If you want to catch really huge catfish, then live, or cut bait is the way to go. But if you just want a mess of eating-sized channel cats, the you might want to try making your own bait. Commercial dough baits are available, but it's more fun to make your own. Most involve ingredients with, shall we say, a pronounced bouquet. Catfish have an incredible sense of smell, and are attracted to anything strong smelling. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Melt 1 lb.of Velveta cheese for about 1 min. in microwave. Then chop 6-8 oz. of raw chicken livers. Add to the cheese. Next, add a healthy spoon of minced garlic or garlic powder. Then mix in 1 can of dog, or cat food, and add 1 dozen minnows and enough flour to give a dough consistency. Mix in a food processor.
This bait works best on treble hooks or bait tubes.
In a blender, mix about 1 lb. of cut fish (rotten minnows work great). Add 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 Cup parmesean cheese, 1 box cherry Jello, 1/4 cup molasses, 3 Tbsps of onion salt and garlic salt, 1 cup bread crumbs, and.3 Tablespoons of soy sauce. Remove this mixture to a mixing bowl. Add flour to thicken then work into a dough by hand. To use, simply pinch off a small chunk, roll it into a ball and place on a #4 treble hook.
Old Man Liver
In a blender place a pound of chicken livers, a half a box of cornflakes, 1/2 cup garlic powder, 1/3 cup of each: parmesan cheese-molasses-sugar. Blend well place in small dishes and freeze what you don't plan to use as this bait will spoil very quick. Best if used when fresh. Add flour to thicken if needed.
3 cups corn meal
3 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 or 2 beers, preferably flat and old..
1 dozen or so old minnows, shad, tuna, mackerel or salmon, with the oil.
10 oz corn syrup
1 tub chicken livers and whatever else you feel like putting in there, shrimp, dog food, cat food, road kill whatever.
1 container big enough to hold all of that and be completely sealed off, I mean completely!!
After you mix all that together, add milk or more beer to get the proper peanut butter-like consistency. Seal it all off and let it sit as long as you want. I go about 2 or 3 weeks with it outside, but when crack it open be prepared, because the pungent aroma will knock you for a loop!. If it thickens up too much I spray it down with some WD40 and mix it all up.
4 bars of Ivory soap (Family size)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
plastic ice trays
In a small pot, combine sugar and water and dissolve. Shave soap into the water mixture and heat over a low fire. Stir until soap is melted, but still thick.