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What bait to use to catch blue catfish

by fishermensknot
best blue catfish bait - cutbait

Blue catfish love stinky and oily baits, the stinkier the better. Catching a trophy blue catfish is a fisherman’s dream. There is nothing more exhilarating than landing a 30 or 40-pound blue catfish. Not only do they put up a good fight, but they can grow as big as a small hog.

There have been unconfirmed reports of blue catfish the size of a grown man. What we do know for sure is that they can grow close to 150 lbs. It’s a fact that a 143 lb. blue catfish was caught on a lake in Virginia. The previous record of 130 lb. was held by a man who caught his trophy blue on the Missouri River.

I’ve definitely had my fun catching them and flatheads. From my experience, blue’s are a little less finicky and have a bigger appetite for a variety of baits. You can get a blue to bite on stinky dip bait, whereas flatheads prefer live baits.

Best Blue Catfish Bait

There is no doubt that cut bait works the best for catching monster blue catfish.  I’ve had more luck using shad than any other bait because of its oily flesh.  There have been times when the catfish were biting and hitting the hook every few minutes and would only take the shad.  We had other baits like cut carp and they only wanted the stinky and oily shad.

What other baits are good to catch big blue catfish?

My second best bait would be skipjacks.  They aren’t as good as shad, but it’s a close second.  That’s because skipjack is also oily and works as a great attractant to catfish.  I also like to use stinky bluegills and guts.

There are other factors to consider like geographic location, time of the year and water temperature.  Environmental factors like location can also dictate as to what’s the best bait for catching blue catfish, as well.  I’ve tried fishing with shad in some areas up North, but couldn’t catch as many blue catfish as I caught down South in Arkansas and the Missouri River using shad.

My fishing buddies up North say their go-to bait for catching blue catfish is mackerel and bream.  If you don’t have any cut bait and are fishing on a big lake, try using some really sticky and stinky blood bait.  I was fishing for some Blue’s over in Kansas back in the mid-’90s and was using a very sticky dip bait.

An older gentleman was landing blue’s left and right.  I asked him what he was using and he asked me if I wanted some and told me that I better watch my pole.

His secret bait to catch blue catfish was dried chicken blood.  The fellow had a large tin can full of the stuff.  He gave me a small white styrofoam container full of the dried blood and told me to sprinkle it in my dip bait.

I stirred it in and baited the hook.  After sitting the pole in the rod holder I then proceeded to bait my second pole with the dried chicken blood – dip bait – concoction.  When I bent over to pick up the bait, I heard a big splash.  I turned around and my pole was at the edge of the bank.  I got a foot away from grabbing the pole, and it left at an unbelievable speed.

In a blink of an eye, a big blue carried it off at a very high rate of speed.  I must have caught a few hundred pounds of blue catfish that summer using the dried chicken blood.  When I ran out of the dried blood, I tried to find the old man, but never saw him again.

I can honestly say that was the best blue catfish bait I ever used and the blue that took my pole also thought that was the tastiest bait he’s ever had cause I’ve never seen a fish take the bait as this one did.  I can only imagine how big that blue was to snatch my pole like that.

So, if you can get your hands on dried chicken blood, mix it in with some oily and stinky dip bait.  Hold on to your pole cause that might be the best blue catfish bait you’ll ever use.

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