With most fish, the best bait is anything they feed on naturally. However catfish are different, they are true scavengers and omnivorous and eat almost anything. Therefore, selecting the best catfish baits is usually a challenge. The array of successful catfishing baits are amazing.
How to Pick the Best Catfish Baits
You can choose from live fish bait through to the small frog, worm, or hotdogs right down to marshmallows. Not to mention some very strange homemade concoctions as well. In fact, to list all the baits that have been used to catch catfish will fill a book, so in this article, we will take a look at seven of the best catfish baits. Keep in mind that the use of proper hooks that are not only sharp, but strong for catfishing for each type of bait plays a key role in catching more cat fish.
7 Best Catfish Baits
Yup,if worms are not on the list of top baits at sites you look at to compare my list with theirs then they are outright crazy. Probably just trying to sell you all sorts of junk to fish with. This type of bait includes the night crawler, mini crawlers, and the typical garden worms. They are irresistible baits that are available anywhere and anytime.
Worms, when paired with the right rig and fishing conditions can be great baits for both the big and small catfish types. Worms are plentiful during a rain storm in the late winter and early spring when the drainage ditches, creeks and bays are pouring muddy water in the lake. Yup, lots of worms flowing in there as well. Catfish love em. Save yourself some bucks and collect them off the road and driveway in the early morning and get them ready for your next catfish outing. Perhaps start your own worm farm or just support your local bait shop and buy them there.
Wanted dead or alive, minnows are a best bait choice as they work well for landing blue and channel catfish. The lively and big minnows are ideal for landing those big catfish. Some serious fishermen generally kill their minnow’s first before putting them on the hook making them easier for the catfish to track down and suck in.
They can be placed under a bobber in shallow water for spring and summer, and drift fishing in big water all year round. Minnows are commonly sold in bait shops and can be kept alive and transported in bait buckets. Get yourself an aerator if you want to keep those minnows alive. In Canada during the summer I often add ice to keep them active.
3. Chicken Livers:
It can be said that no bait is more closely related and known to catfishing than the likes of chicken liver. The reason is simple: chicken liver produces a lot of catfish and many more additional species along the way. With the baits strong, meaty smell, chicken liver attracts catfish from far and wide. Once the fish hone in and locate the bait, they find it difficult to resist. Slurp, in it goes.
Livers do not usually produce many of the big lunker size catfish. They are however very cheap and available at most every grocery store. One of the major limitations with baiting your catfishing rig up with chicken liver is that it can be difficult to keep on the hook at the beginning. They do tend to toughen up once they are in the water for a few minutes though. But if you’re not cautious, casting chicken liver becomes very frustrating as it flings beyond the hooks as you cast. Finesse casting this bait is advised, just lob it gently or let it drift away from the boat.
This is perhaps the most commonly used top catfish baits for fishermen looking for a large and eatable stringer full of catfish. The two only problems when using chicken liver is keeping it on the hook and that large fish care less about it. You may get a lot of fish when they are active and hungry, but if there is plenty of natural baits in the area with large minnows etc, your chicken liver may just get ignored. This might be a good bait for creeks and bays to try when the minnows are not around.
The shad is an awesome bait that produces a good catch of cats in most lakes and in many rivers since they are widespread natural forage and normally available to fishermen to net out for bait. (Check local laws on this) Though, similar principles apply to different types of other natural minnows and bait fish in waterways where shad is not the main attraction. Again if teeming with minnows the shad will take second place.
5. Dip baits/Punch Baits/Dough Balls:
Soft stink baits and dough bait are the best method for a novice cat fisherman to hook a fish up at the end of the line. Although they are unpopular for attracting large fish generally, they will however make up for it in the sheer numbers caught.
Try pairing these up with a big night crawler and really out fish the competition. Double the power. Double the fun. Smelly, and doughy, just get it to stick to your hook and your in business. Treble hooks are good here. Hopefully they are legal to use in your favorite fishing spot. Check the law again. You never know, treble hooks may not be able to be used in your area.
If the chicken liver is the most well-known among all best catfish baits, crawfish may be the most overlooked. All the major catfish species feed on crayfish. Crawfish are among the best baits for fishing in small rivers and ponds. Dead crawfish catch more channel catfish. Especially large crawfish, which also attract modest-sized flatheads to the bait. Fishermen who specifically want to fish flatheads should place the baits near the thickest cover they can find and be ready to set the hook strong and have big tackle and strong line.
7. Freshly Caught Natural Baits:
Bait from the fishes natural habitat is best!
Often, the best type of bait for catfishing fish is the ones you see in the pond where it lives. Baits caught near or in any body of water, especially the one your fishing in is the catfish’s natural food. These can include crayfish, frogs, catalpa worms, grasshoppers, and small fish in the pond, river, creek or lake. And if you are fishing in waters with strong currents, it is recommended that the good ole shrimp be used as bait, either completely whole or cut into strips.
However, smaller shrimps attract smaller catfish. Shrimp is one of those baits that you can keep longer in the water. If you plan to use shrimp, make sure they are fresh. Shrimp is good bait because they are available all year round. Apart from shrimp, you can also use crabs or crab meat. The crazy catfish will go nuts for the smell of a good ole crayfish tail. So the next time you go out to catch some catfish, remember that they feed on smell and taste. Remember them whiskers aren’t there for nothing eh!
Best Catfish Baits Conclusion:
Grab the worms, minnows, shrimp, liver, shad, crawfish, and dough ball baits and your going to catch more catfish with these 7 best catfish baits.