How to Make Your Own Surefire Catfish Stink Bait

Stink bait is a kind of bait you can make right at home with common household ingredients. It’s called “stink” bait because, well… it stinks! That’s why catfish love it. Keep that in mind, and you can get creative with everyday kitchen stuff.

Everybody’s got their own stink bait recipes and they all have a few things in common. First off, they’re stinky (we discussed that) and second off, they have to stay together. That’s the key to making stink bait. Later down the article, we’ll look at some great stink bait ingredients, but first off, some indispensable stink bait making tools.

Dough Balls – This is a great method of stink bait preparation where you use flour, grains or some kind of prepared dough. You roll up all your stinky, rotten, smelly ingredients into one of these, and the dough holds it all together. It makes putting a chicken liver or something like that on your line much easier. Some guys I know even cook their dough balls just a little so it will all hold together.

Looper Rigs – These are a kind of hook designed especially to hold hard-to-hold bait. On the hook is a bunch of hooks, and soft materials like cheese and stink bait are easy to put on there. Some anglers swear by these for their stink bait.

The Blender – That’s right, your ordinary household blender. You’ll need this to mix up all your stinky ingredients into some kind of nasty mush that catfish will find delicious. Note – wash that blender before the misses finds out you used it to make stink bait. Better yet, buy her a new one and keep the old one for your stink bait experiments.

Now, on to the ingredients…

Chicken Livers – Catfish love them. They’re hard to put on your line, though. But, pop a few into a blender with some other guts, rotten things, cheese and whatnot and you’ll have a tasty delicacy that will stay on your line.

Cheese – Old, stinky cheese works great, and if you blend it into a mush with a bunch of other stuff, the cheese will help it all stay together. Limburger cheese works well, as well as any other smelly cheese from old Europe.

Raw Fish – No, don’t spend any money buying sushi. What I’m talking about is regular, old store-bought fish. Even better, use something you caught yourself. Instead of cooking it for yourself, let it age somewhere in the depths of your fridge where it won’t touch anything else. Before it starts to smell up the whole house, take it out and blend it!

Soap – Nobody knows why on earth they like it so much, but they do. Take an ordinary bar of soap, unscented, and cut it up into little pieces. You can blend it into your stinkbait, or cut it into smaller flakes and roll your dough ball or stinkbait in it.

Chicken Blood – Put some blood into your mixture and catfish will love it.

Sausages – Take any old sausages or hot dogs and cut them up into small pieces, or better yet, blend them.

Tuna or Sardines – These are really popular with catfish all over the world. Tuna has that distinctive fishy smell that smells like much of what they eat. The problem is that it’s tough to get it on the line. That’s why it works so well for stinkbait.

Shrimp – Frozen shrimp from the store works really well in stinkbait, too.

Now, we need something to stick it all together. This is the biggest challenge of preparing stinkbait. You have all this mushy stuff that you want to use, and you need it to be good and thick so it will stay on the line.

We already mentioned dough balls. There are also some things you can just mix in with your stink bait that will thicken it up so that you can use it. Here are some ideas (but of course, experiment too!):

Flour – This is the most simple and obvious idea. Roll your stink bait in flour in a mixing bowl until it gets to the right thickness. This may take some trial and error until you know just how much flour it takes.

Bran Flakes – Crush up some bran flakes and roll your stink bait mush into it. This will harden it up and make it easier to put on the line.

Crushed Saltines – This is a little tougher to do, but I’ve known some guys who swore by it.

Cotton – It sounds strange, but ordinary household cotton works really well for holding stinkbait together. This, too, might take some trial and error, but give it a shot.

And now the technique for making stinkbait…

Put it all in the blender, turn it into mush, roll it up into a dough ball or something to make it stick together… and that’s it. Catfish will love your gourmet stink bait and you’ll pull them in by the boat-full!

To get the full “How to Make Your Own Surefire Catfish Stink Bait” article you’ll need to download it here.


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

4 Responses to “How to Make Your Own Surefire Catfish Stink Bait”

  1. danny6114 says:

    Cattail fluff makes a killer binding agent, as the fibers intertwine to hold onto the hook.

  2. Darren says:

    Here’s a recipe that I made up and I’ve had good luck with it.

    2lbs Chicken livers with blood
    1lb raw Shrimp
    2 cans sardines
    1 large block of velveeta cheese
    1 small tub of feta cheese
    1/4cup Peanut butter
    1 box of parmesan&garlic cheezits
    3tbsp garlic salt
    Pancake mix or flour
    cotton balls

  3. Presten Schmidt says:

    I have had some luck with cow liver cut up and thrown into a mason jar with minced onion and garlic salt. i then let it sit in the hot sun for a week.

  4. David&LaceyStickle says:

    We are goin fishing tonight in Panola County TX. We will give a report when we get back

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