It is very difficult to go wrong when it comes to catfish bait. These bottom-feeders are not very picky about what type of food they eat. Their diet, and thus effective bait, can include small fish, insects, shellfish and even plants and other organic debris. Catfish bait may be diverse, but different varieties of fish still prefer different types of bait.
Catfish bait is easy to find around your house and garden. Good old-fashioned worms are perfect to lure out most catfish and convince them to jump on your line. For larger fish, small frogs, minnows, shelled shrimp and large insects like crickets or grasshoppers are all great bait.
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If you are leery about skewering a large insect or worm, you can also make catfish bait out of grocery foods. Cut up chicken livers work wonders at catching catfish. Some fishermen swear by marshmallows, sweet corn, bread balls with peanut butter or even cheese. Since catfish find food by sense of smell, any type of food stuff that has a strong odor or natural oils will work well as catfish bait.
Of course, you can also buy prepared catfish bait or try to use fake bait lures to catch catfish. These should have some sort of scent to them to be most effective. Because catfish bait is so easy to come by, however, buying fancy lures may not be the most cost effective method. Try some natural alternative bait types first.