Part of the reason that it is so fun to
fish for catfish is that you can use a wide variety of baits to do
so. Things like minnows and worms obviously work, and they’re
popular catfish baits for a reason. You can even catch catfish with
artificial lures (I once caught a small channel cat while trolling
with a topwater bait).
But you can also catch catfish with a
number of odd and unusual baits. We’ll talk about a few of the best
(and strangest) catfish baits below.
Small hot dog slices are one of the
time-honored favorites for many catfish anglers. On the one hand, it
seems strange that catfish are interested in these processed
sausages. After all, catfish don’t eat cows or pigs very often.
But, when you consider the amount of fat present in a typical hot dog
slice, it starts to make sense that they’d appeal to catfish.
Humans may love fat because it’s
delicious, but fish (and most other animals) love fat because it is
an unbeatable source of calories.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t usually
at the top of the bait list for most anglers, but grapes actually
work quite well for catching catfish. Additionally, grapes are pretty
affordable and they’re easy to thread on a hook in a secure manner.
Catfish probably eat grapes quite a bit
in areas where they grow wild. In fact, if you look at a forested
lake margin, you may see several vines growing on the trees, holding
plump, wild grapes. When these fall off into the water, they make
easy pickings for local catfish.
Chicken livers are like hot dogs in
many ways – they’re exceedingly strange, and it doesn’t seem
natural for fish to feast so readily on a chicken product.
However, just like hot dogs, chicken
livers are full of fat. This fat spreads readily in the water,
carrying the delicious scent far and wide. This means you may not
only catch catfish lurking in the immediate area, but you may also
attract some from the other side of the lake.
Bread or dough balls are popular baits
among carp and bluegill anglers, but they can also be quite
productive for catfish anglers. Bread balls are also fun to make and
easy to use – you can even customize them by including various fish
oils or other smelly substances that catfish find appealing.
The biggest challenge with using dough
balls is keeping them together and on the hook for a while. So, just
be sure to bring a sack full of them when you head down to the water.
Truth be told, we wouldn’t be
surprised to hear about people using even stranger things to catch
catfish. These whiskered rascals are very opportunistic feeders, and
they seem willing to try anything once.
What kinds of strange catfish baits
have you used to fill a cooler? Let us know what you’ve used, how
you rigged it up, and when it was most productive in the comments