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Tim Richardson

HOMEMADE CATFISH BAITS - Introduction to Great Beginner Ingredients

I've caught cats to over 110 pounds on homemade baits and over 25 above 60 pounds here in the UK so I know these baits work! Making your own homemade baits has massive advantages and I find the similarities between catfish and homemade big carp bait design has many similarities! You have full control over just how unique and potentially powerfully attracting these baits can be. These baits may be very simple or complicated, but they all catch to varying degrees of success some catching more bigger catfish than others.
Catfish are very fast growing fish and are especially in need of baits that supply energy and digestible protein. The many types of tinned meats in your larder will do great for a basic start. Live moving natural baits can be used, like various species of worms, leeches, and other amino acid secreting creatures.



Untold big catfish have been hooked on luncheon meat, spam and similar variations on this pork theme. Meat meals in carp fishing are rapidly gaining favour as fish meals and shellfish meals become less sustainable and these are very successful too.
Many dried and tinned cat and dog foods make excellent catfish baits and are specially full of taste enhancers and enzymes (like betaine) and bacteria to make the food as palatable, tasty and attractive and digestible as possible. In fact I researched this area for carp baits and discovered in some brands that up to half the ingredients were actually 'commercially produced bacteria.'
In one instance there were twelve types of this in one canned dog food and this demonstrates just how important they are to great taste development (for dogs) and better digestibility. Match fishermen have used pellet type soft cat food extremely successfully for similar reasons I'm sure.
There seems no doubt that these fish love fatty meats. But it interesting to note that some brands catch more fish than others. This may be due to their better digestibility and solubility and breakdown and release of attractive amino acids, oils and bait fragments into the water. Liver and congealed blood baits are very popular and the high protein content and massive amino acid leak-ff contribute much to their success. I may sound funny, but the wels catfish here in Europe and the UK are primarily surface feeding predators, sneaking up and ambushing potential prey from near the surface.
They can spend long periods of inactivity between 'feeding binges' and I find carp are much easier to catch regularly because their feeding seems far more regular. That is my observation using home made baits on the bottom or in buoyant form, from about 8 years of fishing for catfish. I have even caught fish to 40 pounds on the surface itself.
On one occasion, I used a very large garlic sausage bait which was sandwiched between foam to make it float. I had set-up fishing in the dark, and while in the still dark early morning hours I began to get lots of 'line bites' this went on for a while as waited with baited breath. As the first rays of day lit the foggy morning I could see that my baits which were only 2 yards from my own bank side, were actually sitting upon a dense bed of Canadian pondweed and so in fact one bait was half out of the water!
I put this down to another lesson of not wishing to shine a light at the water to check, and accepted it feeling positive that the catfish would track it down if they really wanted it. Half an hour later that bait was gulped down and a very hard-fighting 40 plus pound catfish graced the net!
There are so many opinions about catfish baits and I can only tell you my opinions based on my captures. One thing I will emphasise as in carp baits, is the use of 'curing' or part 'fermenting' your baits. This actually creates new flavours on and in the baits and release more amino acids, sugars alcohols, flavours etc. All very attractive!
You can try this with anything from herring or squid chunks to boilies. All you are really doing is heating the baits for a while to get bacterial enzyme activity working on starting to break down the bait. It seriously stinks and works a treat! (But don't go spilling your squid in the car like I did, and you are best handling baits with gloves!)
Many types of boilies will catch big catfish including those of meat, fish, and shellfish varieties. The poultry types like chicken seem popular right now.
If you wish to enhance your boilies potential for catching catfish I cannot recommend enough liquidizing squid and soaking your baits in this or in liver powder or squid extract powder plus amino acid supplement like 'Minamino,' along with some pure salmon oil and sea salt.
Having said that, many preparatory preparations have the same effect as the above. It does seem to me that catfish fishing is very largely about soaking as much attraction into your baits as possible (including pellets) and ground baiting specifically to get your swim 'alive' with small fish to draw in the big catfish. This method may take some time or not!
But I have regularly caught enough big catfish on this method to satisfy me. 'Live-baiting' is not my thing. I once fished a 2 pound gold fish supplied by a fishery, on a water that held a catfish in excess of 100 pounds. All I could think was - this is just wrong!
I find that fishing over sweetcorn is interesting in that catfish seem to enjoy eating it too, although I realise many anglers reading this may prefer fermented maize or pellets of many descriptions. One memorable session I had was when I baited up with fermented herring and squid pieces of about one centimetre in diameter. I never saw so many tench bubbling on the baited area for hour after hour!
Tench seem like catfish magnets and this activity produced the biggest catfish in the lake not surprisingly!
After so many cat fishing experiences and big captures, I can honestly say, that I believe they can learn to avoid some baits in certain rich water situations if they get hooked on the same bait a few times, and I would always keep rotating and changing my baits and attractors.
To this end I leverage my experience and knowledge in designing baits for carp and very often fish paste or dough type baits which I know offer superior attractor leak-off of those all important essential amino acids, minerals, oils etc and very often provide far quicker results for big carp and catfish too. I now rate designed paste bait, maximizing certain aspect of catfish essential dietary requirements, over any other bait.
In fact I hooked the Wintons Kingfisher Lake (UK) record cat, just 10 minutes after arriving, I believe purely due to the massive leak-off of specialist attraction ingredients and additives from the bait and PVA bag paste baits and powders exploited to maximise attraction and pulling power of the hook bait area.
Well, these are just some very basic things to start you on your way instead of you religiously using whatever it is that perhaps is the reason you are reading this article.
Bait testing, experimentation and taking risks with new bait variations and versions while also utilising a 'control bait' that you trust, will definitely massively multiply your results and keep you permanently ahead of the catfish and the crowd!
The author has many more fishing and bait 'edges' up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches.

By Tim Richardson.

(Warning: This article is protected by copyright.)

For the unique and acclaimed new massive expert bait making 'bible' ebook / book: "BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!" SEE: http://www.baitbigfish.com Tim Richardson is a carp and catfish bait-making expert, and a highly successful big fish angler. His bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks: "BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!" SEE: http://www.baitbigfish.com


















































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