Spending many late nights looking for catfish on lakes and ponds have been a beloved pastime of fishermen for centuries. This sport is inundated with lovers of the outdoors who both catch and cook their prey. Just as avid catfish fishermen are very diverse, so are the different types of baits and tools used to catch these little water bottom feeders. From random items around the house to the more traditional of baits, there are many options for fishermen to try when going out on the water. As the stories of fishermen and their folklore get passed down from generation to generation, the different types of approaches to catching the finned prey do as well. The following are some of the most unique options. Chances are that you have heard of one or two, but some of the more rare types may leave you scratching your head.
1. Baby Chicks
When you think of bait you think of using small fish, fish eggs or worms as a form of a living creature that is a tasty snack for most fish. Most fishermen may have heard of using larger living creatures, but never had the guts to try it out. Case in point, one of the most unique baits when trying to catch catfish is using a baby chicken. This adorable, yellow, fluffy feathered friend may look great in Easter baskets and walking around the barn, but they have become a popular choice for fishermen who swear by using baby chicks to attract many different varieties of catfish. The size of a baby chick doesn’t make it suitable for every scenario. Those seeking smaller catfish or who aren’t fishing in an area where larger catfish lay should opt for bait that is much smaller and more delicate. Fishermen who want “the big catch” or want to try something different should add baby chicks to their bait boxes. One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a pre-packaged bait that you can buy in any bait and tackle store. You will, unfortunately, have to do the dirty work yourself.
2. Chicken Livers
One of the most common bait options that you can find in any grocery store or butcher shop are very tasty, protein packed chicken livers. Many chefs agree that they are excellent delicacies when prepared properly. Catfish agree with those chefs; there is something very unique about the taste of chicken livers that catfish thoroughly enjoy as they are ranked high up on the most popular bait list. You can typically find these chicken livers packaged in tubs floating in a pool of their blood and juices. Because of their increased popularity, fishermen use this as a go-to when gathering their stash of bait as they have a tendency to attract some pretty big catfish. The only real problem that fishermen may face when using chicken livers is how to keep their fingers from tearing through these delicate but scrumptious organs.
Soap is another powerful piece of bait that is commonly seen in many fishermen’s tackle and bait boxes. Avid catfish fishermen swear by using chunks of old soap on the end of their fishing lines as a way to catch the biggest catfish in the water. As with any bait, catfish who take this bait prefer not just any old brand of soap. Many catfish fishermen have reported that using Ivory soap is the best and has been one of the best kept secrets in their tackle boxes. The reason why Ivory soap is the best to use is because it does not have an overly powerful scent. Many brand of bar soap that have strong scents tend to be less successful because they contain a lot more additives. Therefore, if you are looking for a new, unique bait to try on your next fishing expedition, hitting up the grocery store or your local pharmacy for this best kept secret is a must before heading out on the water.
Fruit isn’t just good for the human body. It also makes for great bait for catfish as well. Many anglers swear by using different fruits to attract catfish in ponds and lakes. The types of fruits can range from apples to bananas to more exotic types of fruits. Persimmons have been suggested as one of the best, though the ripe season for these and accessibility is regionally focused. For those that want to try something new to catch their prey and do not want to spend a great deal of money on some of the more complicated tools, this is the perfect alternative.
5. Hot Dogs
Hot dogs make a unique, interesting and highly effective bait for catfish. They are easy to find in any grocery store and are relatively cheap. These slim pieces of meat can be easily put on a hook and cast out into the deepest of lakes and ponds to catch prey. What attracts catfish to hot dogs is unknown but they seem to be highly effective. The key is to avoid using all beef hot dogs. Many fishermen will argue this point stating that pure beef hot dogs are not as strong of bait as those made from turkey or chicken. Again, the logic behind this is not really known but the results seem to work and that has allowed many to return to using them as their go-to bait.
6. Bubble Gum
Another unusual, yet popular, choice of bait is bubble gum. The sweet taste in bubble gum is said to attract catfish and help them stick to the hook as they attempt to swallow the gum. Unfortunately, this is one of the more difficult baits to use. Seasoned fishermen know that you can’t simply put a piece of Bazooka gum on the end of a hook without chewing it first. A few minutes of chewing the gum to get it soft and sticky makes it more pliable and easy to manipulate without the worry of it falling off the hook or falling apart.
Catfish bait comes in many varieties and are very diverse to meet the needs of a catfish fisherman. Some of these aren’t nearly as popular as others, but they are worth a try. If your old tricks aren’t working, try using some of these unique and interesting ideas for your next catfishing trip, especially if you’re geared up to make the “big catch.”