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Best Channel Catfish Bait [CQT]


I get more questions about catfish rigs and catfish baits than almost any other topic that comes through my email inbox or my clients who fish with me ask me.  The only questions I get asked more than that goes something like this “hey, I’m on my way to lake *insert name here* this weekend and was wondering if you could tell me where I could catch a few good 20+ lb catfish.

I have been on a roll lately covering topics similar to this recently with the recent quick tip videos on the best time to catch channel catfish, best time to catch blue catfish and other similar videos so I wanted to do a quick video and talk about the best channel catfish bait. I covered catfish bait selection and the best catfish baits last year but never did a video so I wanted to follow up with one since some people catch up through the Catfishing Radio podcast and the catfishing videos and don’t do much reading.


Best Channel Catfish Bait

There are a handful of places in the country where you can go and catch trophy channel catfish like we recently covered in the podcast with Brad Durick. In most places across the United States though channel catfish are going to be smaller in size. This is true here in Texas where I live also. We can go out and catch 100-150 channel catfish in a morning during different times of the year but most of the fish will run between one and three pounds with a few larger fish mixed in.

Because of this, channel catfishing to me is all about numbers and putting as many fish in the boat as I possibly can as quickly as possible so I prefer to use prepared baits (what some people would refer to as “stink baits”) like punch bait and dip bait because they are absolutely deadly on channel catfish in big numbers, and can also catch some bigger channel cats as well as some blue catfish as well.

There are a number of other baits that will work great during different times of the year like natural baits that are seasonal but if I had to pick one bait for rod and reel fishing for channels it would be a good prepared bait like Sudden Impact Fiber Bait or Sure Shot Catfish Punch Bait.

Before I go any further I want to address catfishing with chicken liver because I know it will be asked within 2.3 seconds of posting this. I do not like fishing with them but you can read all about that and why here on the website.

Watch the video below to learn more about the best channel catfish bait.

When your done watching the video, make sure you check out the Secret Channel Catfish Rig and my Summer Channel Catfish Techniques program for an in depth guide on locating and catching channel catfish in the summer months.



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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Phil Duncan says:

    Another great informative article. Love the quick tips videos, Chad. Now I just need to finally break down and get some Sudden Impact. Tired of wasting money on the big box store crap.

  2. Mark Cantrell says:

    I just wanted to add a cheap and very effective bait, i have fished just about every item on the market and nothing performs (for me anyways) anywhere near as well as this. I go buy a portion of beef liver i usually go to the local butcher and can usually get it for free or next to free just ask if they have any old liver that is about to be thrown out or ask them to hold some before they throw it out. Beef liver holds on a hook WAY better than chicken and you can usually catch 5 or so fish on one small strip. Now the key is to take it home and cut it into strips i usually use about 1/2″x2-3″ strips. then i take it and throw it in a coffee can and sit it in the sun for extended periods of time. This stuff stinks and stinks bad but will get them biting fast and hard and you can recast it over and over. it stinks so bad they will come in from everywhere to get this stuff. But best of all it is CHEAP. but keep a pair of pliers handy cause i wont touch this stuff. also my wife was tired of me coming home smelling like stink bait all the time.

  3. Kenneth L. Kieser says:

    I have used this prepared bait with remarkable success–possibly the best on the market!

  4. Daniel Garcia says:

    I used CJ bait the shad and the monster bait last weekend caught me 11 channel in a couple hours. The monster bait was the best but the shad came on later. Everybody at the lake I was at kept asking me what I using cause they weren’t catching anything.

  5. Jjgreen812 says:

    Danny kings punch bait works very well for me.

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