When Do channel Catfish Spawn

When Do Channel catfish spawn

The channel catfish is the most fished catfish species in the United States and is found all over the world. The channel fish is a very popular game and food fish—every year 8 million anglers fish for the channel catfish. Fishes are easier to catch during spawning season. Whereas Channel catfish are difficult to catch when they are spawning. This is because channel catfish select dark, secluded spots for spawning. There are a number of different type of catfish species that exist.


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The channel catfish has a very high demand in the food industry. To keep up with the demand for channel catfish, it is also farmed in the United States. Channel catfish anglers and farmers should know when do channel catfish spawn. I am going to share details about when do channel catfish spawn, over here in this article. If you need to review catfish rods, check them here.

When do Channel Catfish Spawn

The channel catfish spawn every year to sustain and grow its population. Below details are important to understand when do channel catfish spawn.


The channel catfish do not spawn all year round. They spawn in specific seasons when the conditions are favourable for spawning. The channel catfish spawn during spring or summer season. You may find channel catfish at different locations spawning during different times. They may spawn as early as late February or as late as August.

The duration and dates for spawning of channel catfish may vary year to year depending on the weather and location. For example, in Mississippi, you will find channel catfish peak spawn usually in May.

Channel catfish, at different locations, spawn at different times. Anglers can fish at locations where channel catfish have already spawned or are yet to spawn. If you are going on a fishing trip to catch channel catfish, it is vital to know when do channel catfish spawn.


The question when do channel catfish spawn is dependent on water temperature as well. Channel catfish can only spawn at specific water temperatures. You will find channel catfish spawning in water temperatures between 75° and 85° Fahrenheit (23° to 30° C). The optimal temperature for channel catfish spawning is 80° Fahrenheit. During summer or spring, water temperature is optimal for channel catfish spawning.


The channel catfish spawn for a limited time period. Within a few days, you will see that most of the channel catfish will have spawned. So, if you find yourself fishing for a channel catfish in the middle of spawn, it is better to fish after a few days. After a few days of spawn, channel catfish start feeding actively making them easier to catch.


Age at which channel catfish spawn, is also an important thing to know. Channel catfish of all ages can not spawn. The age of spawning for farmed and wild channel catfish is also different. In the case of farmed channel catfish, the channel catfish becomes sexually mature at 3 years of age. In some cases, farmed channel catfish can spawn at age young as 2 years old.

However, this is not the case for channel catfish you find in the wild. Wild channel catfish spawn at older ages like after 5 years of age.

Spawn cycles

Female channel catfish both in wild and hatcheries can only spawn once a year. A female channel catfish produces about 3,000 to 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight. Wild male channel catfish rarely spawn more than once a year. However, this is not the case for male channel catfish in hatcheries. Channel catfish farmers remove the eggs from spawn containers, allowing male channel catfish to spawn 3 or 4 times.


When channel catfish reach a certain age and weight, they are able to spawn. You can find channel catfish weighing only 3/4 of a pound capable of spawning if old enough. Whereas farm-raised catfish mostly spawn when they weigh more than 2 pounds. A healthy channel catfish is more likely to spawn than a weak one.


Channel catfish can not spawn openly in water. For spawning channel catfish require special places for nesting. Channel catfish are cavity spanners. You will find them spawning in secluded and semi-dark areas. In the wild, male channel catfish builds a nest for spawning. These nests can be holes in the banks, hollow logs, logjams or rocks. Because of this behaviour, spawning containers are needed for channel catfish breeding.

The male channel catfish prepares the nest by removing as mud debris and mud as possible from the nest. When the nest is complete, the female channel catfish are attracted to the nest for spawning. The male channel catfish keeps the nest safe from any intruders till spawning is complete.


Hopefully, after going through the article, you now know when do channel catfish spawn. 

The channel catfish spawning is a little different from other fishes. In the wild, they spawn only once when the conditions are just right. You will mostly find channel catfish spawn seasons in summer or spring when the water is warm. Since water temperature is not the same everywhere, you will not find channel catfish spawning at all locations. 

If you are a fisherman or farmer, you should know when do channel catfish spawn. Spawning is an important event for the preservation and growth of channel catfish.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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