Punch bait is one of my favorite baits to catch eater size channel catfish and bullhead. I’ve had tons of success using punch bait in slow-moving waters. It’s a versatile catfish bait that can be used for bottom fishing or under a bobber for shallow water catfishing.
What’s the best punch bait?
Throughout the years, I’ve found Danny King punch bait to be among the best. I’ve used some of the other popular punch baits like Sonny’s, C.J.’s and Team Catfish brand of punch baits, but I always find myself going back to my trusty Danny King’s.
Some of the other brands don’t work for me because they either don’t stay on the hook, they harden up or get too watery when it’s hot outside. There are ways to keep it on the hook and things you can do to make the punch bait stay on the hook much better.
How to keep punch bait on the hook
If you’re having trouble keeping the punch bait on the hook, you need to get a binder or filler that will keep the bait on the hook when you cast it and once it sits in the water for a while. I like to use cattails in my punch bait to help keep the bait on the hook.
If you can’t get your hands on some cattails, use cotton balls. Cotton balls also thicken up punch bait and the fibers help to keep the bait on the hook. I’ve also used flour as a thickening agent for baits if I can’t get my hands on cattail or cotton balls. But, you have to start with good punch bait.
That’s where Danny King’s comes in. If stored properly, it will stay consistent. I always keep my Danny King’s in a cool dry place. Many fishermen leave their catfishing gear in the truck because they’re fishing day and night and don’t want to fool with unloading all of the rods and reels and baits.
I always take my baits out of the truck and store them in the garage or basement. Artificial baits like punch baits, dip baits, and dough baits are stored in the basement during the summer and winter, and in the garage during the spring months. Because the baits are stored properly, I never have an issue with them becoming too thin or thick.
Best time to use punch bait
My experience is that punch baits work best during the late spring months all the way to the early fall months. I’ve never had much luck catching catfish with punch bait once the waters get cool. And you can forget about catfishing with punch bait when it’s outright cold outside.
You’ll have a hard time just getting it on the hook. I love fishing with punch baits early in the morning or late at night at the beginning of summer. That’s the best time to catch smaller eater size catfish around 2-4 pounds. I’ve caught some big channels on punch bait, but most of them are just good eating size.