In Utah, catfish fishing can be incredibly satisfying, since there are several areas of the state with warm water that provide excellent catfish breeding grounds. When discussing the catfish available in the state of Utah, however, you’ll find that there are really only two types of catfish that are present in any abundance.
The black bullhead and the channel catfish are really the only species of catfish you’ll find in Utah, and in fishing for either of these, it’s good to know a bit about them.
The black bullhead is native to the United States east of the Rockies, as well as parts of northern Mexico and southern Canada. In Utah, catfish fishing for bullheads is especially common at Utah Lake.
As a bottom feeder, the black bullhead lives mostly on small fish, invertebrates, and some plant matter. They prefer a warm, slow-moving habitat usually found in small bodies of water or backwaters. These catfish are black, dark brown, or olive in color on the top side, with a greenish or yellow belly.
Unlike many species of catfish, the bullhead doesn’t grow to tremendous sizes and usually won’t weigh more than a couple of pounds. However, they are a great species of catfish for beginning anglers and children to work with because of their typical catfish like behavior with a relatively small size.
Besides Utah Lake, you can also find bullhead catfish in areas of Bear River, Gunnison Bend Reservoir, Utah Community Ponds, and the Jordan River. Per state regulations, Utah catfish fishing allows a daily limit of 24 fish.
If you are interested in bullhead fishing, be sure to take bait, as these creatures don’t take well to lures. Try night crawlers, suspended just above the bottom of the lake or river, or perhaps small chunks of minnow and other fish, such as carp or white bass. However, one of the easiest baits to get your hands on that also produces some of the best results is the common earthworm.
Try casting out with just a worm on the hook, using no weight or sinker at all. That way, the bait will sink to the bottom in a natural way. Since bullheads tend to be found close to the shoreline, there is no need for a sinker to enable you to cast out further.
The other type of Utah catfish fishing that you can try is looking for channel catfish. These are the only other species of catfish you’ll find in Utah, though interestingly enough, it is not native to the state. It seems to have migrated to the warm waters in Utah from other areas east of the Rocky Mountains, where it finds its natural habitat.
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