While some anglers prefer fancy lures or flies to catch the major freshwater sports fish, catfish lovers know that nothing beats landing a monster catfish with the perfect bait. Unlike bass and trout, catfish can grow to truly mammoth proportions, and it is quite common to catch a catfish weighing between 40 to 60 pounds if you have the right bait and understand the habits of catfish. Although some fishermen report sizable catches using store bought bait like chicken livers and squid, most experts on going after the big catfish will tell you that nothing beats homemade catfish stink-bait to draw out the monster fish. Here are a few tips to get you started.
First off, making your own catfish stink-bait is not for those with a weak stomach. It turns out that catfish are drawn to some pretty gross stuff, so you might want to stick to commercial bait if you are not comfortable with handling semi-rancid meats and organs. As gross as the best catfish stink-baits may be, however, they have stood the test of time to prove that the biggest catfish like this form of bait like no other. This is largely a result of the way that catfish feed in the wild.
The key to making a successful catfish stink-bait is the smell. Unlike most freshwater fish, catfish are bottom feeders who largely feed upon the dead flesh of other animals. They are also most active at night where they rely on senses other than sight to find their meals. As a result, catfish have a highly tuned sensory apparatus that allows them to sense the presence of rotting meat at a great distance. The key to exploiting this sensitivity is creating a bait that resembles a putrid animal as closely as possible. This might not sound too pleasant, but it sure does work.
The first step to making your own catfish stink-bait is assembling your ingredients. Although there are a few different recipes for catfish stink-bait out there, the most popular ones are aimed at creating a type of dough. The major ingredients that you will need for a basic stink-bait dough include chicken livers, chicken blood, raw fish, soap and cheese. It remains unclear how soap became such a major part of catfish stink-bait, but it is a key ingredient in the best stink-bait recopies. In order to make a dough out of this, you will also need some sort of grain based ingredient to hold it all together. Most fisherman use basic flour, but crushed saltines and bran flakes will work just as well.
The next step is mixing all of your ingredients together. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a household blender, but you better watch out for your significant other while your at it if you don’t want to run out and buy an appliance that is dedicated to stink-bait. People who aren’t into fishing probably won’t be able to eat anything out the same blender that they have seen stink-bait made in. Simply stuff in all of your major ingredients, and set the blender to puree. Once everything is mixed well, start adding flour until your reach the consistency of cookie dough.
At this point, you are pretty close to the end of the process of making your own catfish stink-bait, and you have a decision to make. Most fishermen choose to stop here and either head out fishing or store their bait in their refrigerator until their next trip. However, it is worth noting that catfish don’t just like fresh blood; the big fish like their meals pretty ripe. A handful of old timers believe that the most catfish stink-bait is made by preparing the dough and then letting it sit out in the sun in a closed container long enough to start going rancid. The result is most certainly a bio-hazard, but there is a school of though in the world of fishing for catfish that claims that the best bait has to be at least a little putrid. There is little doubt that a monster catfish can handle some rancid catfish stink-bait. The real question is whether the fisherman can.