Catfish aren’t really picky eaters at all. In fact, many people call them scavenger fish. They rely heavily on smell and taste to determine whether or not they will eat something. And what works perfectly one day may not work again the next. That is why it is so important for anyone who wants to catch catfish to have several great baits that can be used to make sure you optimize your chances of catching the big one.
Great Catfish Baits To Try on Your Next Fishing Trip
Larger catfish are more likely to go for a larger meal, requiring bigger bait. Shad is a great option for catching larger catfish because it can both be used whole and in chunks or strips. Shad is ideal bait in areas like rivers and reservoirs because they are already naturally occurring in those places and are often a popular meal for large catfish. The innards of the shad is also a great option for bait because of its smell.
Hot dogs are an inexpensive, yet effective bait option for catching catfish. They provide you with a tasty treat for the catfish, while also giving off enough of a smell to attract the catfish to it. It is important, however, that you use hotdogs very sparingly and only use a piece of hotdog no bigger than your knuckle. The byproducts in the hotdogs aren’t ideal for fish and can cause health issues for any fish that are released or that get away with the bait.
Catfish have a thing for sweets and candy is a great bait to use. But it is important to remember that the taste of the sweets alone is not enough to get the catfish interested. You will need to dip the sweets in a scent that will attract the fish to the bait. Marshmallows are ideal for this because they absorb the scent and are easy to put on your hook.
There are few baits better than chicken livers at drawing catfish into an area. The strong smell of meat that the liver produces can be detected from a wide area and will make the catfish swim to that area. While the catfish that come may not be very large, the quantity may make up for that.
While one of the strangest bait options on the list, ivory soap offers a distinct scent trail that brings catfish in from a wide area. Cutting a small piece of solid ivory soap and putting it on your hook may not sound like a great way to catch fish, but has more than proven itself when used.
The classic worm is a cliché for a reason. Even without the smell to attract them, catfish will still be attracted to nightcrawlers. For your best chance at catching catfish, it is better to have large nightcrawlers or several smaller ones on a hook at once to make them look juicier and more appealing.
Crawfish are a natural food source for all types of catfish. Because catfish already have a taste for them and seek them out it makes them an ideal bait. You can use live or dead crawfish and it is important to try to recreate the way the crawfish would move to further draw the catfish over.
The smell of dog food is a great way to attract catfish. The proteins inside, coupled with the size and shape of them makes it ideal to use. You can use the kibble as bait or as chum by throwing a handful into the water.
Dip baits are made to create a chum-like experience as the dip sits on your hook in the water while you’re fishing. This is ideal in water with a current because the pieces of bait break off and flow away to attract the fish and increase you chances of catching anything. The dip needs to be solid enough to stay together in the water, but also able to have pieces fall away in the current. You can make your own or buy dip bait and it is crucial that the bait not only stinks but has a cheese or protein base.
What is Your Favorite Catfish Bait?
There is a huge debate between many fishermen about the ideal catfish bait. What is your favorite bait? Let us know in the comments section below: