Everyone has their own special bait that they swear by. For some people it’s chicken liver, other people prefer raw chicken breast. Other people would never fish with anything but doughballs.
This variety of preferences isn’t news to anyone, but they all work to varying degrees. As anglers, we love experimenting with what will work best. Sometimes we run out of ideas and need to turn to new sources of inspiration.
Check out the following list to see 10 tried and true catfish baits that you may not have thought of on your own!
1. Canned Dog Food
Channel catfish have taste buds studded throughout their skin, and they love the smell of this particular bait. The best type of dog food for your line is a chunky one, not a paste. If you’ve only got the paste kind, you just have to put a little extra work in, by placing it in cheesecloth before putting it on your line. Dog food also works really well as a chum for attracting schools of fish.
2. Cow’s Blood
While this may sound a little gross at first, it’s been proven time and again that blue catfish go nuts for cow’s blood! People from Arkansas that swear by this bait regularly hook and bring up 35 pound fish. To prepare this unique bait, just fill a 2.5 gallon bucket with blood, and allow it to congeal. Grab chunks of the congealed blood and place in pantyhose to keep it solid, and thread it onto your hook.
3. French Fries
Fried spuds are beloved by all, including creatures with fins! The grease, coupled with the interesting smells put off by it is sure to cause some big bites. For best results, try using french fries in a channel where you know flathead catfish like to hang out. Another great place to try is by waterside restaurants, where fish may already be accustomed to eating these tasty treats.
4. Garlic & Chicken Skin
Chicken skin is an excellent and resilient bait. Unfortunately it doesn’t have much of a natural aroma, so you’ll have to more accurate with where you’re fishing. To increase your chances, soak the chicken skin in garlic water overnight, giving it a pungent smell, and increasing its chances of getting a great bite!
5. Green Apple Bubblegum
Fish appreciate the strong flavor of this gum, the same as humans. This bait is particularly convenient because of its packaging and long shelf life. Not only does it lure in some large catfish, it can help the fish stay on the line due to its sticky nature. If you find that fish don’t like green apple, other fruit flavors can also work well!
Marinating various types of meat is a favorite for fishermen all over the world. Strong smells that represent humans typically aren’t favored, such as perfumes. Something that many anglers overlook is the attraction that fish have to booze. MD 20/20 grape is great for chicken breasts, Aniseed liquor for bait, and beer to salmon steak. These are tried and true recipes for success!
7. Ivory Soap
Anyone who’s spent time with a line in the water has heard of the secret of hand soap as bait. Nobody’s really sure why they love it so much, but people have spent great amounts of time trying to figure out which one will have the most success. Ivory soap has a high success rate, as it doesn’t have certain chemicals that are discouraging to catfish.
While it’s intended for human consumption, this processed meat product is also a favorite for catfish everywhere. The state record in Arkansas was set by a single individual using SPAM as bait, and caught a hopping 116 pound catfish. SPAM has plenty of oils and other fats that will quickly and easily bring catfish to your hook. Carp will also be drawn to it, and that means you’ll have to check on your bait often!
9. WD-40 and Preparation H
If you’ve read this far, you’ll notice the theme is that catfish love strong smelling bait. These two household goods go a long way towards enhancing other traditional bait such as hotdogs. While no one is really sure why fish love WD-40 (and using it isn’t great for the environment) Preparation H contains some shark liver oil, which may bring catfish swimming around.
10. Spoiled Shrimp
This strong smelling bait will spread its pungent aromas around, bringing fish from far and wide. If you have a good relationship with your grocery store, they will happily give it to you to use as bait, or use some shrimp that you forgot about. It might not make your nose particularly happy, but some people agree on leaving it in the sun for several days before using it as bait.
Source: Game & Fish