We have talked about finding Catfish before, but we haven't talked much about bait for those delicious tasting fish. If you talk to some old catfish experts, they will tell you the "stinkiest" bait you can find is the best bait you can find. I find it stupid to argue with an expert fisherman who is recognized as an expert – because he has had great success in catching fish already. However, I must be a little squeamish when it comes to getting the vilest smelling bait on my hands. Oh, I don't mind some fairly tough smelling things to get my hands in, but some of the 'ole boys' formulas are way beyond tough! I have used some of those recipes for catfish bait and the smell stays with you for days. You can't get it off!
Therefore, I would like to talk to you about catfish bait that works and still comes off your hands when you wash them. The first one I would like to mention is hotdogs! Plain old hot dogs really work on catfish and they are easy to use when you are baiting your hook. You can use some old ones your wife or significant other is going to throw away. You can use ones that you just bought from the grocery store. Catfish either don't know the difference or they just don't care.
Another good bait you can use is chicken livers. They are difficult to have stay on the line, but I find that if you use a treble hook, you will be better off by far. There are several ways to but the liver on the hook and keep it there. One of the ways is to wrap it with sewing thread. While that works, it does take a considerable amount of time and time you don't have your line in the water is time you won't catch fish.
I prefer to hook the liver in the following manner. First, I puncture a hole in the liver so I can slide it over the end of the leader and down to the treble hook. Then I puncture the liver so it goes over each of the treble hooks. Don't make these holes any larger than needed – just use the pointed hook and you will see it is quite nicely secured. You will be able to cast this several times without losing your bait.
Finally, I would encourage you to fish for cats at night. If you haven't tried this yet, you should. Some of the biggest catfish are caught at night. I have found that fishing for catfish at night can be great fun. I would suggest a little different bait for night cat-fishing though. I find large shiners and shad work well and you can always rely on big juicy night crawlers. Remember, the big catfish are active at night and you have a good chance of getting a big one on your line. I would suggest a 20lb. test and a stiff rod. You do not want the joy of hooking a large fish to be spoiled by losing him to a broken line.
Writen by Raymond McDowell