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Catfish Bait

Wheelsman56Wheelsman56 MemberPosts: 225 Member
What do you gentleman (and ladies) use for catfish bait. Ive been trying to fish the Potomac and on Thursday I used chicken livers and had one fish on the line but my knot pulled out :tissue:

Today I tried hot dogs but didnt have any luck.

Also, and equally as importantly, how do you set up your catfish rig?

Ive already caught several trophy size largemouth out of my familys farm pond this year so I am trying to catch different species for the remainder of the summer.

Replies

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Small bluegill work pretty good for flathead catfish. 3"-4" size are about right. Clip off the top fin to remove the spines, and clip off the lobes of the tail fin, and use a big circle hook just behind the eyes. They like live bait. For channel cat, I've use the commercial stink bait, cut squid, shad minnows caught in a cast net, cheap greasy chicken hot dogs(the cheaper and greasier the better), chicken and beef liver(beef liver is easier to keep on the hook), and a big gob of fresh dug earthworms.

    One more thing about chicken livers; you can toughen them up by heavily salting them, and adding a pack of cherry or strawberry Kool-Aid to the drying chicken livers seems to attract catfish for some reason. At least the commercial fisherman that lives down the road says the Kool-Aid thing works.
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  • Wheelsman56Wheelsman56 Member Posts: 225 Member
    my buddy was just talking about using cut perch but he said bluegill works better. Only problem is that I am yet to even see blue gill in the Potomac. The whole "Urban Fishing" thing is new to me.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,218 Senior Member
    Leave the chicken livers (in the sealed container) out in the sun for a few hours before fishing with them.
    tennmike is right about flatheads...predatory fish that prefer live bait....the small bluegill thing works...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,860 Senior Member
    forget commercial "stink" baits, or really most any. Livers will get you action on smaller to medium sized cats, the best eaters. For big kittys nothing beats cut bait and by big i mean 10-30lbs. Bloodier the better
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,253 Senior Member
    Fresh cut shad. I tried freezing them and it doesn't work as well as fresh... Shad is very oily and leaves a good scent trail.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,318 Senior Member
    Forget chicken (or beef, for that matter) livers. Too soft, and as often as not you'll sling them off on the cast, or Mr. Whiskers will just suck them off your hook.

    Pork liver is where it's at. Lots of tough, stringy veins run through it. You can't sling it off, and if a catfish wants it (and they usually do), he'll have to take your hook along with it.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Wheelsman56Wheelsman56 Member Posts: 225 Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Leave the chicken livers (in the sealed container) out in the sun for a few hours before fishing with them.
    tennmike is right about flatheads...predatory fish that prefer live bait....the small bluegill thing works...

    I left my left over livers in the bed of my truck for the past two days and man do they STINK now. Might have to try the pantyhose trick and try to fish with them.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Shrimp work well, they are smelly and they stay on the hook well. Another good bait is smoky links sausages. They are tough and have lots of oil in them, hat leaches out into the water.......Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,171 Senior Member
    Tea bags.

    Yep, thats what I said, try using tea bags.

    If you have a soft bait that falls off the hook easily, save yourself some used tea bags. The big square one cup ones. Stick them in the sun to dry, when dry, gently pull one edge apart and empty the tea leaves out ( they will dry up and shrink back to their original size).
    Stick your piece of liver inside and thread the tea bag on the hook using the hook to keep it closed. The cloth/paper tea bag pocket will hold the bait together and stop the fish from stealing it. I have used them for salt water fish stuffed full of minced bonito/pilchards. I then soak the bags in fish oil before using them. Should work for liver baits.

    If you dont drink tea, just empty out new ones.....

    Many years ago I had a lot of bonito and minced it up for groundbait. Stuffed about 20 tea bags with some of the mix and took them out snapper fishing with my mate Mark. Fishing was real slow with the fish turning down every thing we threw at them. I grabbed a tea bag bait threaded it on the hook, and said to Mark " Might as well try using a tea bag". (I hadnt told him that these were stuffed with ground bonito)
    First bait and I hooked a 3lb snapper. 2nd bait a 4 1/2lber. Mark said something like " you have got to be ....ing me". (He thought I was switching baits) I took another bag out, made a big show of hooking it on and dropped it over the side in front of him and a couple of minutes later pulled up a 6lber. He said "Give me a tea bag" so I reached in my lunch box and gave him a standard tea bag which he threw over the side. Naturally the tea leaves didnt attract fish and he didnt catch anything. I was 9 fish into a 10 fish limit before he realised I wasnt using standard tea bags and his language damn near blistered the paint off the boat. I ended up giving him a couple and his first fish was an 8lber.

    Like I said............use tea bags lol.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Wait a minute- - - - -if catfish are attracted to stinky bait, shouldn't we be fishing close to swimming areas?
    Jerry
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,648 Senior Member
    If its legal seine you some small minnows/ shad from a nearby creek, I like fat heads or whatever comes out of the net. Around here its so hot, night fishing or running trot lines is where the action is since not much is biting during the heat of the day. Also a small popping bug on your fly rod will slaughter bluegills at pretty much any time of day but evening seems to work better for them as well if you want to try them for bait. I like to hook them in the tail near the top of their back past the ribs so they can swim more naturally, bigger cats do like live prey. This spring I caught a 12-14 lb channel on a 3in minnow, my whole hand fit in her mouth.Those fish are just one big muscle swimming around. Last summer some friends caught a blue cat that filled a 5 gallon bucket the fillets from it.Good luck.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Somewhere in the filing cabinet, Mary's got a photo of a catfish she caught in Oklahoma nearly 40 years ago. She's got both hands in its mouth, and is holding it up to almost her chin, and the tail is barely clearing the ground. She caught it on a piece of cut shad with a Zebco 33 rod/reel combo from Wally World! She says it was like dragging in a log, no fight at all!
    Jerry
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,359 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Shrimp work well, they are smelly and they stay on the hook well. Another good bait is smoky links sausages. They are tough and have lots of oil in them, hat leaches out into the water.......Robin

    I have used frozen shrimp a lot with great success. have your sinker about 6" up the line from the hook, cast it out, and crack a beer.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • blkbird305blkbird305 Member Posts: 220 Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Not unless you want the catfish to taste tainted.

    Ha ha ha, I see what you did there...
  • blkbird305blkbird305 Member Posts: 220 Member
    We tend to use earth worms for our catfshin, sometime minnows... There is a little hole we fish off of some land we own that is full of 20-25" Kittenfish and the earthworms have never let us go hungry so far.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    my buddy was just talking about using cut perch but he said bluegill works better. Only problem is that I am yet to even see blue gill in the Potomac. The whole "Urban Fishing" thing is new to me.

    Around here, flathead like live bait. Sometimes they've even been caught on lures. They are not the bottom feeders that blue and channel cat are. That's probably why their meat is so good.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
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  • Wheelsman56Wheelsman56 Member Posts: 225 Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    I have used frozen shrimp a lot with great success. have your sinker about 6" up the line from the hook, cast it out, and crack a beer.

    I have a ton of frozen shrimp that arent good to eat anymore due to the power outages we have had here in Virginia recently (they thawed partially and then refroze). I might have to try some of those this week. I assume you fully thaw them out first? With the sinker 6 inches up the line, the bait will just be sitting on bottom correct?
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    When I'm fishing for catfish or other bottom-feeders, I put a big egg sinker at the bottom of the line, and go up about a foot to a 3-way swivel. Tie a 1 -foot leader onto the swivel with the hook on it, and tie the whole works onto the line to the rod. You can cast out, take up the slack, and let the baited hook swing in the current, if any. You'll feel the slightest tap on the bait that way, since you've got a tight line to the sinker. A rod holder stuck into the bank, a lawn chair, and a cooler full of iced-down beer completes the setup.

    "If you've ever been too drunk to fish, you just might be a redneck!"
    Jeff Foxworthy
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,253 Senior Member
    I use egg sinkers and a swivell. When the cat picks up the bait, he doesn't have to move (feel) the sinker as it swims away with the bait. I also open the bail of my reel and roll a 2'' square of toilet paper onto the line by the tip of the rod. As the cat moves away the TP heads towards the water. Pick up the rod, flip the bail, and set the hook (unless using a circle hook, just wait for the fish to start fighting and the hook sets itself)
    4321407_f520.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    I use egg sinkers and a swivell. When the cat picks up the bait, he doesn't have to move (feel) the sinker as it swims away with the bait. I also open the bail of my reel and roll a 2'' square of toilet paper onto the line by the tip of the rod. As the cat moves away the TP heads towards the water. Pick up the rod, flip the bail, and set the hook (unless using a circle hook, just wait for the fish to start fighting and the hook sets itself)
    4321407_f520.jpg

    I like your set up. The only thig I would add is a glass bead between the sinker and the swivell. This ensures that the eye of the swivell won't get caught in the hole of the sinker.......Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    JBP, that's the typical grouper rig used in the Gulf of Mexico, except sinker is 6 oz. and the leader is 80 lb. fluorocarbon. Same rig with a 1/2 oz. sinker and a 15 lb. fluorocarbon leader is the go-to for fishing for pompano from the beach, with sand fleas as bait.
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  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,253 Senior Member
    If I'm fishing a smaller river without much current. I can use a smaller sinker (1/2oz or smaller), then I just use a split shot instead of a swivel.

    The TP trick doesn't work with a current cause you can't leave bail open. Then you have to watch the end of your fishing rod.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,171 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    I like your set up. The only thig I would add is a glass bead between the sinker and the swivell. This ensures that the eye of the swivell won't get caught in the hole of the sinker.......Robin

    I prefer to add a soft rubber bead to a rig like that esp if casting it out. We call that a 'running sinker' rig over here and use it on salt water for bottom feeders. If fishing in over 25' deep water I normally add a fluoro soft bead to the trace (leader line) so that it rests on the hook. It makes the bait more visible.

    If fishing in a current I prefer to use a pyramid shaped sinker as it doesnt roll across the bottom but will sit flat.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Wheelsman56Wheelsman56 Member Posts: 225 Member
    I have a ton of frozen shrimp that arent good to eat anymore due to the power outages we have had here in Virginia recently (they thawed partially and then refroze). I might have to try some of those this week. I assume you fully thaw them out first? With the sinker 6 inches up the line, the bait will just be sitting on bottom correct?

    Well I tried the thawed out shrimp dipped in week old chicken lives. Stinky as hell. There were a ton of people there bc the night was nice so I couldnt fish the best spot. I did catch a turtle on the the shrimp tho haha. That was it.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,046 Senior Member
    I did catch a turtle on the the shrimp tho haha. That was it.

    Snapping turtle?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • luvmyRugersluvmyRugers New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    Earthworms or Red worms are our go-to bait in the south. Works like a charm!
    Good luck,
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