How to Make Homemade Catfish Bait

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Catching catfish is big business for the food industry. Catfish is a popular menu item in restaurants along the Chesapeake Bay area as well as many other waterfront areas in the southern United States. Catfish is a sweet white meat that is tender and flaky when cooked fresh. Since catfish are not picky eaters, it is easy to make your own catfish bait that will lure the hungry fish to your line.

Stir one cup of flour in with 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix it up so that it is a gooey mass. The salt will help the gluten in the flour become stretchy holding the rest of the bait together. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Blend chicken livers in a kitchen blender or food processor until they are finely ground. Some people use leftover bait fish for this, but whatever protein you have will work. Even dog food is okay. The point is to get a protein that will start to decompose quickly as it is the smell that will attract the catfish.

Throw in peeled garlic into the mixture and blend it together. You can also use garlic powder. The smell of garlic will get stronger the smaller it is chopped, so let it blend in well. This will help your bait be even more attractive to the catfish.

Add your flour mixture that has been resting and blend it in to the rest of the liver mixture. It should be a thick dough that you can mold into balls with your hands. Add flour if it is too wet or water if it is too dry.

Mold the bait into 1 inch balls with your hands and place in a covered plastic container. This bait will get 'better' with a little warm sunshine and about 48 hours of ripening time. Store outside in your garage or shed when you are not fishing as it will have a strong odor.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling this ripened bait. You can try using this as bait for crab traps


  • You can throw stale bread crumbs, spoiled milk or moldy cheese into this mixture

About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.

Photo Credits

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