By Brent Watters
Have you ever been fishing and witnessed someone catching all the fish? Well, when I see someone hauling in stringers full of fish I get very curious. On occasion, I have asked about their secret techniques pertaining to equipment and bait.
A lot of times I will get the polite smile and response such as “just lucky today” or “you know…same ol’ stuff.” I’ll ask what type of bait and that is usually when I will get the silent treatment. The typical response, “sorry, secret family recipe” or “if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.”
Through the years, I’ve collected some very useful information concerning catfish baits. The most important realization was that the people who were catching the most fish were not using store bought bait. It seems that they made their own baits.
We have compiled the main ingredients found in the most potent homemade catfish bait formulas.
I want to encourage you to develop your own formulas based on these ingredients found below. You will notice that these ingredients are easy to find. You can find the majority of the supplies at a well stocked grocer.
When developing your own formulas, do not use all the ingredients listed. Just take three or four items and see what happens. You are not bound to the items listed below. Feel free to test others.
I have found the most important aspect of making your own bait is testing. You will need to test your homemade bait several times because maybe a certain day, the fish aren’t biting, or there are no fish, or some other variable that has nothing to do with the potency of the bait. Bring several batches of your baits on your fishing outing and test several to increase your chances of success.
Another tip is to write everything down. You don’t want to develop bait and find that it is successful only to realize that you forgot how to make it. Also, you can make batches of bait for literally pennies a pound. You may store the batches in zipper plastic bags in the freezer.
Since these ingredients are for developing catfish bait, we’ll warn you ahead of time to do your experimenting in the garage or outdoors because some of the ingredients have a pungent smell and some create a mess.
- Uncooked oatmeal – popular as a base (keeps all the ingredients together in a doughy mixture.
- Baking flour – another popular base.
3) Corn and wheat flakes or similar types of cereals – base to keep bait on hook
4) Water – required in most cases to help make the mixture workable
5) Garlic salt – found in most store bought baits (probably a good idea if you used it also)
6) Garlic powder – similar to salt but may alter the fish attractant properties
7) Can of tuna – found in many homemade bait recipes. Maybe the old timers know something.
8) Anise oil extract – almost a requirement for all types of fishing bait
9) Meats from the meat counter (raw livers, brains, fish parts) – the more blood, the better
10) Canned or packaged meats such as cat food, dog food, spam, sandwich meats, hot dogs – an alternative to the raw meats
11) Cheeses – smellier the better – think limburger or rotten cheddar
12) Miscellaneous – fish food pellets, cattle feed pellets, molasses, gelatin mixes, can of corn, strawberry soda, bbq sauce
13) Zipper storage bags – great for mixing your ingredients, storage, and taking to fishing hole.
Remember, if it smells, is bloody, or rotted, it might be a great addition to your catfish bait formula. We hope this will information will get you started in developing your own secret catfish bait.
The most important tip of all is to remember to have fun. Share the experience with your family and friends. Have contests on who catches the most fish with his or her bait. I guarantee you will remember the fishing stories for the rest of your life.