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What Is Catfish Punch Bait?

Catfish Punch Bait

Mmmmm. doesn't this look good?

Catfish punch bait – what is it?

You may have been hearing a lot about punch baits for catfishing.

Catfish baits come in many different consistencies, flavors, colors and shapes but one thing that rings true is that there are many different catfish bait options on the market, like catfish punch bait, dip bait, dough bait and soap bait just to name a few.

Catfish punch bait has been around for a very long time but the term “catfish punch bait” became popular within the last 10 years.

It is typically made with a cheese base, just like many other “stink baits”. They however differ greatly from dip baits as punch bait is much thicker.

They also typically includes some sort of filler as well which makes the texture much more dense than a dip bait would be also. There are a number of ingredients that are used when making them that will increase the density and texture . Some of the common fillers used are items like cattails or quilting fiber. The addition of these items not only makes the punch bait much thicker, but also creates a substance to help it stay on a treble hook while fishing.

Punch bait also typically includes some sort of bait fish in it as well, whether dried or otherwise. These bait fish that are added can be anything from threadfin shad or gizzard shad to river minnows.

Most manufacturers will not divulge their “secret” ingredients for their baits, and most will tell you that there is much more to their recipe than just mixing up some cheese, filler and dead fish. Many alsowill include some special scents or flavors like garlic or blood.

One common factor among all of these products is that they are “stink” baits and typically have a very strong odor, which is what attracts the fish.

Punch baits get their name from the process that is used by anglers to “load” their hook. This process involves taking a treble hook and “punching” the treble hook into the bait with a stick (often called a punch stick) to load the hook.

• This process typically involves “punching” the hook into the bait.
• Pushing or smoothing the bait that was displaced in the “punching” process back over the hook
• Pulling the hook out of the it, usually done at an angle to “load” the treble hook

Catfish punch baits are popular because:

• They are effective at catching blue catfish and channel catfish in most lakes and rivers
• They can be used for catching fish at any time of the year or in any season
• They are readily available at most fishing tackle stores
• They are clean and easy to use over many other products that require handling or touching the bait (using the “punch” stick eliminates the need to touch the bait)
• They can be used with a standard treble hook and do not require specialized hooks or tackle like sponge hooks, dip worms, dip tubes or spring hooks
• They can be stored for extended periods of time so you always have bait available

Many of the more baits are manufactured in Texas.

This video just shows you exactly what catfish punch bait is and what it looks like so you don’t have to guess or imagine. The only thing missing is the smell!

Be on the lookout for more information on these baits for catfishing!

In the future we will be posting articles, photos and videos on some of the following topics like:

• What to look for when purchasing
• How to “punch” the hook
• How to thicken it and soften or thin it
• How to store bait at different times of the year
• Different manufacturer profiles

SOUND OFF! What kind of bait do you use? Have you ever fished with these baits? What kind of experiences have you had when fishing with them?

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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. I just started reading your website. I find it very helpful for a lot of questions I have. I’m no pro or anything like that, but I do a lot of fishing and I always use chicken liver. I usually have good luck with it. Well you know as long as the spot is a good one. I yet to see in any of your topics about fishing with it. Do you not use it or dislike it? This puzzles me. To me this is cat fishing 101. I thought everyone used chicken liver. Well at least most people. Fill me in if you can. By the way I love your web sight. Keep up the good work. I don’t know how you find time to do all that you do and still go fishing. Later.


    • Thanks for the feedback. I don’t use it at all whatsoever and don’t know anyone else who does either. I will add an article on it one day but chicken livers are in my opinion the most over hyped catfish bait out there.

      • I don’t know where your fishing, but it works where I fish. Just because it is simple doesn’t mean it is no working.

  2. Good advice Ive never went wrong with wheat and water we chummed with it awhile back and in minutes they where all over it bettween four of us we had 68 cats all keepers then the small ones arrived I guess they ran the bigger cats off and we had to move. Family reunion was fish fry for dinner lol. This was at amistade lake in TX GOOD LUCK FISH’n ( if your not going to eat it release it )

  3. Chad,
    I have been looking at your website… I see alot about baits, hooks, etc etc…. got me thinking about this question which honestly may be the dumbest question ever… But anyway, Have your ever had a bait go bad? By bad i mean breakdown enough over time to not stay on the hook or couldnt be revived enough to stay on with some flour or whatever? I mean maybe i buy a case of punch bait… maybe a bucket sits on my self for a year or two.. does it just get better or break down?

    any thoughts?


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