Catfish, like many other bottom-feeding game fish, are attracted to food primarily by sense of smell. Secondary considerations are consistency and taste. Finding the right combination is the key to angling success. Blood baits are generally the first choice since their odor easily permeates the water and tends to draw in hungry catfish. Blood baits are often liver-based, using cut-up liver from beef, pork or fowl. Cheese-based baits are also popular, as are natural baits such as minnows or crawfish. Remember that any scented bait quickly loses it strength once submerged, so be prepared to change bait frequently.
Several companies make catfish bait out of a variety of smelly compounds using "centuries-old" formulas. Most are easy to use and effective, if somewhat pricey. Some are in the form of cut strips, some are a doughlike consistency and some are a liquid to dip the bait in. Also consider your presentation method. If you need to make long casts to get the bait to the fish, make certain the bait you choose will stay on the hook.
Making your own catfish power bait is not difficult--a tub of chicken or goose livers from the local butcher will do fine. Keeping them chilled will help them hold onto the hook, as will a dozen wraps of ordinary sewing thread. Doughs don't seem to work as well if made at home--they tend to dissolve quickly in the water and are nearly impossible to cast without separating from the hook.
Article Written By Garrison Pence
Garrison Pence has been a midwest-based (ghost)writer for three decades, taught university-level literature, and has written articles and white papers in trade publications of the Material Handling Institute, Engineering Today, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Science, and Semiconductor. Pence holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature.