Live or Dead bait?

i have read all over the net that big channel cats and blues eat only fish, and mostly dead fish at that. my question is, would fresh dead bait be better than three or four day old dead fish?

The fresher the bait you use certainly has a great impact in the amount of fish you will catch. But why stop at freshly dead bait? What about live bait? The same principle that makes freshly killed bait better than two day old bait also makes live bait your best option of all. In fact a fresh lively fish used for bait will outperform a bait fish that has been sitting in your live well all day. In selecting bait I feel that it is important to use natural bait for the body of water you are fishing. I always try to ascertain the available forage in a body of water before fishing there. I then try to obtain a supply of that species of bait fish and use them for bait. When live bait fishing for Catfish I like to make an adjustment to the fish that I use for bait. I will cut a piece of the tail from the fish before I cast it into the water. This accomplishes two main objectives. It will cause the bait fish to swim erratically. This will trigger the sonar capabilities of the Catfish. Instinct causes the Catfish to attack injured fish. Secondly cutting the tail will cause a small amount of blood into the water. Catfish have a great sense of smell. By cutting the tail we have added two very important features to our attack plan. My last piece of advice to let your bait freeline rather than anchoring it to the bottom with a large weight.


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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