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Catfish Bait Recipes

Catfish Bait RecipesAre you looking for free catfish bait recipes?  Well join the club of hundreds of other people.

There is a lot of valuable information in this article that will help you in the process of making your own catfish bait recipe, so it is definitely worth reading. Some of these recipes are added from my old website but I have added a TON of new information here. I have not personally made any of these, nor have I fished with any of them but the Bells of Hell Stink Bait.

If you want to skip this information and just get to the free recipes just scroll down to the bottom of the page.

In this article I am going to not only give you some free recipes, but I am going to break down the major ingredients in several different types of catfish baits so you can work on your own concoctions.

The internet is littered with tons of places that are wanting to sell you CD’s, books, lists and so on. There are literally countless websites and people trying to cash in on people looking for recipes.

So why are they so hard to find?

First and foremost I would say that because when someone develops and manufactures a bait after coming up with a formula, or being handed down a recipe from their family, it usually involves them selling that as their source of income, and they are not willing to share their secrets that they have worked so hard for.

At the end of the day, the bottom line is there are really not a lot of HUGE variations between baits once you break down the basic ingredients, you can really come up with a formula on your own once you get through the basic task of breaking down what kind of baits you want to make.

You are probably not going to be able to exactly copy the exact formula of something that is sold in stores because let’s face it, the people and companies who  make them have been perfecting them for years. They know exactly what makes them work, exactly what needs to be done to make them their very best, exact mixes of ingredients, how long to let the ingredients sit and so on. You can however come up with your own basic formula, add and change ingredients and experiment with what will catch fish and what will not until you perfect your process.

The first thing you need to ask yourself before you decide to make your own baits is if it is really worth it for you to make your own homemade baits.

  • Would you rather spend your time making baits or fishing?
  • Would you be better off buying a bait that is proven and you know works?
  • Are you willing to invest money into making something might or might not work?
  • Is it going to be more costly to make your own or just purchase something already made?
  • If you decide to make your own, and it is a “stink bait” will you have a place to make it without it being bothersome?
  • Are you willing to commit the time to really make your own catfish bait the right way (MOST effective “stink bait recipes” are not something that is made in a short period of time. Most of these involve ingredients sitting together, or separate for long periods of time.

Before we go on, let me say this. I know many of the manufacturers of what I consider to be some of the best baits on the market. I have seen many of these manufacturers make their products, and I know exactly what every single ingredient is that goes into some of  these products, and what the exact process is for making them is, and making your own bait is a LOT of work. You will also find in many occassions you can actually buy a manufactured bait for the same price or cheaper than you can actually make your own. This is especially true for anything that involve cheese.

As many of you know, I manufacture and sell my own product called Redneck’s Bait Soap, I know first hand the work involved and it requires a lot of time. My family has been making this for around 70 years now and I have been manufacturing and selling Redneck’s Catfish Bait Soap for almost 10 years now.

If you think that you want to move forward with making your own formula then read on.

I am not only going to break down the basic ingredients of most products and the processes that are involved, but I am also going to give you some free basic recipe ingredients so you can experiment with making your own. I am also going to give you some free catfish bait recipes as well. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, no books to buy etc.

Prepared “stink baits” can be broken down into a few major categories:

Let’s examine these different types more closely, as well as some of the pro’s and cons of making these different types:

Punch Baits - Punch baits typically include cheese as the main ingredient. They typically contain some sort of thickening agent, some sort of bait fish, and some “secret” ingredients that may effect either the texture or the consistency. Punch baits typically are not made in short amounts of time, the ingredients are usually prepared for extended periods of time, and they are typically allowed to sit for long periods of time after they are mixed. I spent some time with one man who makes some (that works very well I might add) that allows his to sit for a minimum of 2 years before he even thinks about using or selling it.

Pro’s Of Catfish Punch Bait Recipes:

  • Highly Effective
  • Have a Strong Smell (Attracts Fish)
  • Effective On Blues and Channels (Better For Channels)
  • Require No Special Hooks Or Rigs
  • Fairly Clean To Fish With (Clean is a relative term when fishing with stink bait)

Con’s Of Punch Bait:

  • Require Extended Periods Of Time To Make
  • Ingredients May Be Costly
  • Ingredients May Be Hard To Get

Dip Baits – Dip baits typically use cheese as the main ingredient and then some sort of thinning agent, and some animal parts. Hog brains are a very common ingredient in dip baits. Most are made and then stored for very extended periods of time after they are made. Often times these are stored for a year or more before they are used.

Pro’s Of Dip Baits

  • Highly Effective
  • Have a Strong Smell That Attracts Fish
  • Effective On Blues and Channels (Better For Channels)

Con’s Of Dip Baits

  • Require Extended Periods Of Time To Make
  • Ingredients May Be Costly
  • Ingredients May Be Hard To Get
  • Can Be Messy To Use
  • Require Specialized Hooks Like Sponge Hooks Or Dip Tubes

Blood Baits – Blood bait recipes typically contain some sort of blood as the main ingredient, either chicken blood or beef blood. They also typically contain some sort of thickening agent to make the blood bait stay on the hook. Brown sugar is a very common item for thickening blood baits.

Pro’s Of Blood Baits

  • Effective

Con’s Of Blood Baits

  • Ingredients May Be Hard To Get
  • Requires Some Experience To Make The Right Consistency
  • Can Be Messy To Fish For Catfish With
  • Can Be Difficult To Keep On The Hook

Dough Baits – Dough bait recipes typically contain flour or wheat, some sort of thinning agent, and some sort of scent. Dough baits are one of the very few baits that can be mixed and fished in a very short amount of time.

Knowing these basic catfish bait ingredients will give you a good start on making your own homemade baits. You can acquire the basic ingredients and start experimenting with making your own until you get the texture, consistency and smell that you are looking for. Just be sure as you are working that you keep track of what you have added and what steps you followed, so you can duplicate your results when you have success.

Once you come up with a good basic recipe, then you can experiment with adding different scents to to see if it makes it more or less effective, until you come up with the very best formula.

Some different scents or ingredients to add and experiment with that are very common are:

  • Garlic
  • Anise
  • Cinnamon
  • Blood

Free Catfish Bait Recipes

Now that we have the basics of different types of baits out of the way, let’s move on to the free catfish bait recipes.

Let me preface these by saying that I have not ever made or used any of these and do not have any first hand experience with any of these other than the Bell’s Of Hell Stink Bait. I will add a little commentary to the end of each of the catfish bait recipes to try to help you along though if you decide to make your own.

Juggs Davis Stink Bait

Melt 1 pound of cheese for about 1 minute in the microwave

Chop 6-8 ounces of raw pork, perch, or both in combination

Chop 1 head of garlic and add garlic salt

Mix in 1 can dog food

Add 1 dozen minnows and enough flour to give a dough consistency.

Mix in a food processor (and then quickly hide it before your wife sees it)

This bait works best on treble hooks or bait tubes.

Cajun Mud Bait

in a blender mix 24 dead minnows after they have been allowed to sit outside for 24 hours

Add 1/4 cup of the juice the minnows were in

Add 1/2 cup parmesean cheese

Add 1 box cherry jello

Add 1/4 cup molasses

Add 3 tablespoons of onion salt and garlic salt

Add 1 cup bread crumbs

Add 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce

Add flour to thicken then work into a dough and place in baggies in 1 inch balls use on a treble hook.

Trinity River Bait

In 1/4 cup boiling water add 3 beef bullion cubes

After beef cubes disolve add 3 oz lunch meat

Add 3 Tablespoons of garlic salt and onion powder

Add 5 slices of bread,

Add 4 Tablespoons of of melted peanut butter

Add 20 crackers

Pour in a blender and mix

Place in sealable container in a cool place with lid on tight.

Use as a ball on treble hook.

Jack’s Cat Attack

Mix 1 lb of aged in the sun chicken livers and 1 package of hot dogs together in a blender and mix. (This may be best performed outside or with wife gone).

In a gallon jug place a half a loaf of bread torn into bite size pieces

Pour the liver and hot dog mix over bread

Add 2 cans of nacho cheese

Add 1 can corn

Add 1/4 bottle of Tabasco,

Add a dozen worms cut up,

Pour this mixture out and knead good until it gets thick and a dough like consistency.

Store in the sun, in a large plastic container, and handle with care.

Chicken Little’s Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

In a blender place a pound of chicken livers partially frozen

Add half a box of cornflakes

Add 1/2 cup garlic powder or two heads of fresh garlic

Add 1/3 cup of each: parmesan cheese-molasses-sugar.

Blend well place in small dishes and freeze what you don’t plan to use as this bait will spoil very quick. Best if used when fresh.

Shadrack’s Dip Shad Catfish Bait Recipe

A use for the left over shad when you got too many.

Place about 20 small threadfin shad in a blender

Add 1/2 Cup of cornmeal,

Add 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder-sugar.

Blend well and place this mixture in a jar and shake twice daily for a week and its ready.

Use with dip worms or sponges.

Uncle Dewey’s Catfish Bait Recipe

Place about two pounds of leftover shad and a tub of chicken livers with about two cups of bacon grease or vegetable oil in a loosely covered bucket and allow to sit in the sun until the shad turn to liquid.

Add about 6 cups of regular oatmeal

Add 2 cups of yellow cornmeal

Add a cup of brown sugar

Add  4oz package of limburger cheese

Stir carefully but thoroughly

Return the bucket to a sunny location for another week for more fermentation.

Thicken with flour or cattail fuzz for bait, or thin with water for chum.

Leather Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

Take 2 lbs of chicken liver and 32oz. can of garlic salt.

Lay liver out in layers on cooking sheets or cardboard covered with foil

Sprinkle a hefty amount of garlic salt on it chicken livers

Add another layer of chicken livers and salt (continue until the liver is all used).

Let sit for a couple hours outside (It doesn’t have to be in the sun).

After a couple hours take the liver and dump into a bucket and start stirring, every 3 or 4 stirs add some more garlic.

Do this until you have about 1/4 cup of garlic left.

Put it in the garage for about 9 or 10 days, make sure its covered.

When you get ready to use it dump the rest of the garlic salt in, stir, and go fishin.

The salt will make the garlic alot tougher. You can use a single wire hook doing it this way.

Instead of Garlic try Anise, Vanilla or what ever you want.

Just make sure you add salt (alot) because this is what makes it tough.

Catfish Blood Bait Catfish Bait Recipe

Find a locker plant that will let you have a set of beef lungs with windpipe still connected.

Hang lungs up by windpipe.

Pour fresh blood into windpipe.

When full hang in cooler until blood coagulates.

Leave in cooler 24 hours.

Take out of cooler and slice into cubes.

Because of the consistency of the lung, the lung absorbs the blood.

When you put the slices on the hook, the bait will stay on the hook, but the blood will still bleed out, putting scent in the water.

The maker says “My Dad bet a man that he could put a cube of blood bait on a hook and line and drag it behind a pickup, one city block, and bait would still be on hook. I witnessed this happen”.

My experience with blood, the heavier the beef, the better the blood. (Bull Blood)

Catfish Dough Bait Recipe

1.5 cups of cornmeal

1 cup of flour

16-20 ounces of Big red

Anise oil

Add cornmeal, flour and anise oil to pot.

Use however much anise oil you need.

Add almost 3/4 of a bottle of big red.

Cook this over medium heat constantly stirring until most of the liquid had been soaked up and the dough is stiff and sticky.

Flour a counter surface and transfer the sticky dough on top of it.

Here is the important part, kneed the dough bait, just like you would with a loaf of bread incorporating more flour for at least ten to fifteen minutes.

This allows gluten to form in the dough and prevents the bait from just coming off the hook.

Knead more flour into the dough until the dough is not sticky.

Use a treble hook and good luck.

The maker of this catfish bait recipe says “I have been doing really well with this bait for quite a while”. The nice thing about this dough is it freezes well and lasts a long time.

Garlic Weenies Catfish Bait Recipe

I just take a jelly jar (wide mouth) and slice hot dogs in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.

Put hot dogs and crushed garlic (buy crushed garlic in a jar in any food store) into the jar.

Stick in the refrigerator (and don’t tell the wife).

I have tried garlic powder and salt. Fresh crushed works the best but a little salt helps. Catfish love salt. I think it goes with their beer.

Bells Of Hell Stink Bait Catfish Bait Recipe (Dip Bait)

As previously stated this is the only bait posted on this page that I have any first hand knowledge of. This belonged to a Texas angler who had been making this for  many years, and he sold this commercially in Texas stores  for a very long time.

This is a proven and successful recipe that I know works, if you want a dip bait. I personally know many anglers that have made this, or that still make it and it works very well for them.

The comments listed are all of his notes and information that he has provided for making it. You will see below when you read through it that he explains you can make this a dip bait or a punch bait.

Before proceeding with making this please note the following:

We will not be responsible for you vomiting if you make this.

We will not be responsible for you getting divorced if you make this.

We will not be responsible for your children not talking to you if you make this.

We will not be responsible for citations or other legal recourse taken by local or state governments  if you make this.

Bells of Hell Weapons Grade  Catfish Bait Recipe

This is the complete Bells Of Hell Catfish Dip Bait Recipe including all the secret ingredients and all.

This is not something try to make unless you are part buzzard. This really stinks. However if you like to catch lots of channel catfish , then maybe you think about making this.

Don’t try to make this unless it’s hot outside.  (The guy that made this lived in Texas and said he waited until at least July to start).

Bells Of Hell Bait Ingredients

36 lbs hog brains

40 lbs cheese (use 60 lbs for thicker bait)

1 gallon shad or other small baitfish

Use what ever kind of cheese you can get. Cheddar, Colby, Jack have all gone into it in the past. 40 lbs is the least amount of cheese I would use and it will be runny at that. 50 or 60 pounds will make better catfish bait for warmer weather. Keep in mind that bait will thin when hot and thicken when cool.

Put the hog brains out in the sun for 2 or 3 days. If you start with soured brains , it will speed the process up.

You need to have the cheese grated in some way. I have a friend who runs it through a meat grinder.

Put everything in a large plastic barrel (trashcans with flat bottoms work) AT LEAST 3 TIMES AS LARGE AS THE CATFISH BAIT. (This is real important because it’s going to swell up).

Blend everything together with a paint stirrer on a drill motor.

Cover the barrel in some way to keep out flies , dogs and cats.

Set the barrel in a real warm spot (away from neighbors) and stir the catfish bait every other day.

If the brains were real funky before you started it will take about 2 weeks before the fermenting slows down.

If maggots get started , no problem , they will die quickly.

When there is little swelling between stirrings , dip the bait into quart jars ONLY HALF FULL. That is another important thing because it will swell up in the jars.

Use sponge bait hooks (dip hooks), the smaller the better, to dip in the bait being sure to wring any water out of the sponge before redipping or the bait will become runny.

This will stay in the sponge pretty good but rebait about every 20 mins.

You can add cattail fuzz till it becomes the consistency of peanut butter and use it for a catfish punch bait. If you make punch bait take a small bare treble hook (#8 treble hook works real good) and push it into the punch bait. A wad stays on the hook for a long time.

I make this bait every other year and it’s always better the second year.

This makes a lot of bait and you could try cutting the amounts back.

In the 20 or so years I have been using this , I have never caught anything but a channel catfish on it.

A meat market can order the brains for you.

The cheese is a little trickier. I found a wholesale cheese distribution company. and they sell me moldy or out of date cheese for 50 cents a pound. If you have to pay full price for brains and cheese you’re talking a bunch of money.

This should give you a good summary of recipes and ideas to use if you are interested in making your own homemade catfish bait.

Read all of our other articles and information about catfish baits.

SOUND OFF: Do you make your own homemade catfish bait recipe or have you ever made any? What were your experiences with making your own, did you catch fish? Do you have a recipe that you would like to share? If so please email us at

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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. Colleen Bazyn says:

    Why do all the remarks say hide the food processor before your wife gets home if you make catfish bait? I am the wife and I am looking for a real good home made catfish bait recipe. Who cares about the processor, you can always find another one at Wal-Mart!!!!!

  2. Jonathan says:

    Then Colleen the bells of hell is what u want. U can substitute the cat tails with a powder wheat based sheetrock filler. Not sure exactly what the “proper” name for it is but u can get it at any home store. I’ve used beef brains and have always had great success. The amount is a bit much in this recipe but simple math will get u down to a decent level. Oh and I use velvetta

  3. billy bob says:

    I have all the hog and beef brains i need im a butcher but if you add beef and hog brains together then add some pork and beef liver and heart to the recipe you will catch all kinds of cat fish like my 87 pound chanel cat i cought in the ocala area.

  4. hello Mr.Chad I was wondering how effective the catfish dough bait is please answer

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