Best Catfish BaitsCatfish 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. Different species of catfish prefer specific meals. Many different types of catfish baits ranging from chicken liver to cut shad to clams and small bullheads. Shrimp are a good options some days, but so can the smelliestest dip bait you can buy. That said, certain baits consistently produce more catfish throughout the year. Here’s a look at some of the best catfish baits!

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