3 Catfish Baits You Probably Haven’t Tried (But Should)

Catfish are unique in the fish world. They’re genetically adapted to succeed in niches most other fish just don’t fit. They don’t have scales, evolved super sensitive whiskers, and can tolerate water conditions that allow them to succeed without much competition.

Catfish anglers are also unique, and like their quarry, kitty chasers have adapted some pretty unique ways to go about their business. Take a peek in your average catfish anglers tackle box and you’re liable to see catfish baits that a bass or trout fisherman just wouldn’t understand.

One of the most unique (and personal) things that cat fishermen work on is their baits. From stink bait and dip bait, to cut bait and chicken livers – you can bet that every cat fisherman has a trick or two up their sleeve that they’ll swear up and down works better than anything else out there.

Here are three of the weirdest catfish baits:

1. Dog Food

dog food as catfish baits

It’s got grains, protein, and comes in a pelleted format… And Fido likes it, so why not? Kibble has long been the secret of many cat fishermen, whether in pure form or mixed into their secret dips. Dog food also makes good chum, and throwing a few handfuls into the water is a great way to announce “feeding time” to the local catfish. Wrap some kibble in a little mesh, thread it on your hook and fish it on a bottom rig.

2. Ivory Soap

ivory soap as catfish baits

Possibly the weirdest thing we’ve ever read to catch a fish – chunks of ivory soap have developed a cult following by catfish chasers across Texas and Oklahoma. The key is the unique scent trail it leaves, which calls catfish from long distances to strike. The best way to prepare the soap for use is to melt it in a double boiler, then pour it into an ice cube tray. Once poured, push a treble hook into each “cube” with the points of the hook sticking out and let it harden – Voila, instant catfish bait.

3. Marshmallows

marshmallows as catfish baits

Although catfish are known for going after stinky things, apparently they also have a sweet tooth. Marshmallows float, and are porous enough to absorb other scents – which is why some anglers use them with great success as catfish baits. Dip a marshmallow in your favorite scent, and then put it on the hook. It will float a lightweight hook several inches off the bottom, perfect for drawing the interest of any whiskered creatures nearby.

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Comments 5

  1. I use Ivory soap at home. My cat likes to drink from the faucet and for some reason he has a habit of licking the soap. So that one’s a little less surprising for me.

  2. Catfish bubblegum is my new favorite, its awesome catfish bait and it doesn’t stink. My kids love it too I think that is probably the best part.

  3. I’ve gotten some fairly decent cats with nightcrawlers on a 2 foot leader and a bobber on the shallow lake we fish a lot on. Also bottom fish with spiced up hot dogs or rotten shrimp, works equally well. I’ll generally use two poles from the canoe. One for the bobber (to fish around the reeds) and one on bottom out in the middle of the cove. I get 2-4 good ones while out for about 3-4 hours.

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