home catfish baits

Dip baits work best when the moving water carries bait particles downstream as the dip breaks up creating an aromatic lure that leads directly to the hook. The conventional wisdom recommends making repeated casts to the same general area to strengthen the line of scent to the area where the bait settles.

The big drawback to dips is their very nature. Gooey liquids do not stay on hooks. There is nothing solid in the dip. Instead, the angler will commonly buy rubber or synthetic “catfish worms.” These are generally constructed as tubes with holes in them designed to hold the liquid bait initially, but release it gradually. Most come pre-rigged with treble hooks on leaders. Many commercial cans of dip bait come pre-packaged with their own worms.

Dip baits get thinner in the heat. They are generally best kept in the shade during the heat of the day. Some manufacturers sell additional mixtures that will help thicken the dip as the heat builds up during a hot day in the sun. It is also an essential tool to have a stick to push the worms down into the goo without actually getting it on your fingers.

Night Crawlers

Night crawlers are among the finest baits available for coaxing catfish into biting. The lore says that the bigger the worm, the bigger the fish. Many anglers will cram several worms onto a single hook if they cannot find the true monsters of the earth. The cats can’t really see that well, so three worms smells stronger than one.

Night crawlers do not have to be cut up and are not quite as messy as livers or dip bait. They make an excellent choice for fishing excursions with young children, and most kids quickly learn how to thread a worm onto a hook. The fact that the catfish love them only increases that value of this particular bait.

The other great thing about night crawlers and other worms to use as bait during family fishing trips is that the kids can dig their own worms, often from their own backyards or even from the lakeshore when there’s a break in the action. And what can compare with the pride that comes from catching a fish on a hand-dug worm? It’s as American and as timeless as a scene straight out of Mark Twain.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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