The best catfish bait is one that works consistently. For me, worms and chicken livers seem to be the most consistent catfish bait for catching channel cats, flatheads and bullhead.
Not all catfish baits work for all species of catfish. What you use to catch channels will not necessarily work for blue cats. I’m not saying that you can’t luck up and get a blue to bite on artificial bait, but your chances of success are much slimmer.
To catch more fish and to improve your chances of landing a monster catfish, you must know the waters your fishing and the types of baits that catfish in that specific location like.
I’ve been fishing since I was a child and I can tell you that there are some places where channel catfish will go crazy over hot dogs and then there are other ponds or lakes where they won’t touch it.
That’s why you have to experiment with your baits and be prepared to improvise. One of my favorite fishing holes to catch channel cats is a small farm pond.
I can put a regular hot dog on a circle hook and catch catfish all day long. The city lake I fish in won’t yield channels on regular hot dogs. I have to soak them in Kool-Aid or garlic.
And then there are some days where they won’t bite on hot dogs at all.
The type of bait you use depends largely on the type of catfish you’re trying to catch. For the most part, live baits and cut baits work best for flatheads and blue cats.
While you can catch flatheads and blues on artificial catfish baits, chances are you’ll catch more and bigger fish with live baits. You’re more likely to get most species of catfish to bite on worms than dip bait.
What I have learned is that most catfish bait will work if there are fish in the area and they’re feeding. Catfish are scavengers and very greedy. If it smells and they can get it in their mouth, they’ll eat it. But, that isn’t always true. In my neck of the woods, you can catch just about anything on a big nightcrawler.
Best Catfish Bait:
Shad, bluegill, other cut baits, worms, soap, dog food, hot dogs, artificial baits, attractants, punch bait, dip bait, chicken livers and shrimp. It all boils down to where you’re catfishing and the type of fish you’re trying to catch.
If you really want to catch some monster or trophy cats, talk to the regulars and people who frequent the lake, river or pond where you’re fishing and ask what they’re biting on. You’ll be amazed at how many people are willing to share what type of bait works for them, and the best place to catch catfish.
When I go fishing, there is usually a few types of baits I bring along. After finding a good spot where the fish may be, I then load each hook with different baits to see what they’re biting on.
At the end of the day, the best catfish bait is the one that is catching the most fish. And that may not be the case the next time you go catfishing for huge channels, blues and flatheads.