Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Baits For Catching Channel Catfish

Channel catfish are one of the most widespread game fish species in the united states.  Wide spread, game fighters and easily topping the 10 lbs, channel cats are the favorite of many fishermen and women.  In fact they are the first large species I've introduced my family to. Needless to say they love catching big cats.  Not just for the fun of it but also because how easy it is to find bait for them.  A couple minutes digging in the dirt or a quick trip to the grocery store and we're all baited up and ready to go.  For this reason I wanted to share my top five baits for channel catfish.

Possibly every child's first fishing experience includes the use of worms. Why wouldn't worms be a part of our childhood fishing memories?  You can find them anywhere there is dirt and a simple stick used as a shovel will help you fill a container with enough bait to fish all day.  Not only that but you can pretty much catch any kind of fish on a worm and channel catfish are no different.

When fishing for catfish with worms, size matters. Because worms produce a lot of by-catch you want to use as large a worm as possible when targeting catfish. If you don't have large night crawlers on hand you can simply thread multiple night crawlers on your hook in order to present a larger meal for catfish.

Use a slip sinker rig for deeper and faster moving waters in order to keep your bait along bottom.  And in cases were the water your fishing is rocky or very snaggy use walleye floats to lift your hook above the snags.  Also when fishing fast moving waters make sure you're using no roll sinkers which do a better job of holding your bait in one spot.

On the other hand in still water you can use either slip sinker rig or a slip bobber rig.  When using this right you're gonna use split shot to get your bait just above the bottom where it'll avoid snags.

Chicken Livers
Next to worms chicken livers are probably the easiest bait to find. No, you can't dig them up in the backyard but what you can do is pick up a container of chicken livers in just about any grocery store in the country.  At a price under $3.00 they are affordable for fishermen and women with even the most modest of budgets.

Due to their consistency, chicken livers are best baited on treble hooks or bait holder hooks. When using treble hooks just pack and wrap on as much chicken liver as you'd prefer.  However in the case of using bait holder hooks there are two ways to rig up chicken livers effectively. The first way is to put the livers in the freezer for a short amount of time.  The partially frozen livers will be firm enough to easily grab and thread on to your bait holder hooks. The other way is to wrap your chicken livers in spawn sacs and hook them that way. Using Spawn sacs is by far the best way to do it as the sacs will
hold chicken livers on the hook longer, even when there are smaller bait stealing fish around to peck at your livers.

Dip / Dough Baits
As a kid one of my grandmother's neighbors would always talk to me about his dip bait recipe that would catch every catfish around.  When I was kid hearing this had me mesmerized with thoughts of catching huge catfish, larger than anything I'd ever seen. If you're like me you've heard of or know of someone who has they're own dip bait recipe that they swear by. It's for this reason that dip baits make my top baits list.

I'm sure there are countless recipes for dip baits that are just a google search away.  However if you don't want to deal with the process of making your own, then powerbait makes a great version of catfish dip bait.  Also if you're gonna fish with dip bait you wanna use a treble hook made specifically for it.  There are many version of hooks made for dip bait, some with plastic casing and some with just a wire coil around the hook shank to hold the dip bait to the hook. Lastly if your're gonna use dip or dough baits in high currents use spawn sacs to keep pre-rolled dip baits attached to your hook.  As well when fishing in snaggy areas simply adding a couple walleye floats to your line will lift  your treble hooks out of the rocks yet still in the strike zone.

Cut bait
For me cut bait is a weapon of opportunity rather than a bait of quick choice. If I happen to catch the shad die off on time or if I have some by-catch like bluegill while I'm fishing then that's when I'll opt for cut bait.  However just because I don't run to it as my bait of choice doesn't mean its not extremely effective.  In fact I have a few friends whom will pretty much only use cut bait for large channel cats.

Due to its size cut bait is a great bait to use for weeding through smaller fish to get to the bigger fish waiting to be caught.  For this reason I believe cut bait is not just effective for catching large channel catfish but blues and flat heads as well.  With the size of the bait in mind you want to use hooks that can accommodate cut bait. For this reason I recommend bait holder or circle hooks sized #4 to #5/0.  large circle hooks are more than able to hold large and small pieces of cut bait on with out the bait hindering your hookup ratio.

When using cut bait you'll find that some pieces work better than others.  In my experience is that the head of any fish you catch is gonna be your most choice piece of bait for pretty much any species of catfish. The head is followed by the stomach, with the internal organs inside, as the next best piece to use.  However something I do when I have the opportunity to catch and prepare cut bait early is I let it soak in the blood from chicken livers to give it more smell in the water.  I've found that this helps me keep the bite going a little better when catfish tend to slow down biting.

Shrimp is the last of my top five baits for channel catfish.  It came in last not because it lacks in catching ability behind any of the other four baits but because I'm allergic to shrimp.  As a result this requires me using gloves to rig shrimp up which is just bit of a pain to me.

Allergies aside though, shrimp is an extremely effective bait for channel catfish.  Not only is it effective but it is easy to find, a simple trip to any super market will have you in a bag of bait.

If you're gonna use shrimp as bait you wanna keep a couple things in mind.  First thing is to remove the shell from the shrimp as it will hinder hook ups.  Second is to use either bait holder or circle hooks sized #4 to 1/0, there really is no need to go much larger as the shrimp are only gonna be so big.  Third, if you find that you're getting bites but not hooking up, pinch off some of the shrimp as the size of the shrimp may be inhibiting your hook ups.  Lastly fresh shrimp tends to work best in my experience so keep it as fresh as you can.

Thanks for reading my short list of my top choices for channel catfish bait.  Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite channel catfish baits are.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...