What Do Catfish Eat?
Like all other fishing, catfishing is particularly fun in a kayak. It is a simple process that involves putting the appropriate bait in the right place and at the right time. It is crucial to know that different sizes and species of catfish prefer different types of meals. This implies that your bait choice should be versatile for increased chances of catfishing success.
Just like other types of fish, catfish are caught using dozens of different kinds of bait which range from raw bacon, hot dog slices to smaller live or dead fish. By using the best rig for your fishing, you will have your bait held in place where active cats will find it.
It is recommended to use simple catfish rigs with the least number of components. This ensures that there are fewer chances of component failure, knot breakage, and a minimal weight which avoids interference with natural presentation of the bait. The following are some of the best catfish baits with brief details about their effectiveness.
- Canned dog food
Canned dog food is an ideal bait used to attract catfish in many ways. It works perfectly for channel catfish which have a strong sense of smell thanks to their taste buds that are spread throughout their bodies.
Chunk dog food such as Alpo Prime Cuts in form of meaty squares that have either cheese, gravy or bacon flavors. This food is easy to use as it only needs a cheesecloth or an onion bag for securing the bait.
The bag should have appropriately minute holes to allow food leakage once lowered into water by a rig. You may drop some punctured dog food cans near the fishing spot to attract the cats before throwing your line. Another great way of attracting the fish is sinking the cans a day before so as to attract cats to the area. Dry dog food is also very effective for catfishing.
- Chicken parts
One of the most effective chicken parts to use as bait is the skin. The fatty and greasy aspect of chicken skin makes it among the best meals for catfish. This bait is ideal for catching smaller eating-size and channel catfish since it lacks enough blood for attracting larger fish.
The chicken skin is tough and hence stays hooked well and for longer. It attracts more fish in warmer water since the warmth allows oil secretion from the skin which offers a scent trail.
Another chicken part that makes a great catfishing bait is the liver. The chicken liver has an intense meaty smell that can draw many cats from a broad area. The catfish find it difficult to resists this bait once they find it and this is why livers are popularly known to produce plenty of catfish of different sizes.
The bait is especially known to be very productive for chumming large catfish. The chicken parts are inexpensive and readily available in grocery stores and for efficient chumming, you may make your bait using the chicken skin as a wrap-around for the chicken liver.
- French fries
French fries are delicious and catfish actually love them. Fries are popularly known to attract both flathead and channel catfish effectively. Their intoxicating scent and added grease draws even the laziest catfish towards them. Fries also possess a broad appeal and it is advisable to look out for pan fish that will pick at your bait as well. Most waterfront restaurants make ideal fishing spots.
Anglers who prefer this kind of bait say that their best catches occur near waterfront restaurants where fish are compelled to hunt for French fries. Warm fries allow grease to get into water faster creating a trail of good scent for attracting cats. You should hook the fries from the center of your rig and form a thread similar to a worm. The point of the hook towards the end should be dipped in water for effective catfishing.
- Live and dead smaller fish
Pan fish species like Perch and Bluegills are very great catfish baits. These types of fish can be used as live bait where it is legal (always confirm the local regulations). They can also be used to make chunks for bait.
Large Shiners, live or dead, are excellent catfish baits as well. Crawfish also rank among the best catfishing baits. You may use split short rigs to bounce live crawdads close to the bottom in a stream or river current.
Fresh crawfish, dead or alive, work perfectly in catfishing whether they are placed on humps, rocky points or used in open and deeper water. The fish baits should be kept fresh by storing in ice filled or cold water filled coolers. This makes the flesh stronger and tougher and enables it to stays hooked for longer.
- Prepared baits
Prepared baits are generally referred to as (dough balls). They basically comprise of cornbread or bread dough mixed with flavors. Flavoring can be done using chicken blood, meat juices and cheese to create a scent trail for attracting the catfish.
These prepared baits are ideal for catfishing in waters that have little or no current. For instance, fast-flowing rivers will clean the dough ball off the hook almost immediately. This is why some of the anglers use mesh bags or nylon to tie their prepared baits securely to the hook.
The best catfish rigs
For successful catfishing, it is vital to consider the best way of presenting your bait to the fish. You should choose the cleanest, simplest and most effective rig that will place the bait in the correct location. The following is a list of some the best catfish rigs that will help you through the simple catfishing process.
- Slip sinker rig; this is one of the best catfish rig that is ideal for all catfish species. The slip sinker rig is technically versatile and can be applied for any type of catfish. This is entirely why this setup is among the most widely used by anglers.
- The secret catfish rig; this is among most effective catfish rigs and will help you make your catch in large numbers. This rig is very helpful in catching channel catfish from fast-moving currents by the use of prepared baits.
- Slip bobber rig; this is yet another versatile rig. It is great for channel catfish, flatheads and blues as well. This rig is also a relatively affordable option.
- Three way rig; it can use a three way modified rig or a traditional set up of a three-way swivel to offer versatile catfishing abilities. This rig is also effective to all species of catfish.
- Santee rig; this rig is well known for effective blue catfish chumming. It is however also effective for other catfish types. It looks like a slightly twisted slip sinker rig; a designed meant for big catches. This makes it appropriate for drift fishing and catfishing on anchor.
It is definitely clear that if you want to achieve successful catfishing, you should focus on the most appropriate rig and bait for your exercise. The baits mentioned above will help you make your desired catch.
Moreover, they are readily available and affordable to the convenience of anglers. It is also crucial to ensure that you are using the best rig for your chumming. You should consider the conditions of the water where you are going to fish and adjust your rigs for better bait presentation. Proper use of the best catfish baits and rigs, coupled with the best reel and rod, will certainly leave you amazed by your successful catch.