7 Best Catfish Lures and Baits

Normally, an experienced angler can tell which lure or bait to use to attract their haul, but when it comes to catfish, there’s really isn’t much thinking involved. Catfish are one of the feistiest predator fishes around that can eat nearly anything that floats their way especially the channel, flathead and the blue catfish. If you don’t believe us, then this post will open your eyes a bit more.

The catfish’s incredible size is owed to their diverse diet, which gives professional and rookie anglers a great amount of freedom to reel their oversized catch. So to give your catfishing adventure a little more ‘flavor’, check out our delectable smorgasbord of lures and baits:

1. Berkley Gulp! Catfish Shad Guts

Catfish Shad Guts photo
Source: 1

Everything from its realistic blood colors, to its dead shad entrails-like appearance and the hypnotic aroma that provide 400 times the level of scent than plastic bait make this a favorite among catfish. All you have to do is scoop up a gob of this stuff on your baitholder, place it on barbs and you’re good to go.

2. Green Apple Bubble Gum

Green Apple Bubble Gum
Source: 2

Fish chewing gum? It’s almost sounds like a seriously twisted sci-fi plot but it isn’t. It turns out that green apple-flavored bubblegum emits a strong flavor that immediately appeals to catfish, namely the channel catfish due to their great sense of smell.

This gum is convenient because it’s already pre-packed for action, making it portable and easy to use. Plus, it doesn’t have a pungent smell like that of stink bait.

To use, you must chew the gum for a few minutes to release its flavors and allow you to stick it to your hook with ease. Not only does the gum remain hastened to the hook but it also prevents catfishes from getting loose when they’re caught.

3. Nightcrawlers

Worms are one of most irresistible morsels for catfish both big and small, especially channel catfish. Taking about 6 of these critters and putting them on a 3/0 hook is just the right bait for flathead catfish. Their aroma and wriggling are the Achilles heel for the big ones.

Catalpa worms are also a target for numerous catfishes when they feed on lakeside trees. You can freeze them to use for later.

4. Cow’s Blood

According to different fishing lures website, blue catfish crave for cow’s blood like crazy. Take a 2.5 gallon bucket with you to a butcher shop or slaughterhouse and fill it with cow’s blood. Eventually, the blood coagulates that produces a gelatinous type of chunk.

Take about 1-inch of the cow blood chunks, put them into light netting and hold it together. Then tie the top with a knot or a twist-tie and then attach it to your hook.

5. Chicken Liver

Chicken livers are easily the top food for any catfish species, maybe even more than nightcrawlers. This is because of the livers’ powerfully potent smell that draws catfishes from wide areas. The only downside is that they don’t attract most of the bigger ones and are affordable to purchase from any grocery store.

Treble hooks are best at hooking chicken livers. This way, the pieces can be hooked at different places and all three of the hooks can be bended to keep the pieces in place.


It is best to keep the liver pieces hooked for the first 15 to 20 minutes so that they disperse their natural juices as well as enhance their appeal.

6. Leopard Frogs

Leopard Frog photo
Source: 3

Frogs are rather productive baits as they can be hooked through the nose or through one leg. The lower legs can be cut off to make it more compact. Even dead frogs work as good as the live ones. The leopard frogs are some of the most common catfish bait choices especially during winter as they move towards lakes and rivers after the temperature touches the 50˚F range at night.

Leopard frogs come in great abundance and catfish can easily help themselves during to them during the first hours of nighttime. When waters begin to cool, frogs usually eventually spend more time within water than on land, making it the perfect catfish dinner opportunity.

7. Crawfish

Crawfish photo
Source: 4

Chicken livers may be the undisputed munchies for catfish, but don’t count crayfish out of the equation. Any catfish species can take a bite out of these critters.

Crawfish are among some of the best voted choices of bait for small rivers and creeks. Dead crawfish can bag you some neat channel catfish. Live craws, more specifically the big ones, can attract a decent-sized flathead. Anglers hunting flatheads are advised to hide with their baits behind the thickest cover they can find in order to pull with every ounce of strength in their bodies.

Author Bio: I’m John Alex. I have a strong understanding and passion for all things related to fishing. When I am not out wetting a line, I am sharing a range of tips and tricks on Fall For Fishing – to help others to snag their big catch!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.