How to Keep Catfish Bait Alive

How to Keep Catfish Bait AliveOne of the good things about fishing for catfish is that they will bite on a vast variety of baits. The biggest problem is keeping the bait alive long enough to reach the fishing area. Worms are all-purpose fishing bait and are probably the easiest to store and keep. Anglers will find the least difficulty in keeping them alive. Crawfish are underutilized bait, but catfish love them and with a little time and effort, they too should make it to the fishing area alive and well.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Keeping Worms Alive

Things You’ll Need:
  • Worms
  • Container (plastic or wood)
  • Peat moss
  • Plastic bag w/ice
  • Ice pack
  • Corn meal
  • Powdered milk
  • Tray
  • Screened cage
  • Raw hamburger meat
Step 1
Fill a wooden pail or other container with peat moss. Make sure the container has an open lid or air holes in it so the worms will be able to get oxygen. Sealing them in an airtight container will assure yourself dead worms when you go to use them.
Step 2
Pour water on the peat moss and mix it together to moisten it. Do not flood the peat moss where water is standing in the container, or the worms will die when placed into it.
Step 3
Place your worms into the container and allow them to crawl to the bottom. Store the container in a cool area out of direct sunlight.
Step 4
Place a frozen plastic bag of water or a freezer pack on top of the peat moss to keep the soil and worms cool. This will keep them alive longer and assure you have live worms to use as bait.
Step 5
Feed the worms corn meal or powdered milk by sprinkling a small amount on top of the peat moss, if keeping them alive for several days.

Keeping Crawfish Alive

Step 1
Select a tray to use for storing the crawfish at home. Wet a cloth or paper towel and line the bottom of the tray with it.
Step 2
Place your crawfish upon the damp cloth or paper towel. Cover the crawfish with another layer of moist cloth or paper towels and store inside the refrigerator for up to five days. They will die after that time.
Step 3
Place the crawfish in a screened container, once you have reached your fishing destination. Place the crawfish into the water where you will be fishing. This will keep them alive during the fishing trip.
Step 4
Feed the crawfish bits of raw hamburger meat, if keeping them alive in camp for several days. Remove any uneaten meat and dead crawfish after several hours.

Tips & Warnings

Hook several worms on your hook at one time to catch catfish.
Hook the tail section of the crawfish to allow it to swim freely, to catch catfish. Other fish love crawfish, so you may end up hooking a bass, trout or other fish.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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