How to Make Channel Catfish Bait

How to Make Channel Catfish Bait
Channel catfish feed mainly by sense of smell, so any bait you use should have a pungent odor capable of attracting hungry fish. The directions below will show you how to make your own effective and smelly channel catfish bait from a few simple ingredients found at your local grocery store.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bucket, 5-gallon
  • Jars
  • Uncooked oatmeal
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken liver and gizzards
  • Processed cheese
  • Canned tuna
  • Water
Step 1
Assemble all your ingredients. Whatever you do not already have on hand in your kitchen buy at the grocery store. In a 5-gallon bucket, combine equal quantities of uncooked oatmeal, canned tuna, chicken liver and gizzards, and processed cheese, as well as enough garlic powder to give the bait a noticeable garlic-scented odor. If making smaller batches of bait you may want to consider combining the ingredients in a blender.
Step 2
Stir all the combined ingredients together while adding enough water to give the bait a thick paste-like consistency so that it can be rolled into a ball and molded onto your hook when you are fishing. Once all the ingredients have been mixed together put the bait in individual jars.
Step 3
Leave the jars of bait outside for a week so it has ample chance to rot. This will ensure your bait has an extremely strong odor which you might find unpleasant but the channel catfish will not. After the bait has rotted you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer, though be aware that the bait's stench may have a tendency to linger wherever it is kept.
Step 4
Mold the bait onto your hook when you are ready to use it. Treble hooks work best, because the multiple hook points do a better job of holding the bait. You can also buy special hooks with rubber or sponge surrounding the shank that helps hold the bait and absorbs its odor.

Tips & Warnings

Make this bait outside because of its messy and smelly nature.
Other ingredients you might consider experimenting with in your bait include blood, soap, fish parts, anise oil, rotten meat and wet cat food.
Some might find the odor of this bait offensive and hard to tolerate.

Article Written By Richard Hansen

Richard Hansen grew up and currently resides in Minnesota. He graduated from Dartmouth College and has traveled extensively in Africa and South America, including the Amazon jungle. He has worked as a wilderness guide in Yellowstone and northern Minnesota, and written for Fur-Fish-Game, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and

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