While the Midwest has a long tradition of great catfishing and the Southwest, led by Texas, ranks high as well, Keith "Catfish" Sutton doesn't have much of an issue with the Southeast winning the category.
With 317 votes, the Southeast accumulated 53 percent of the readers' votes in ESPNOutdoors.com's Who's Got Game? poll on which region at the best catfishing. The Midwest was next with 162 votes for 27 percent, followed by the Southwest (53 votes, 9 percent), the Northeast (30, 5) and the West (13, 2).
"The Southeast can't be beat, especially with the records" it holds, says Sutton, author of a number of books, including many on catfishing. "Those figures kind of jive with my book sales over the years. By far, I get most of them in the Southeast and Midwest.
"The reasons are not that hard to figure. The Northeast doesn't have a lot of catfish. The West, all they've got is what's been stocked. There's some pretty good fisheries out there, but not many. The Southwest, it's pretty barren."
Sutton says he thinks the Southwest might have fared a whisker better.
"Texas ranks really, really high in catfishing, as well Oklahoma" he says. "Once you get out of Texas and Oklahoma, and more into the western part, you don't have as much."
California has produced some 100-pound blue catfish, which have gotten huge eating trout, but the fish aren't there in numbers, he says.
"Catfish will eat anything he can get in his mouth, and trout being fatty like they are, can put on the pounds. But on whe whole, the survey is pretty correct," Sutton says.
"We have most of the best fishing in Southeast. Way more fishing, way more trophy fisheries. Midwest, you have way more anglers. In Nebraska, catfish are No. 1. Same thing with Oklahoma. The Midwest has a long ong tradition of catfishing."
Northeast 5 percent (30 votes) = 5 points
Midwest 27 percent (162 votes) = 27 points
Southeast 53 percent (317 votes) = 53 points
West 2 percent (13 votes) = 2 points
Southwest 9 percent 53 votes) = 9 points
Northeast 91 points
Midwest 94 points
Southeast 192 points
West 68 points
Southwest 50 points