The channel cat is considered some of the best in the catfish world. They are sleek, muscular and a good reason to hang out at your favorite pond. Catching any kind of fish begins with putting baits where the fish are.
The primary game fish stocked in ponds or lakes, are channel catfish along with largemouth bass and bluegills. These ponds are smaller and anglers have fewer problems locating actively feeding fish. Cast your hook into deep water areas where channel cats usually stay during daylight hours and during the temperature extremes of summer and winter. Also near the mouths of feeder creeks, near the outside edges of green aquatic vegetation, rock piles, stick-ups, stumps, logs, trees, and holes.
Many types of reservoirs are inhabited by channel catfish but they reach their greatest numbers and size in bodies of water that are large, warm and fertile with plentiful cover near deep-water sanctuaries and shallow feeding areas.
Bait Choices Such as Liver & Cut Chunk Bait
Smell and Taste is mostly what catfish feed by. You can catch channel cats on almost every type of bait imaginable, from crayfish, night crawlers and minnows to commercial stink-baits, chicken liver and even Ivory soap.
Chunks of liver have always been a good source of bait when fishing for catfish. Some fisherman experience difficulty keeping tainted or aged liver on a hook but you can also tie your liver chunks in mesh or nylon bags to keep them from washing away in the current. Some fisherman also substitute and fish with deer livers instead because they are much tougher than domestic livers and will stay on the hook even after several catches.
Common panfish such as bluegills or perch are great catfish baits as well. These fish may be used as live bait or in chunks and large live or dead shiners are also popular.
Be sure to store your fish baits in coolers filled with cold water or ice. This makes the flesh tougher and stronger, allowing it to stay on the hook longer. Catfish also love the parts of a chicken, which humans tend to discard such as the neck, gizzard, liver and kidneys. If your targeting smaller “eater size” fish, simply use smaller chunks. When fishing for bigger cats, use whole necks or gizzards and marinate the pieces in blood, cheese or their own juices for added flavor and appeal. However, one day’s hot bait commonly may not yield much the next day, with no obvious change in conditions.
The essence of fishing simplicity is stringing a worm on a hook. Night Crawlers remain as some the finest baits available for coaxing catfish into biting. They taste mighty good to catfish because they smell natural, because they are natural. The rule for night crawlers and catfish is, the bigger the better. Unlike other species, catfish typically do not care how night crawlers are strung on the hook and it is a generally a great idea to wad two or three on a hook if you only have small or medium-sized worms. They feed mostly by smell and taste, not by sight, so the better your chances are, of hooking cats that bite, when there is more worm wrapped around or sewn on the hook.
One overlooked and effective method for catching catfish with worms is to suspend a worm beneath a float, allowing it to hang barely off the bottom. The float will make it very easy to attract cats that are using cover such as stumps or downed trees and present the bait better. Night Crawlers work great when fished on an Easy Bait Hook because the swing arm lock will allow you to wrap two or three live fishing worms on it easily.
Whether home brewed or store bought, dip baits are gooey concoctions that usually smell horrible but catfish absolutely cannot resist them.
Dip baits smell bad but a foul odor is not enough to make a tub of bait attractive to catfish. A dip must have a cheese base or some kind of protein content. A good dip is soft enough that it breaks up gradually, but solid enough that it doesn’t wash away quickly.