Hi AMFisHers! This post is about some great baits for catching catfish, you may know about some and may never thought about others but I swear by them all as I have caught some pretty good size catfish over the years as well as a lot of medium size ones.
First is using a simple earthworm but not just one, usually two long ones bundled and hooked numerous times in a bait ball. This is a for sure attractant to catfish and a meal they will rarely pass up.
Second good choice is a dead bait that you can pick up in packages and most fishing stores, usually shiners of some sort but basically any dead fish sold in a package. They are usually sitting in some juice and are quite stinky so if you rig a nice big one on a hook again it becomes a meal a catfish can easily smell and track down.
Next is any local clams that grow in your lakes, I used to use these as a kid and man do they work! I would step on them in the shallows, break them open take the chunk of flesh inside that stays on a hook quite well I might add and hello delicacy, a catfish is not saying no to that fresh sushi meal!
Now this choice in bait you may or may not have ever heard about but trust me when I say it has pretty much out fished the baits I listed above……ready for it……….”ALL BEEF HOTDOGS”! Yes you read that correctly all beef hotdogs, WHY well if you have ever boiled hotdogs and remember the smell that fill the room well that’s why, they give off a lot of stink!
Any all beef hotdog will do just fine, has to be beef not chicken or turkey. Cut them into approximately 1″ pieces and place them in a ziplock bag. From there they should sit in your freezer for about 30 minutes prior to fishing so they slightly freeze up, this will allow the hotdog to get more firm which will in turn allow the hook to stay in longer before the hotdog gets too soggy after sitting at the bottom of the lake for a while.
It will eventually absorb water and fall of the hook, BUT I can assure you that you will have very few pieces wasted, they smell so much and make for a great meal to a catfish(mental note: no condiments are needed!). There are also times where a small piece of really smelly cheese will work as well, again this goes back to the serious stink it gives off in the water.
Lastly chicken gizzards of livers that you can pick up a package from pretty much any meat counter in the grocery store for about $2.00 or so. Again I freeze these for about 30 minutes to get them firmer allowing them to be hooked better. These work and work well they do!
Simple catfish rig I used is a circle hook designed for catfish fishing, which I have included a picture of below and a large size bell sinker which I have also included a picture of below. I tie the hook on my line first with a palomar fishing knot(you can find a video about this not at www.amfish.ca) and it is tied above the weight about 3″ to 4″, similar to how you would tie a hook on your line for a dropshot rig(video on this at the above site as well), then the sinker gets tied on the bottom of the line.
From here you have a heavy weight to cast easily with, it will keep your bait right on the bottom where the catfish lie to hang out, BUT it will also allow biting room for the fish to take the bait, if the weight is too close to the hook the fish will feel it on the strike and probably abort the bite.
I hope you found this post helpful!
The AMFisH guy…