The Best Fishing Bait for Catfish

The Best Fishing Bait for Catfish
Catfish are always a popular species for anglers. This has much to do with the fact that catfish can be found in just about every state. Another reason for the popularity of catfish is that these fish are not exactly finicky eaters. Most people can easily get their hands on bait that will attract catfish. The problem is that not all bait stays as easily on the hook as others. For some of these baits, you may have to adapt your fishing style to avoid losing the bait from the hook.


The most traditional fishing bait in the world works well with catfish. The best worms to use for catching catfish are plain old night crawlers and even worms you can find in your garden. Use worms for trolling along the bottom of the river or lake.


Minnows make great catfish bait no matter where you are fishing. You can use the minnows either dead or alive; the catfish seem to hold no preference. Catfish do seem to go more for bigger minnows than smaller ones, however. If you are fishing where bass mingle with catfish, be prepared to reel in a few of those along with your cats.

Chicken Liver

Many anglers swear by chicken liver, often in the form of cat food. Others like to mix in the chicken liver with something like a small piece of hot dog. Chicken liver is also a noted ingredient used in many stinkbaits.


Those who angle for catfish in the brackish waters along the Gulf Coast know that locally grown crawfish, popularly called crawdads, make excellent bait. The best way to use crawdads is to remove the tail shell and hook directly into the thick meat.

Cut Bait

The best thing to do with cut bait is experiment with what works. You might try fishing with just a head or chopping it up into pieces. The specific types of cut bait that works for catching catfish also seems to vary. Some people have success with things like mackerel and bluegills. Others have better success with shad or sardines. Test whether you have better success by filet or thicker chunks of meat.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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