How to Bait Catfish

How to Bait Catfish
Deciding how to bait various fish can be tedious and frustrating, particularly when you can't figure out why some baits don't work. The simple truth is that no matter how hard you try or how popular a bait is supposed to be, there are times when the fish just aren't hungry for what you have to offer. Luckily, catfish are one of the easiest fish to bait for. They eat a wide variety of baits, so if you can prepare two or three types for your fishing outing, your chances of coming out empty-handed are pretty low.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Shad
  • Chicken livers
  • Nightcrawlers
  • Crawfish
Step 1
Use fish to catch fish. In this case, shad is a popular bait for catfish because adult catfish feed on other live fish whenever possible. Cut the shad up into worm-like strips about 3 inches long and drag them along the water's bottom.
Step 2
Try chicken livers if you are fishing in a river channel or are out in the spring. They don't tend to draw the biggest catfish, but chicken livers will grab the attention of catfish under 10 lbs. Use the livers for about 20 minutes before disposing of the piece and putting a new one on the hook -- after this time, the liver will have lost much of its juice and toughened up, making it unappealing for catfish.
Step 3
Wrap a nightcrawler around a hook as tight as possible, so that the catfish will have a hard time finding a good place to bit without catching the hook. Catfish don't use sight when hunting, so the visual presentation of the bait doesn't matter. Just make sure the worm is big -- you can't get too big for most catfish.
Step 4
Use crawfish or other crustaceans in any type of water, but particularly creeks and small rivers. Almost all types of catfish feed on crawfish, particularly those under 20 lbs. Hook the crawfish behind its tail, and use a swivel on the line to relieve tension in case the line twists.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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