Large blue catfish are highly predatory and feed primarily on other fish. For this reason, most experienced blue catfishermen and guides prefer to use live baitfish when pursuing trophy blues. The most popular types of baitfish include shad, shiners and small bluegills and sunfish.
Cut bait is live baitfish cut into chunks. The blood and other fluids seeping from the cut bait are powerful attractants capable of drawing in big blue catfish. Live fish work best for making cut bait, because they are bloodier and, as a result, will attract more fish. Also, try to use baitfish native to the water where you will be fishing. Where it is legal, some fishermen like to catch bluegills or sunfish right where they are catfishing to cut up and use for bait; however, make sure to check your state's fishing regulations before using any game fish for bait.
While baitfish are the most effective choice for trophy blue catfish, you can still catch smaller blues using popular catfish baits, such as commercial or homemade stink baits, chicken liver, night crawlers, shrimp and hot dogs.
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 RascalHansen.com.