Ive found that early to mid march depending on the weather cats start to show signs of spawning activity. Actually, mid march is an excellent time to catch decent sized channel cats in encanto park. The back side (north) of the mini island in the main lagoon always holds a few larger channels 5-10lbs that show signs of spawning.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife publishes a fairly decent pamphlet on fishing subjects. I checked what they had to say about the catfish spawn. Oklahoma has the three main type of catfist - Blue, Channel and Flathead. The information on spawning was identical for all three. Here it is...
Spawning – Spawning usually takes place in late May or early June when the water temperature reaches 75 degrees F. Hollow logs, overhanging underwater ledges or holes under mud banks are typical nesting places. Females lay about 10,000 eggs each. Males guard the eggs against intruders, including the female. The eggs hatch in six to 10 days as determined by temperature. After hatching, fry are attended for a short time by the male as they feed in a dense school.
So, I think the thing which triggers the spawn is water temperature, no matter which geographical region you may be located.
I cant say much about the water temps that trigger it. However Im almost positive it starts in early april and extends up to the middle of july in some lakes. Maybe the cats arent in actual spawn in april , more of a pre spawn thing , however they are starting to move into the shallower water and river ends of lakes.Every lake is different. The higher lakes like point of pines isnt until late may , lakes like Bartlett in early april , an Roosevelt is in between.
Every year is different too , some years are cooler , some warmer.
My favorite month for really big flats doesnt start until sept through november....THEY GET HUNGRY !
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