfish and blue catfish, the lake promises both a rewarding angling experience and a tranquil escape into nature. Surrounded by a state park, DeGray Lake offers convenient amenities, making it an ideal destination for anglers seeking a harmonious blend of fishing and outdoor recreation.

Reasons to Catfish in DeGray Lake:

  • Picturesque Setting: DeGray Lake, near Arkadelphia, offers catfish anglers a picturesque setting with its clear waters and surrounding natural beauty.
  • Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish: The lake is known for its populations of channel catfish and blue catfish, providing anglers with a variety of catfishing opportunities.
  • Family Friendly Activities: In addition to catfishing, DeGray Lake offers family-friendly activities, making it an ideal destination for a fishing trip with loved ones.
  • Boating and Water Sports: Anglers can take advantage of the lake’s boating and water sports facilities, enhancing the overall recreational experience.
  • State Park Amenities: DeGray Lake State Park provides convenient amenities, including campsites and picnic areas, making it a well-rounded destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Pliers, Insect Repellent, Fishing Backpack, Scale, Fishing Line, Waterproof Phone Case


Bull Shoals Lake

As the largest lake in Arkansas, Bull Shoals Lake captivates catfish anglers with its expansive waters and scenic Ozark Mountain views. Known for its thriving blue catfish population, the lake provides a challenging environment for those seeking trophy-sized catches. Beyond catfishing, the lake hosts various angling competitions, infusing a competitive spirit into the fishing experience. Anglers can cast their lines against the backdrop of the Ozarks, creating an atmosphere that combines natural beauty with the excitement of angling.

Reasons to Catfish in Bull Shoals Lake:

  • Largest Lake in Arkansas: Bull Shoals Lake, on the White River, is the largest lake in Arkansas, offering catfish anglers a vast and diverse fishing environment.
  • Blue Catfish Hotspot: The lake is known for its blue catfish population, attracting anglers seeking the challenge of catching these large and powerful fish.
  • Angling Competitions: Bull Shoals Lake hosts various fishing competitions, adding a competitive element for those who enjoy testing their skills against other anglers.
  • Scenic Ozark Mountain Views: Anglers can enjoy stunning views of the Ozark Mountains while catfishing, creating a visually appealing backdrop for their fishing experience.
  • Water Recreation Opportunities: The lake provides opportunities for water recreation, including boating and swimming, making it suitable for a well-rounded outdoor getaway.

Recommended Gear: Cooler, Fillet Knife, Sunglasses, Bucket Seat, Live Bait, Sunscreen, Fishing Gloves


Lake Conway

Situated near Conway, Lake Conway offers an urban angling experience for catfish enthusiasts. Regularly stocked with catfish, this lake ensures a consistent and rewarding fishing experience for anglers throughout the year. Beyond its angling appeal, Lake Conway provides a family-friendly environment with convenient amenities such as fishing piers and picnic areas. Anglers can enjoy accessible shoreline fishing, making it an excellent choice for both seasoned anglers and those new to the joys of catfishing.

Reasons to Catfish in Lake Conway:

  • Urban Fishing Experience: Lake Conway, located near Conway, provides an urban fishing experience for catfish enthusiasts, making it easily accessible for locals and visitors.
  • Regular Stocking: The lake is regularly stocked with catfish, ensuring a consistent and rewarding experience for anglers throughout the year.
  • Family Friendly Environment: Lake Conway’s family-friendly environment makes it an excellent choice for anglers looking to introduce their loved ones to the joys of catfishing.
  • Convenient Amenities: The lake is equipped with convenient amenities such as fishing piers, boat ramps, and picnic areas, enhancing the overall fishing experience.
  • Accessible Shoreline Fishing: Anglers can enjoy accessible shoreline fishing, making it an ideal spot for those without boats or looking for a more relaxed fishing outing.

Recommended Gear: Flashlight, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Pliers, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Large Reel


Lake Chicot

Lying as the largest oxbow lake in North America, Lake Chicot provides a grand stage for catfish anglers seeking a unique and expansive fishing environment. With populations of channel catfish and blue catfish, the lake offers a diverse range of catfishing opportunities. Surrounded by rich natural habitat, Lake Chicot creates a picturesque setting for anglers to immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors. From camping to bird watching, the lake provides various recreational activities, making it a well-rounded destination for those seeking both angling and outdoor adventures.

Reasons to Catfish in Lake Chicot:

  • Largest Oxbow Lake in North America: Lake Chicot holds the distinction of being the largest oxbow lake in North America, offering catfish anglers a unique and expansive fishing environment.
  • Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish: The lake is home to channel catfish and blue catfish, providing anglers with diverse catfishing opportunities.
  • Rich Natural Habitat: Anglers can appreciate the rich natural habitat surrounding Lake Chicot, contributing to the overall beauty of the fishing experience.
  • Camping and Recreation: The lake offers camping facilities and recreational activities, allowing anglers to extend their stay and enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits.
  • Serene Atmosphere: Lake Chicot’s serene atmosphere makes it a peaceful destination for anglers seeking a quiet and reflective fishing experience.

Recommended Gear: Baitcasting Reel, Braided Line, Flashlight, Circle Hook, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Rod

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