Folks down south usually lovingly prepare their baits to whet the appetite of the catfish they are looking to catch. Most fishermen have their own favourite catfish recipes that they have successfully used to tempt their biggest catches.
My favourite catfish recipe is a Stinkblender™. I learned it from a guy who was a tournament champion. It involves using a kitchen blender. If you don’t have one that you needn’t share with your ball and chain, go buy one. You can thank me later for the splendid idea.
All ready there? Here’s the recipe:
1. Go to the frozen food section of the supermarket and buy some shrimp or shellfish. Also buy fish oil and organic chicken. (whole if possible)
2. Cut up the chicken liver and half of the shellfish into chunks and put them into a blender.
3. Blend the stuff to a paste. Remember, a chunky paste is good, but a fluid-like paste is bad. Make sure the stuff sticks. If it doesn’t, add mashed potatoes.
4. Take the remaining shellfish or shrimp and shell them. Then dip them in fish oil. Take each piece out and dip them in the chicken liver and shrimp paste.
5. Borrow some corn flour or any regular flour from your wife’s larder and roll the stinking pieces into it.
6. Stick it on your Kahle or treble hooks and roll the baited hooks in flour again. Your bait is ready to use.
If my catfish recipe didn’t work for you, you can try what other people have tried. You can try catfish recipes prepared with corn-flakes, fish rolled in corn-flour, cheese-balls, peanut butter and bread, frosted flakes with jelly, night-crawlers dipped in fish oil, dogfood, cat food, or anything smelly. Some old fashion people still use garden worms. Some people use cut-up fish for bait like chunks of bluegills. I once met a guy from Texas, who had used live goldfish to snag Flathead. He told me that the cats can sense the distress signals that other fish send out and come out to feed on the dying fish.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or don’t want to work with anything yucky, you could browse through your supermarket’s fishing equipment section for ready bait. All you need to do is pick something that catches your fancy and you are ready to go.
Catfishes have a wonderful sense of smell and average eyesight. So your bait’s got to stink to the heavens and look harmless enough to get their attention. And hook has to be big, at least a 2/0, because the catfish will likely spit the smaller hook right out. Bigger catfish varieties like blues or Flathead can only be baited with Kahle hook sizes 7/0 or bigger. It is also necessary to make sure that you have the bait nicely wound round the hook in such a way that the fish can’t get it out. Use circle hooks if you plan to catch and release. I always use treble hooks when I go cat-fishing.