Good Baits for Catching Big Catfish

by fisherme

A good catfish bait is one that performs time in and time out.  Whether it be your favorite homemade catfish bait made with Kool-Aid or fresh chicken livers.  But, there are times when even our best catfish baits don’t work.  What do you do when catfish won’t’ bite on no baits you put on the hook?

The answer is variety.  When I’m headed out for a day on the water, I go prepared.  I got my best catfishing rod and reels, plenty of hooks, sinkers, leaders and floats and water and food.  But most importantly, I got several types of baits, both fresh and artificial.

What is a good catfish bait for lakes?

Fishing for catfish in lakes can be a very enjoyable experience if you know the right spots.   I see people on large and small lakes all the time who can’t even catch a small channel cat.  Is it the bait?

It could be, but usually, it’s the location.  If the fish are there and they’re feeding, you can throw anything from hot dogs to shrimp and the catfish will bite.  The best baits for catching catfish in lakes are fresh cut baits, dough baits, live baits, and homemade baits.

What is a good catfish bait for rivers?

Now catfishing in rivers is a whole different monster because there are some monster cats that want more than dough ball bait or some cheese flavored dip bait.  Those big river flatheads and blues want something live or stinky.  You need to bait a big circle hook with shad or bluegill.

You better have a big rod and reel that’s setup for pulling in trophy size catfish because there are some big ones in the river.  I’ve seen some monster cats come out of the Missouri river and the guys who are catching them isn’t using Zebco 202’s.  I’ve also discovered that Asian carp are a really good catfish bait for rivers and so is herring.

What is a good catfish bait for ponds?

I covered this topic before and in my years of catfishing experience, nothing works better to catch channel catfish in ponds than what they’re used to eating.  Baits like grasshoppers,  crickets, and nightcrawlers.  I think I’ve caught most of my bullheads and channel cats with worms when fishing old farm ponds.

The best dough bait I’ve used in ponds was good ole’ Bee-Jay’s.  I like the Primo sticky blood baits, but nothing works like Bee-Jay’s.  I heard that someone is making the old recipe, but I can’t remember the name of the company.

After fishing for many years I can tell you that nothing is set in stone.  There have been times when I’m all set for a long day or night of catfishing and never catch a single fish.  There is nothing worst than finding time to fish at night for some big flatheads and monster blue catfish and not catch anything.

I’ve spent time catching and netting bluegill and shad the day before and getting everything ready for an all-nighter.  Get out on the water in my favorite spot and it seems as though conditions are perfect.  And then what happens?  Not even a bite.  The only thing that was biting was the big mosquitoes.  That’s a very deflating experience, but it comes with the territory of catfishing.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you have a good catfish bait or not, if the fish aren’t feeding, there isn’t anything you can do.  Tried and true baits like shad, kool-aid baits, chicken livers and nightcrawlers are staples and good catfish baits that should always be in your boat or tackle bag.

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