In the last part of this series we discussed live bait for catfish and what we liked best. Now we will talk about some of those other things that don’t quite fit in the live and prepared categories.
Other Types Of Baits
The sporting goods department at your discount big-box store will have bags of preserved shad, squeeze tubes full of stinky goo, sprays, and all manner of bagged baits. We’re not saying these don’t work, because some good results can be had with about anything. But by and large, our experience with these things has been marginal at best.
At your local lake’s marina or bait store, you can sometimes find frozen baits. These include shad sides, shad gizzards, smelt and shrimp. We didn’t lump these in with the live bait discussion, since technically the are no longer “alive”. Nonetheless, when you are after something that is as close to live as you can get, and still be able to keep some of it and take it home, these are what you should be after. Shrimp seems to work well for us. The shad sides and shad gizzards, when available, are an outstanding bait for catfish. They are more expensive however. The plus side to these, is you can pack them in your cooler to take home and keep them in the freezer for next time. On a humorous note, one time my uncle had a jar of shad sides and forgot them in the back of his pickup. A few days in the Nebraska summer heat caused that jar to explode, painting the inside of his truck box with the rotten fish mix!
Cut bait is another favorite of ours. When you catch one of those “rough” fish, such as carp, drum (sheeps head), bullhead, etc., dispatch the fish, then cut a hunk off it to use as bait. We have had better luck using flesh and skin as opposed to entrails, head and fins. Please make sure you observe any length limits or daily bag regulations when keeping a fish for bait. If you have never tried cut bait then you owe it to yourself to try it. We think you will be pleasantly surprised.
In the next article, we will put it all together and talk about our favorite catfish bait.