Using soap for catfish bait – Zote and Ivory

by fisherme

When my cousin said I can use soap for catfish bait, I thought he was joking as usual. I heard catfish will bite on anything that smells, but the thought of using soap to catch a big channel cat shocked me.

I thought he was pulling my leg and trying to prank me until I saw him catch a big channel cat with on what appeared to be soap. We were fishing in a pond and by the end of the evening, he’d caught a large mess of eater size channel cats.

Most people use it on trot lines and jugs. The best type of soap to use is either Zote or Ivory. I prefer Zote because it contains animal fat and that’s what attracts the catfish. I’ve had tons of success catching channel, bullhead and even drum on Ivory, but Zote is far more effective.

Not only is it one of the best catfish baits, but it’s very cheap and not messy like stink bait and chicken livers.  What I like about it the most is turtles don’t seem to like it much so you don’t have to worry about them stealing your bait.

Easy catfish soap bait recipe

There are several recipes for soap baits, but regular Zote or Ivory cut into small chunks will work just fine.

The most popular recipes contain the usual catfish attractants like: garlic, cheese, jello and anise. Boil bars of soap in a little water and add your scents. Let it cool and it’ll harden. You can then cut it into smaller pieces.

Catching catfish with soap

The easiest way to use the soap bait is to put it on trot or limb lines. We’ve used it on jugs to catch some decent size cats also.  Although you can use it in large lakes on rod and reel, I’ve found that small ponds or creeks work best when using a rod and reel.

Get an ice pick or hanger and heat up the end and make a hole in the middle of the bait. You can then put it on a treble hook.  Zote is probably the best for using on a hook because it’s softer and easier to handle without crumbling.

It’s not my go to bait cause nothing trumps chicken livers as the best bait for catching catfish. But, there are times when cats will take the hot dog over livers or corn over hot dogs.  It all depends on what they’re in the mood for at that time. Keep a couple of bars in your arsenal and you’ll be surprised the next time you hit the water and catch a big mess of eater size channel catfish with soap.

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