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How can I catch nc catfish? Is there a special bait I need to use?

Flatheads and Blue Cats are mostly fish eaters, so the best baits for them are live fish, for Yellow Cats, and live or cut fish for Blues. The standard bait for Channel Cats is chicken livers, but they are messy and do not stay on the hook very well. You can wrap them in pantyhose pieces before hooking them and they will stay on the hook, but it is difficult to remove the pantyhose from the barb later. Alternatively, you can use the livers frozen. My solution is this: Take a cup of chicken livers and add ½ cup of salt and a few drops of vanilla extract. Refrigerate them overnight. The salt toughens the liver so they stay on the hook well, and the vanilla makes the catfish homicidal. Shrimp is also good bait, but turtles love shrimp as well. You might be having turtle soup for supper instead of catfish fillets when using this. Of course, Channel Cats love live, cut and rotten fish, so these can work. I have used left over minnows from bass trips for catfish on many occasions. If they die, just freeze them until you need them. You don’t even have to thaw them out. Channel Cats will eat them frozen as well. Another bait I use with good results is to cut up a package of cheap weenies into ½” cylinders and put them in a jar. Cover them with malt or apple cider vinegar and refrigerate overnight. Medium-sized catfish love them. Here is another one: Mix raw hamburger meat with Wearies and just enough Big Red soda to make a ball. Place it in a plastic bag and pinch off what you need for the hook. Carp like this one, too. Cheese, dog food, soap, catalpa worms, night crawlers, grasshoppers and crawfish have all been used with some success from time to time, as well as commercially prepared ‘stink’ baits. Experiment and find what works best for you in your particular location.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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