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Catfish Gear & Accessories Lures

Best Catfish Bait Options Today

by In-Fisherman Online Staff   |  March 5th, 2016 15

Catfish Bait Catfish can smell and taste the difference between a creek chub and a baby carp at 50 paces. In rivers, current carries both attractive and displeasing scents and tastes to catfish. In still water, catfish tend to move more, sampling the water for potential food. They disregard most sensations, just as our ears, eyes, and noses tune out most incoming stimuli.

The catfish baits that grab their interest are preferred prey or certain flavors that may hold innate attraction for certain catfish species. Channel catfish are omnivores, consuming nearly all forms of animal and vegetable matter of appropriate size. Yet all savvy catmen know that the right catfish bait can mean the difference between a few fiddler cats and loading the boat.

When choosing the best catfish bait, one constant question is whether to use a whole live critter, cut sections, or some type of artificial. Many predators at times clearly prefer active livebait. Among catfish, flatheads, particularly big ones, often prefer livebaits that live for hours on the hook and struggle to escape. However, worms and cutbait catch catfish, too, as do home-brewed stinkbaits vile enough to turn a vulture’s stomach. Dips, doughs, chunks, and other prepared baits offer convenience, reduce waste, and increase your catches. We sifted through the options to bring you the following 14 picks for hooking whiskers.

Circle Hook Catfish

Circle Hook Catfish

Check out this video: The In-Fisherman staff features the use of circle hooks while fishing for catfish.


Catfish Dip Baiting

If your mind is quirky enough to conjure a catfish concoction more putrid than moldering cheese...


Manitoba Channel Catfish

The float rigging and cutbait hit the water at the head of a near-shore current break...


Top 10 Catfish Recipes

Catfish are delicious and nutritious, and their populations are perpetually renewable resources...


    baitshrimp in minced garlic in glad bag shake and bakebe ready 4 tree shakers

  • Michael Rae

    Nightcrawlers on spring flood plains is when I catch the most catfish. My biggest catfish come from cutbait and creek chubs during warm summer nights.

  • willy j

    no help to me as I wanted to know about bate other than manufactured bate.

    • Mitch

      Try chicken livers, nightcralwlers, and stink bait. All of these baits ive had alot of luck with catching channel catfish.

  • brandoncollins

    Try hotdogs I’ve caught a lot of cats here in new mexico with them don’t knock it till u try it lol

  • William Whiteman

    I catch most of my catfish off shad skipjack or goldfish and bluegills my biggest blue cat ive caught last year in the winter was 75lbs I caught it off strawberry chicken breast



  • MM

    These recommended manufactured baits are most likely paid for ads. The best un-natural bait that you can buy is Sonny’s Cheese bait out of Iowa. It will out fish any man-made bait period. You can add a little menhaden oil if you like but Sonny’s, in Florida, will catch more Channel Cats than any other bait. Now for Flatheads, stumpknockers will catch more flats since they stay alive longer than bream or warmouth, however, if the flats are on the prowl, a 3/4lb warmouth will put you in touch with something 40+. Good luck and be brave with braid.

  • Shon Mckinney

    Kat Nip Bait is the best pre cut bait on the market bar none. It’s sold in california. Facebook. Com/Katnipbait Co.

  • Shon Mckinney

    It stay on the hook better than any other bait and is and stay bloodied than any other bait. This stuff is phenomenal .

  • Danny

    Try chicken gizzards soaked in garlic salt or you can buy the garlic in a 12 ounce jar and soak the gizzards in that juice for a few days. The gizzards will stay on the hook better than anything else.

    • wolfcub

      will they last in the water and stay on the hook??
      we used chicken LIVER which fell apart and that in water -even after we tried to toughen them up by cooking them some….or put in small sacks…nothing worked….so we were thinking of using gizzards….never have….

  • David Carlisle

    when using live bait from bank, what hooking rig is best? santee cooper?

  • wolfcub

    do gizzards work well, not dissolve in the water, and stay on the hook??

  • Jim Gilbert

    Been catfishing for over 20 years. And when I discovered Benny’s homemade catfish bait, I was hooked! I kid you not… this is the best catfish bait on earth. You
    can only find it at and make sure you use it according to
    Benny’s instructions.

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