Maquoketa’s Bluff Lake Catfish Farm provides a great combination of home cooked food, serene landscape, and entertainment for the whole family.

Bluff Lake owner Linda Wells says that the restaurant’s unique experience brings people from everywhere.

“We get a lot of people that come back from Chicago, they like coming back here, they’ll come back here just for the day, stay the night, and go home. But there again, big city life compared to quiet and serenity, I don’t know.”

It all began in 1969, when a Maquoketa resident, Clayton Kuhlman, sold his house in Maquoketa for 160 acres to start a farm.

According to Linda, her father, Clayton, had a plan.

“And my step-mother was going to fish out of the camper on the hillside out there, so he made a pond for her and one thing grew into another thing, people liked the fish he stocked, they came from ponds out of the state of Mississippi, so we decided to start a little side business, and then he needed food and beverages, so, he had a little horse trough filled with ice.”

Soon, the business grew, and was passed down through the generations. 

Now, it has become a destination for travelers to eat original recipes and meet new people.

“All over, they come from all over, local people, when they come out to eat, they enjoy going through the parking lot and seeing all the different license plates from different states and different counties, it’s kinda fun, yea. They can meet so many new people. Almost every week I hear of somebody saying, I met someone from such and such, what wonderful people, we really had a nice visit. And eat good food, can’t forget that.”