Naturally, catfish bait needs to be what catfish love to eat. Catfish are scavengers and that means that they are omnivores too – they will eat both animal and plant matter. As an angler, that gives you great flexibility when it comes to bait. Some of the most commonly used bait is live perch, shad, crawfish, worms, minnows, grasshoppers, chicken liver, stink baits, night crawlers, marshmallows and small frogs.
Catfish seem to prefer live bait, and since they have a keen sense of smell, its advisable that you use smelly bait too. Worms are excellent, the ones that you dig up in your garden. Catfish love them and you’ll find that a lot of people use garden worms as catfish bait for a good catch. It saves you the cost of buying mini-crawlers from bait shops – just do a little digging in the wet earth in your garden.
Catfish will also eat shrimp and small prawns, so if you can get hold of these, you have excellent bait. If the prawns are rather large, you can cut them into smaller pieces, just not too small. You can sometimes use them with the shells still attached and be able to make a catch, but it’s advisable to remove the shells. The best thing to do after you buy your prawns or shrimp is to soak them in a little fish oil so that they get a pungent odor.
You don’t have to buy catfish bait all the time if you don’t have worms in your garden; you can make home-made bait and it will still work just as well. All you need is a few spoons of peanut butter, crushed cornflakes and frosted flakes mixed together. The oil that the mix releases will help attract the catfish. It also allows you to catch small catfish if that’s what you’re after. If you have sweet corn, it will work too. Just hook a few pieces of the corn on to the bait, wrap the bait with bread and then release into the water. The smell of sweet corn will attract the fish, though you’ll only be able to catch the big kind with this kind of bait. Equally good is cheese. Naturally, it has an odor, so the fish will go for it.
Use your imagination to develop catfish bait recipes – so long as they are of the right size and have an odor, you can only be limited by how far you think about it. Since fish use their sense of smell much more than they do their sense of sight, you can use whatever you like. And also, since catfish are omnivorous and not picky eaters, it means that pretty much anything in your kitchen, so long as it’s made to attract them, will get you a good catch.