Historically what’s the best bait for catching channel catfish?

Historically what’s the best bait for catching channel catfish?

Channel cats are one of the most common catfish species in North America, spanning the continent in all directions, from central Canada, south to the southern USA, and in most every place in between, from east to west. Channel cats prefer slightly cooler water, and so, they tend to be most easily found in faster-flowing rivers and lakes, and in reservoirs, or other deep water bodies. Due to their wide range and significant variability in size, Channel cats also have a wide range of possible bait types which they can be taken with, many of which will be specific to the locale in which the fish are found. As with most all cats, dead fish is probably the most effective bait to use, since it is natural in source, and tends to present as a “normal” food item, which is important, in not scaring the fish off, when they come to investigate. The feeding habits of Channel cats tend to vary quite considerably with the size of the fish, also. Smaller cats are rather more omnivorous (meaning that they will eat most anything), while bigger cats begin to streamline their food sources, eventually eating almost nothing but dead fish… but not always. So, your choice of bait should be one which is matched to the fish you are after. Small and medium-sized Channel cats can be taken using everything from animal guts to soap baits, and are generally attracted to most anything which which feels natural, to the touch, and which has a strong scent factor, to bring the fish in from a distance. Baiting up with dead fish, either cut into chunks, or fished whole, if the bait fish are smaller than about six inches, is a good way to cover all the bases, since both big and small cats will tend to go for a fish-based bait. In the final analysis, there isn’t really a “best” bait for Channel cats, but your location, and the size of your quarry will help to determine what works best. The best guidelines are, present a naturally-sourced, highly-scented bait, in a natural fashion, and you should be in business.


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

© 2008 Ask Catfish Fishing. All rights reserved. Sitemap
Proudly designed by TotalTreasureChest.