View Full Version : Bait of choice?

09-17-2004, 09:38 PM
Just curious, what seems to be the bait of choice right now?

KittyRoca? ;)

I'm gonna give these cats one (maybe two) more chance(s) to let me catch 'em. What seems to be the "go to" at this time of the year?

Thanks in advance!


09-18-2004, 05:56 AM
right now im having luck with clams soaking in garlic salt. ive also been using sardines, but with sards u are gonna be bothered by the stripies. havent used c. livers yet, maybe ill use them today. never caught a cat on minnows,but ive seen one caught on a rooster tail orange/black/brown combo :D also have had good luck in the past on chovies. gonna use it all pretty much 2day so ill let u know what the magic ticket is. 8)

09-18-2004, 06:02 AM
Kitty Roca huh?

Does it come in that little pink can like the almond kind?


09-18-2004, 09:53 AM
Erreck, to be honest I think its just a crap(no pun intended ;)) shoot right now, but don't forget about the good ole nitecrawler. Sehoner is right 'bout the lil stripers wantin the sardine, but what suprised me was they attacked the hell out of liver. I'd spend like 5 minutes gettin a good chunk balled up and tied on and they would molest it to death in 30 seconds. My only advice is if you use any cut bait or liver, use the miracle thread to tie it on, that stuff is awesome. or is it magic thread? Somebody said one works and one doesn't and I don't have the package anymore.
But hey, its good to see someone talkin bout cats again!

09-18-2004, 10:13 AM
Chicken liver works the best any time of year.Galic flavor is the best.

09-19-2004, 02:49 AM
I usually do good on chicken liver or stink baits (blood flavor) about 3 years ago at berryessa everyone was saying use hot dogs. I thought they were crazy..but wasn't catching any cats so decided to try it and ended up with a bunch of 4-5# cats and even some carp. now they are saying to use this nasty dip bait and didn't listen and didn't get many cats. next camping season I think i might take there advise. ;D

09-19-2004, 08:44 AM
I must be the only catfisherman that hasn't caught a cat on liver! Tried it over and over, and never have gotten a nibble.

Allfish, it is Miracle Thread, Great stuff!

All my cats recently (not a lot by any means) have been on sardines, but you do have to put up with the stripers picking your hook bare!


09-19-2004, 09:44 AM
In the river, I like shad, but it does catch stripers as well. (shame isn't it?) :P

09-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Mr_T, I saw that coming *;)

I suppose we can look at as a blessing... if no cats are around, you have chance at a nice striper?


09-19-2004, 09:13 PM
So, basically, I need to just "keep on keepin' on" with what I have. :( :-/

I plan on given Oroville and Paradise a try this week. I'll give liver and minnow a try then move to other stuff if I need to.

P.S. I still haven't caught a cat yet! 3 seasons of trying and nothing! :-/ :'( :'( :'(


09-19-2004, 10:06 PM
I cant see not catching one in 3 years. that would drive me crazy. how are u rigging your pole??? i put on a sliding sinker, then tie on a snap swivel and attach a hook to that. With any bait over 3 years it should get you at least one.
good luck

09-20-2004, 07:50 AM
my favorite would have to be makeral hands down.ive caught big cats,stripers,and eaven some big carp with it *:-/ in all sorts of water from the clear water of Shasta to the murky waters of the delta of even Clear lake. the trick is to cut it up in chunks at home then freeze em in a good tupperware but not too many, i normaly end up using two smaller size tupperwares in a cooler that holds 18 cans of soda.try your best to keep it frozen the whole day(dry ice works good)for some reason its been my fish producing bait and it also doesnt attract a mob of stripers, yeh they hit it but not near as much as chovies.


09-20-2004, 08:11 AM
I have to agree with the mackeral although we got a nice 10# cat this week on grass shrimp.

09-20-2004, 03:05 PM

09-20-2004, 10:49 PM
well, I would tell you all how to put chicken liver on the hook so it stays on for long hard casts and will stay on all night long. But if i give out my secrets I will end up having to change my fishsniffer name! :P ;D ;D ;)

09-21-2004, 06:10 AM
Mackeral has to be one of the all time best baits for big cats ( CUT baits that is)

as far as keeping chicken livers in the hook, get yourself an old pair of panty hose, cut a few pieces out large enough to put your bait in,and tie the top, turning it into a ball. you can hook this right on your hook, and dont have to worry about it washing off, or throwing it off b accident when casting.

also, remeber that this time of year is as prime as the spruing spawn on cats. catfish are like everything else in the animal kingdom, and have a hugh apetite this time of year. they are trying to build up there fat stores for the winter, and also are still recovering from s[pawing, and trying to put the weight back on.

fish after it rains. in standing bodies of water ( like the lakes) fish any infow of water ( small runoff creeks that dump into it)as catsfish will congregate in these areas to pick off any food items that might wash in . they especially look for things like nightcrawlers,ect.

in moving water, such as a river,creek or stream, fish at any point that ou can find a runoff , or at any point where another creek/canal/stream/river dumps into it, as the catfish will be hanging out in these areas doing the same thing,waiting for juicey tidbits to wash in.

good luck, and catch a bunch


i think cats just dont like ya or somethin!

09-21-2004, 06:52 AM
Hey Rich ya can't blame a guy for covering the bases!

One trick on the livers is to salt em. Night before ya go, put the livers in a ziploc and cover it with non-iodized salt. Add some other smells if you want, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

When you bait up it will be much tougher and puts out quite the smell with all that salt. You will remember the salt if you have any cuts on your hand.

Kitty Roca? Almost forgot about that one...... Almost. :o

09-21-2004, 07:30 AM
I'm not on a mission to catch cats on livers. I have picked up several new ways to try them here, though, from you fellow 'sniffers, and that is what it is all about here on the board.

I catch cats on the baits I use, and will still try livers once in a while. :D


09-21-2004, 09:57 AM
Mr T is right you can get the liver pretty tuff.

09-22-2004, 06:51 PM
I'll put non-iodized salt on the grocery list.... along with chicken livers, of course. ;)

09-22-2004, 08:17 PM
Try using strawberry jello mixed with fresh livers, let sit a day or two in the fridge, stiffens the liver pretty good. Works for me.

09-30-2004, 09:40 PM
Garlic flavor sharp chedder cheese has always worked for me ,stripers leave it alone and when they hit, "the cats" they hit it hard !!!!!! try pinchin off a 1"x1"x1/2" square from a well refrigerated block and form it around a #2 hook covering the hook completely and your set . works very well at night.

10-03-2004, 05:12 PM
Try using strawberry jello mixed with fresh livers, let sit a day or two in the fridge, stiffens the liver pretty good. *Works for me. *

have you tried this one,add flour to the mix above to make dough/balls.. heard an old timmer in a bait store swear by this one....anyone tried it. ???

11-23-2004, 08:46 PM
I'm going to tell you my favorite way to rig for catfish that asures big fish. if you're looking for lots of action don't do this but if you want huge catfish and you don't mind being patient try this..use the largest kahle or shark hook you can find..i often use a 10/0 octopus hook..load it up with as much chicken liver as you can..4-6 livers usually..then cut open a golfball and unwind about 2 1/2 feet of the rubber-band like winding..tie one end to the eye of the hook and wrap it just tight enough to keep the liver in a huge mass..tie the other end through the eye of the hook once again..magic thread works too but not as good as the golfball..I used to live at clear lake and I caught plenty 20# plus channels and blues on this rig...another great spot for this is bethany res. near tracy..in the delta in july through september when the channel cats are shallow its also deadly for big catfish and the small stripers leave it alone..thread tends to cut through the liver while the golfball winding just kind of lets the liver remain in a huge mass..this rig is best fished out of current with no weight on a slack line..big catfish will just swim away with it..I really want to try this at lake amador sometime..if it looks too big its just right..good luck!

11-24-2004, 02:03 AM
When I first started Catfishing as a kid I would use all the so called Catfish baits. Anything from Liver to Stinkbaits, basicly anything a bait shop owner could get me and my brother to buy after convincing us that it was the must have bait.

Now that I'm older and wiser I think about all the money we waisted on different baits during those early years of fishing and learning the ropes. Of course you may get a fish to take those baits now and then, but nothing like the results you get when using baits that are native to the same waters that the Cats live and feed on everyday. For example, Shad, Shinners and Crawdads. I only use NightCrawlers for bait during or after a rainstorm, fishing them at the mouth of a creek or rain runoff thats spilling into a body of water.

Ever since I started using my head and begain fishing with what they eat and see everyday, the numbers and overall size of Catfish that I now catch and realease has doubled and maybe even tripled since then!!

Now as soon as I see a Chicken Liver or HotDog go swimming by in the same water I'm Catfishing in, I'll go right down to the local store and stock up on them! I've been looking hard and have yet to see one!

Think about it for a minute, it makes total sense. Say you have a person that is from the Northwest sitting at a table to eat his Breakfast. Now he's served pancakes and eggs with the choice of Hashbrowns or Grits. I'd bet money 9 times out of 10 he'd chose HashBrowns over the Grits to eat with his eggs. Now put a GoodOld Boy from the deep South in the same situation. Money now would be on the Grits. Makes sense to me.

Hey SLO3GIN, just wanted to let you know that there is no Blue Catfish living in Clear Lake today and there never has been in the history of the lake. This is a common mistake made by many people. The only Catfish living in Clear Lake are ChannelCats, White Cats and Brown or Bullhead Catfish. I'm almost possitive that the only lakes in California with a Blue Catfish population are down South in the San Deigo area, and there's only 2 of them.

Happy Fishin,

Ken, aka araiderfreak

11-24-2004, 07:24 AM
Well I'm not sure what species I was getting if they werent blues. Channels are unmistakable and I caught plenty yellow bullheads up at clear lake. The guy next door used to run a trot line and get catfish over 30 lbs that werent channels and I was always told they were blue cats. now I'm curious but I'm heading up to whiskey slough for some striper spooning but I'll need to know what the hell I was catching up there if they weren't blues. Any further info would be apreciated.

12-16-2004, 10:26 AM

01-13-2005, 08:38 PM
What are your thoughts on tuna for bait for cats? I have some old tuna in my freezer that is past its prime and I was wondering if it would do the trick for cats? Let me know what you think.

01-13-2005, 08:39 PM
What are your thoughts on tuna for bait for cats? I have some old tuna in my freezer that is past its prime and I was wondering if it would do the trick for cats? Let me know what you think.

01-14-2005, 07:55 AM
Oh yeah hot dogs work great for cats at berryessa. my first fish I ever caught was a 5# catfish on a big chunk of breakfast sausage while i was fishin for carp. I caught a whole bunch of carp too at night. Pretty big ones too. go to spanish Flat resort at berryessa and just cast like 20 feet out into the cove and there they will be.

01-26-2005, 10:32 AM
Beef brains. Get 'em from a slaughterhouse in Meridian. They are easy to wash off the hook in current, but in still water it's my choice, by far. Next is just plain old nightcrawlers.

01-26-2005, 10:51 AM
first of all, to anyone that says chicken livers dont work, ive been fishin certain catfish areas for years, the only and top producing bait has been chicken livers. ive used stink baits, worms, fish, and dough baits and none have honestly produced. ive had bites on worms, nothing really serious. but chicken livers and a dip of bacon grease are top producers at mather, lower blue lake, and the back creeks of lake natoma.

01-26-2005, 10:32 PM
hey trout
me and panfish popper have cought many catfish and carp at spanish flats on hot dog. I havent cought any anywhere else on hot dog I wonder if its just there. too many partyers chucking out the left over hot dogs in the water but it works great there.

01-27-2005, 10:15 AM
Same here, I have never caught another cat anywhere but there on hotdogs, i havent been there in a few years so is it still like this?

01-28-2005, 07:42 PM
For me cut sardines or clams have worked best. Also the commercial catfish baits. The best success I have had has been at Clear lake and in the delta using clams.
Waterdog ;D

02-03-2005, 10:09 AM
I have a pond in my backyard and have raised a channel cat from 2" to now over 2' long. I have had a chance to experiment with different foods over that time. Big Daddy's favorite, Oscar Meyer Cheese Dogs. When someone says "catch catfish with hot dogs", you need to know which brand. Big Daddy wouldn't touch Ball Park brand. When I was a kid, my dad would turn over rocks for crawdads when the cats would bite on our regular offerings. A peeled crawdad tail always seemed to produce pretty big fish.

02-03-2005, 01:52 PM
I saw a guy do just that, peel of the tail of a crawdad and put on his hook. He didn't catch anything, but he told great stories of the ones he had caught with tails before.

02-03-2005, 01:55 PM
Last year, I tried to catch cats with chicken liver but had no luck. I still won't give up on them because so many prople sware by them, but I think this summer I'll stick with what has worked best for me: grocery market shrimp, anchovies( or mackarel) and worms. At Amador, I may give the trout guts a whirl.

02-03-2005, 03:43 PM
Be careful with the trout guts. They catch BIG trout in Idaho but is illegal in CA. You might tell the warden you were fishing for catfish but he might not care.

02-03-2005, 07:49 PM
OOOPs my bad! Thanks for the heads up! Whatever I do, I won't use trout guts.

02-03-2005, 09:13 PM
what do you do with the carp?

02-04-2005, 07:04 AM
I cant think of anything a catfish wont eat! Though you wouldnt know it buy my success rate the last few trips. I bet a big ole channel cat gobble that tuna right up, when they are (keyword)biting! I would bring some other baits as well though!

02-04-2005, 09:34 AM
Bamyot, carp are fun and easy to catch if your at the right place but you would most likely release them. i have seen a few people keep em'but i would never keep em'. Hey, bamyot where do you live? cause if your in the area i can tell you a great little pond to catch those carp. i used to go to this place and i would catch 10 to 14 big ones a day. let me know

02-05-2005, 09:54 AM
I spent two days at the south fork american river fishing . I spotted a fish about 10 feet down tried everything to catch him. Finally after two days I caught him with a piece bacon. To my suprise it was a huge carp . Tossed that carp in the bushes! pissed off, all along thought it might be something i could eat. I hate carp!

02-06-2005, 12:22 AM
Thats what my dad always said to do with them. But I think we always released them. I think because we always had people with us who said "thats mean let it go"
Panfish popper caught a carp on hot dog fishing one night.
I think it was about 2 years ago that we caught all those cats on hot dog. then no one at the lake was talking about using it so i didn't use it as much so I don't know how well it works. They say to use a special dip bait they have at the marina. My sister had a dip bait and a sponge hook one night and I read the directions and it said to re bait it like every 10 min. :-/ Thats not catfishing. The only thing I'm doing every 10 min is cracking open another beer.
One of the park owners at Pleasure Cove said all he ever used was salami ???

02-06-2005, 12:51 PM
Give filet of carp a try,great cat fish bait ;)

02-06-2005, 03:57 PM
first of all, to anyone that says chicken livers dont work, ive been fishin certain catfish areas for years, the only and top producing bait has been chicken livers. ive used stink baits, worms, fish, and dough baits and none have honestly produced. ive had bites on worms, nothing really serious. but chicken livers and a dip of bacon grease are top producers at mather, lower blue lake, and the back creeks of lake natoma.

Get any cat action at Willow Creek, or at the "lagoon" pictured below in pics, that can be seen as you pass Cal Worthingtons heading west on US 50? The image thumbnails link to larger images on my flickr account.

http://photos1.flickr.com/4375912_905df59c46_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scupper/4375912/)
http://photos4.flickr.com/4375895_698676b768_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scupper/4375895/)
http://photos3.flickr.com/4375890_7c39b5ebff_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scupper/4375890/)
http://photos1.flickr.com/4375889_3acb54321b_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scupper/4375889/)

02-06-2005, 04:25 PM
Here's map of where I'm talking about across from Cal Worthingtons:


02-23-2005, 10:42 AM
:)My name is Koni and i am from Colorado. This is my first post here. I don't really have a bait of choice for cats. Just whatever they are biting on at the moment, so i usually take a smorgus board of baits fishing. The biggest cats i have caught here in Colorado were 11 pounds each, one i caught on a worm, the other on a dead shinner. Chicken liver only seemed to work for a while for me, then they showed no interest in it at all. So i use raw jumbo shrimp, leeches, muscles, worms, dead shinners. I've had pretty good luck with all those baits so far.

02-23-2005, 10:01 PM
Welcome to the boards Koni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

02-23-2005, 11:34 PM
Welcome Koni! Im with Koni, I pretty much go with what the catfish are biting on. If the fishing report says Chicken Liver ill go with Chicken Liver, if it says Hot Dogs ill go with Hot Dogs. etc.

02-24-2005, 06:09 PM
Hi all. My son fishes for flattheads in Kansas, and he says he uses mostly live baits, like sucker, blue gill, and cut up carp. He's caught some pretty huge flatt heads on those types of baits. Here in Colorado the record size for a flatthead was only 2 pounds and a few oz. How embarassing. :-[

02-24-2005, 11:00 PM
hey ive heard hot dogs are a good choice of bait. cooked or raw?

03-08-2005, 11:16 PM
I've done real well with liver and sardines. Even when using the miracle thread, when smaller cats are around, they tear it up pretty good. This workes well for me on the sac. Out in Rio I've caught lots of them on Ghost when Fishing for Stergz. But if you go that route you better have a deep wallet. Any way i'm trying something different tommorrow i'll let you all no what turns up. thats my.02

03-11-2005, 12:50 PM
My preferance is live shad. I also like to use cut bait and crawlers. If I can find them, I like large fresh clams as well. To me, live bait attracts larger fish.

03-11-2005, 11:17 PM
hey surf,
I was wondering the same thing but have used them raw at about 1" cut off chuncks and it has worked many cats and some carp too. Never tried it cooked.

04-09-2005, 12:03 PM
the bait of choice that I use is grass shrimp I usually use a splitshot with a 2oz triangle weight and a number 3 curved hook that has the little grabbers on the back put about 4 to 5 of them on your hook and cast out the only problem is if your fishing in the day you will catch alot of pan fish or they will steal your bait cause of the size of the weight but this bait if you can find it is the best cause catfish eat at it all year long and the hooks are good cause once the hook is in there mouth and you set it it ain't coming out :D :D :D :D :D :D

07-15-2007, 01:01 AM
chicken liver almost always works

07-15-2007, 08:13 AM
So, basically, I need to just "keep on keepin' on" with what I have. :( :-/

I plan on given Oroville and Paradise a try this week. I'll give liver and minnow a try then move to other stuff if I need to.

P.S. I still haven't caught a cat yet! 3 seasons of trying and nothing! :-/ :'( :'( :'(


I once saw a study that catfish have 175,000 taste buds all over the body and barbels.

If there are cats in the area, the scent of the bait should bring them in rather quickly.

If I haven't gotten bit after 10 or 15 minutes, I move to another spot and keep moving until I find fish.

07-26-2007, 09:02 PM
Cat fish eat anything. I've seen people catch cats on powerbait before. I was at quarry lakes in fremont/unioncity one time and the guy next to me caught a cat on power eggs! They eat just about anything that gets in their path. My first cat was on nightcrawlers while fishing for trout. I've tried going for cats after that catch, but have never had any success.

07-28-2007, 10:23 AM
In my experience cats will eat anything EXCEPT catfish bait. Go for chicken liver or worms. I have great luck with meal worms. I thread a bunch on a #6 hook. They go crazy over it.

07-28-2007, 02:40 PM
My son and I enjoy using shrimp. 41 - 50 count white or 61-70 count white. They fit well on a #4 hook, same shape and all, a Ranger that stopped us once at Black Butte asked, said "Interesting" and was done with us.

We just started fishing together recently, he is 6 and never had the patience before, but 3 weeks ago we landed 11 Cat total, no keepers, but my son did hit a 4 pound Stripper while reeling in his line to check his bait.

I have never had much luck with chicken livers, nightcrawlers or stink baits. Shrimp work well, and those 11 we caught were all caught within a 2 hour period from shore.

08-01-2007, 01:19 PM
I like to use mackeral for catfish on berryessa. I cut the mackeral into one inch chunks heads and all and putt them into a ziplock bag. I marinate them in a combination of garlic powder and cod liver oil overnight.

08-01-2007, 06:48 PM
my favorite would have to be makeral hands down.

Mackeral has to be one of the all time best baits for big cats ( CUT baits that is)
Mackeral is my go to bait. *Been using it religiously for over 20 years. *Just try to avoid the frozen ones that have yellow freezer burn on them. *I agree that it's vital to keep it frozen all day. *I usually prepare my baits a day or two in advance for my overnight trips. *I filet both sides of each mackeral and then vacuum seal & freeze all the filets that I think I'll need. *This saves me time on the water and space in the bait chest. *I usually throw away the carcases. *Just before baiting up, I prefer to cut a strip about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide for my hook. *Don't bunch it up on your hook. *Start at one end of the strip and simply hook it twice on your hook. *You've done it correctly when the entire strip of bait hangs perfectly straight from your hook. *This will leave about a 3 inch section of bait below the hook with the remainder riding on the shank. *This allows it to lay flat on the bottom after you cast and it leaves plenty of hook exposure once a cat sucks in the bait. *Hooking my bait this way also prevents the bait from spinning when I drift for cats. *Having the strip of bait bunched up (instead of hanging straight) will cause the leader to spin in circles when drifting or when you are reeling in for another cast. *For the last year or more, I've been using 2/0 owner mosquito hooks as I like the fact that they are ultra thin, ultra sharp, and retain a super sharp point. *Of course, if you are fishing an area with smaller fish, use a smaller strip of bait. *Big baits for bigger fish. * *

Ever since I started using my head and began fishing with what they eat and see everyday, the numbers and overall size of Catfish that I now catch and realease has doubled and maybe even tripled since then!! Ken (araiderfreak) makes a good point. *I've also caught many nice cats using fresh threadfin shad. *It's a natural food source in most lakes and channel cats will not hesitate to suck up a dead 3 or 4 inch threadfin shad. *Threadfin shad is my second favorite channel cat bait. *The fresher, the better.

I catch my fair share of channel cats and several decades of bait fishing has led me to where I am today. *Also, I don't ever soak my baits (salt, garlic, etc.). *As long as my bait is fresh, I have confidence in what I'm using.

My 3 cents. . . **