When it comes to selecting a catfish bait, the options out there can be a bit overwhelming. You have anglers who swear by dough balls, others by Wheaties, liver or even soap. For those who are more experienced in pan fishing or game fishing, getting into fishing for catfish can be a pretty big change. Hopefully, this will help demystify some of your catfish bait options and figure out which catfish bait is right for you.
Around the House Catfish Bait
One of the great things about fishing for catfish is that you may already have catfish bait around your house and not even realize it. Do you have a package of old hotdogs in the back of your refrigerator? Great! Catfish love hotdogs and the older the better. While you are digging around in the refrigerator, check to see if you have chicken livers, cheese, old lunchmeat, or sausage. A good rule of thumb for finding catfish bait in your house is that if it was edible at one point and has a strong smell to it, catfish will like it.
It seems like there is always a half eaten roll of Braunswager or liver sausage left over in my household. The texture of it is ideal for balling around a treble hook. The scent of the liver seeps into the water and draws the catfish in.
Homemade Catfish Bait
Catfish bait is just are easy to make at home as cookie dough or meatloaf. To see some different examples of homemade catfish bait recipes check out 6 Homemade Catfish Bait Recipes. The general concept behind most recipes is having an ingredient with a strong smell to it which will attract the catfish and a binding agent to hold the bait to the hook. This gives you the opportunity to put stale or outdated cereals and leftovers to good use.
By making your own catfish bait, you can customize it to what catfish are feeding on without having to buy multiple versions of pre-packaged baits. When I am trying a new lake, I like to make up small batches of the same bait with variations to the base recipe. One batch might be loaded with garlic, while another may have grape jello powder added to it. I just toss it in a zip-lock bag and label it with the variation, so that I know which version works best for next time.
Pre-Made Catfish Bait
When it comes to selecting a pre-made catfish bait, it seems like everyone’s uncle has their own special world famous recipe on the shelf. If you look online, everyone’s uncle DOES have their world famous catfish bait for sale. I have tried quite a few of these over the years and have had mixed luck. Berkley Powerbait consistently makes an effective pre-made catfish bait in multiple flavors, with liver and blood being the most popular. It is easy enough to find at from your local bait shop to Walmart.
Dip bait can be made at home, but I find it easier and just as effective to buy it. There are many options on the brand that you go with, but I tend to base my dip bait purchase on three things. First, is it liver or blood flavored? Second, does the lid to the container securely screw on? Third, is it reasonably priced? If you stick to those three things you should be good to go.
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Author: Brian Ward
June 5, 2014