June is the perfect time in Iowa to catch large catfish. Here’s why.

With flathead catfish spawning season underway and National Catfish Day set for June 25, many Iowans have trophy fish on their minds.

National Catfish Day was established in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan when he issued a proclamation in recognition of “the value of farm-raised catfish.” It lands every year on June 25 and coincides with the peak of the flathead catfish spawning season in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Management Biologist Ben Dodd.

“It’s definitely a good day to celebrate a month of catching large catfish in the state of Iowa,” Dodd said. “And the popularity of catfishing has really grown.”

According to Dodd, spawning season in June is the ideal time to go fishing for channel catfish and flathead catfish.

“Timing is important,” Dodd said. “And really June is a great month to be targeting catfish because they’re actively moving. They’re spawning and protecting nests.”

Corbin Jeffries, 10, of Norwalk shows off the 35-pound flathead catfish he caught in June 2021 in the Raccoon River.

Dodd’s Iowa DNR district covers seven central Iowa counties. In that district, Dodd said the most popular catfishing spots are the Raccoon River and Des Moines River.

“We now have a lot more catfish tournaments that occur on our rivers,” Dodd said. “And traditionally catfish were popular to catch for consumption. Now there’s been somewhat of a shift from utilizing these fish as a food source, and they’ve become more popular as a trophy fish.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: