What Catfish Eat

what do catfish eat

Catfish eat anything and everything. In their natural habitat, they eat other fish, worms, night crawlers, and just about anything else that lives in the water. Bigger catfish, like big flatheads and blues, are known to eat smaller catfish. They will also eat algae and plants when there aren’t any good fish around to munch on. All species of catfish like stinky food, especially stuff that smells fishy. Catfish usually eat stuff that lives around the bottom, but at certain times of day they will head up to the surface or the shallows to look for food, and they will try just about anything. For catfish anglers, here is what I recommend for bait. First off, keep in mind that it varies slightly according to species (blue, flathead or channel), location and time of year. But, catfish always like stinky, live bait. Any kind of cut bait works well, and if you can get something on your hook that is still alive and kicking, they will love that too. Beyond live bait, there are lots of common household goodies that catfish go for. These include chicken livers (the fresher the better), shrimp, hot dogs and cheese. Actually, catfish will eat just about anything edible, and even some things that are not. Experiment with things around the kitchen and see what works, but remember that your best bet is always to go with what they usually eat, which means fish, insects, worms and night crawlers.


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

5 Responses to “What Catfish Eat”

  1. allen stevens says:

    i fish catfish paylakes for big blues,bullhead,and flathead catfish.what do you recommend when it comes to bait and technique to catch the biggest of there kind please think big
    thanks
    allen stevens

  2. Kevin says:

    What about Big Bear Lake Ca.? Does anyone know what kind of catfish live in there? I know there are Yellow Bullhead but they are not considers catfish. I’m not sure why because they look EXACTLY the same, with barbels same fins mouth everything. Anyway I was just wondering what else might be in there. Some guys have caught some BIG fish 18-20lb Those I think are Channels but not sure…

  3. Bob Dole says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I am in an intense love for you and your work. I enjoy reading what you have to say and i really want to meet you or at least talk to you on the phone.

  4. Bob Dole says:

    One day while i was fishing in the great lakes of Montana i came accross a species of aquatic vertebra that seems similar to a cross of a catfish and a very hairy dog so i consulted my handy catfish guide called Trouble Dont Last by Shelley Pearsall This action-packed, tautly plotted first novel presents a quest for freedom on the Underground Railroad that realistically blends kindness and cruelty. “Trouble follows me like a shadow,” begins 11-year-old narrator Samuel. When Harrison, one of the elderly slaves who raised him after the master sold off the boy’s mother, decides to run away, Samuel must go with him. “Truth is,” Samuel confesses, “even the thought of going straight to Hell didn’t scare me as much as the thought of running away.” His fears prove justified. Samuel and Harrison’s journey thrusts them into uncertainty and peril, and introduces an imaginatively and poignantly rendered cast. Characters include a black man who helps them cross the Ohio River, all the while threatening them with a pistol and a knife if they don’t do exactly as he says (he abandons a less cooperative fugitive to certain capture) and a creepy young white widow who converses with her husband’s ghost BIG BUSHER

  5. John says:

    Goodday my name is John from Nigeria, a University graduate. I just started this fish pond business in nigeria due to no job and the catfish in Nigeria is another cool way of making money, so i nid ur help on food that i can be giving them for fast growing cuz here in Nigeria there food for feeding is expensive. so i was thinking if i can get help from this site on how i can be taking care of them in feeding and other things to make them grow fast and healthy.

    Thanks,…. i wil be waiting for my reply.

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