Catfish have thousands of scent receptors all over their bodies, which is why scented bait attracts them so successfully. Whether you prefer to use cut bait, live bait, dough bait, artificial bait, or even catfish lures, scenting for catfish is essential and there are many ways to do it.
1. Make Your Own Catfish Scent
Some of the best secret catfish baits are homemade concoctions of smelly ingredients marinated into a vat of stink bait. From there (depending on consistency), you can mold ingredients into bite-sized bait for hooks, use it in a dip bait tube, secure it with pantyhose for lingering scent in the water or used it as a dip bait. For catfish scents, the smellier the better. Ingredients like chicken liver, gutted fish, Limburger cheese and rotting shrimp are examples of things that can be combined together. The best stink bait is left to marinade for a few days and “ripen” so that the blend of scents is irresistible to the catfish.
2. Dip Bait
Dip bait is an option designed to amp up the scent of your regular bait or lures. This is a better option than sponge bait because the dip bait scent oftentimes lasts longer in the water.
With dip bait you “dip” or cover your bait in a scented concoction created to attract catfish. Dip baits like Zeiner’s Sonny Hootman Super Sticky http://www.zeiners.com/sonnysstinkdipbait.html come in Original and Bloodied scent options. This is ideal for dipping plastic worms like the Mudville Catmaster River Dip Worm. You can also use a product like the Team Catfish Sticky Dipbait Tube to encase your preferred dip bait and hold it securely underwater while you wait for a bite.
3. Catfish Scent Sprays
Scent sprays work well when you are using cut bait. After some time in the water, cut bait will lose its scent, so products like Team Catfish Dead Red Blood Spray and Berkley Gulp! Alive!® Attractant keep it smelling alive.
Scent coatings like Magic Products Powder Gel work the same way, but they offer an alternative to scent sprays. The scented powder gel can be used on any bait to increase the scent in the water for a longer period of time.
4. Pre-Scented Products
Sometimes it is easier to leave the mixing and concocting of catfish scents up to someone else. This is where pre-scented products come into play.
Pre-scented baits like Magic Bait Carp & Catfish Baits and Berkley® Catfish Power Bait come scented and pre-portioned in a variety of flavors and consistencies, so all you have to do is rig it onto your hook and cast.
Pre-scented baits are best for novice anglers, or those who just do not want to spend the time messing with bait. It is the easiest grab-and-go option that get’s you on the water fast.
5. Catfish Scent Additives
There are some basic scents that always attract catfish. While you can find pre-scented bait that comes in anise oil, garlic and blood, it is easy to simply add these scents on your own. Adding your own scents to stink bait or dough bait enables you to control the amount and get creative with a combination that works for you. Try just smashing a couple cloves of garlic into your dip bait or onto your plug. Mix and match with the typical catfish scents and see what works best for the fish in your area.
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