Live Bait vs Artificial Lures for Catfishing.

Do Catfish prefer live bait or artificial lures?

Your best bet for catching Catfish is with live bait, but don’t dismiss artificial lures. A lot of good sized cats have been caught on lures.  

Let’s start with live bait.  Catfish love live bait. You can use nightcrawlers, shad, minnows, small perch, small bluegill, frogs, crawdads, or crawfish, and even bugs just to name a few. Cats are  highly efficient predators. They are going to go with what is natural prey for them.  They seem to strike really well on a worm ball. For this you need to put as many nightcrawlers as you can fit on a hook, making sure that you hook each one at least twice. You can put about a dozen worms on one hook. This makes a nice big ball of worms wiggling in all directions and really gets the attention of the cats.

Cats have also been known to strike on a lure.  The best one for the job seems to be a big, deep diving crank bait with lots of spinner action.  These have been used to catch some good sized cats. There are a lot of artificial lures on the market that would fit that description. Action seems to excite the big cats and bring thier predatory instincts into full focus.

Between the two choices though,  live bait would more than likely be your best bet and there’s usually an abundance of it no matter where you’re fishing.   It’s a tried and true method and seems to be the choice of most people.   


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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