If you want to catch really huge catfish, then live, or cut bait is the way to go. But if you just want a mess of eating-sized channel cats, then you might want to try making your own bait. Commercial dough baits are available, but it’s more fun to make your own.
Most involve ingredients with, shall we say, a pronounced bouquet. Catfish have an incredible sense of smell, and are attracted to anything strong smelling. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Melt 1 lb. of Velveeta cheese for about 1 min. in microwave. Then chop 6-8 oz. of raw chicken livers. Add to the cheese. Next, add a healthy spoon of minced garlic or garlic powder. Then mix in 1 can of dog, or cat food, and add 1 dozen minnows and enough flour to give a dough consistency. Mix in a food processor.
This bait works best on treble hooks or bait tubes.
In a blender, mix about 1 lb. of cut fish (rotten minnows work great). Add 1/3 cup of water, 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese, 1 box cherry Jell-O, 1/4 cup molasses, 3 Toss of onion salt and garlic salt, 1 cup bread crumbs, and.3 Tablespoons of soy sauce.
Remove this mixture to a mixing bowl. Add flour to thicken then work into dough by hand. To use, simply pinch off a small chunk, roll it into a ball and place on a #4 treble hook.
Old Man Liver
In a blender place a pound of chicken livers, a half a box of cornflakes, 1/2 cup garlic powder, 1/3 cup of each: parmesan cheese-molasses-sugar. Blend well place in small dishes and freeze what you don’t plan to use as this bait will spoil very quick. Best if used when fresh. Add flour to thicken if needed.
Some other things you can do are to slice a package of old hot dogs into 3/4″ chinks. Then, get a bottle of fish oil at an oriental store (Mackerel works best) and fill a glass jar with it. Place the weenie chunks in the oil , seal the jar tightly, and let them soak at least overnight in the fridge. To use, simply place a chunk on a hook and cast it out gently.
Actually, making catfish bait is pretty straight-forward. All recipes have these things in common. Catfish bait consists of 3 things. A base, a binder/thickener/thinner, and flavor/smell. The base is what holds it together and makes it stay on the hook.
Typical bases are flour, cornmeal, oatmeal, and cereal flakes, or any combination of these. The binder is usually water, to make the dough workable, but oil from fish, blood, Kool-Aid, soda, and most any liquid can be used.
Flavorings include meats, rotten and otherwise, the bloodier and smellier, the better, hot dogs, dog, food, cat food, cheese, rotten and otherwise, canned tuna, shrimp and crabmeat, canned chicken, ham, potted meat, Vienna Sausages, etc….