I have been playing around with the Team Catfish Dead Red Blood Spray for the better part of a year now trying it in different scenarios and in different applications. Prior to last year I had absolutely no experience with the Dead Red Blood Spray other than a few conversations with some other catfish guides and having a lot of my clients who fish with me asking me questions about the product.
I had heard some good things about the Dead Red Blood Spray and talked to a large group of people that really had no opinion about it either way, so I decided I was going to use the product and put it to the test. I held off for close to a year on covering the Dead Red Blood Spray because I wanted a fair and honest assessment of the product and whether it works or not. I’m very cautious about the products that I suggest to others and want to make sure that when I recommend something I am not only giving it a fair shake but I am giving people a true honest assessment of each product.
At the end of the day, I’m not going to suggest a product if don’t feel like it works or is a good quality product.
I have to admit I was very skeptical about the product at first. I have wasted more than my fair share on junk catfish tackle over the years and have tried a number of so called “attractants”, none of which worked.
What Is Dead Red Blood Spray
Team Catfish Dead Red Blood Spray comes in a small pump style spray bottle. The liquid inside is marketed as an “all purpose catfish spray attractant” on the label. The liquid inside is water, a little oily and a very thin liquid, and it is blood red in color. It looks almost like the color of a dark red Jell-O.
The liquid has a very sweet smell to it. I have some suspicions on what some of the ingredients are in the spray as some of the smells are pretty distinct and I think it may contain a few products I have used and tested as ingredients in Redneck’s Catfish Bait Soap over the years.
I got into this game with my clients where I was passing the bottle around my catfish boat and asking them what it smelled like and the overwhelming majority said cake batter. I wouldn’t quite compare it to that but it does have a very strong smell to it and a very sweet aroma.
One of the common questions I was asked was whether or not it really had blood in. My suspicion is probably not based on handling the product and the fact that there is no warning label on product packaging.
How I Tested Dead Red Blood Spray
In one of the interviews I did on Catfishing Radio with Jeff Williams he mentioned that the product was originally developed to be used with frozen baits. I tested the product on fresh and frozen baits and in a variety of other different scenarios for blue catfish and channel catfish. I even took some threadfin shad, gizzard shad, carp and some gaspergou. I not only used the spray on fresh baits but even took some of these baits home and froze them so I could test the product on frozen baits. I also used the product on what I refer to as “old baits”, which are pieces of cut bait that have been in the water for long periods of time and began losing their scent.
I tried the spray on a number of different catfish baits during all 4 seasons of the year using a variety of different catfishing techniques on days (and nights) when the fish were biting really well and also when they were not biting well at all (yes we all have those days).
Following is a summary of my findings using Dead Red Blood Spray in different applications and scenarios:
Fresh Bait – I used it on shad, carp, buffalo, gaspergou and perch that was freshly caught. All of the baits were caught the same morning (or evening) I was fishing. I fished the treated baits side by side against untreated baits and measured performance. I use fresh caught shad more than any other bait for blue catfish and had a real fundamental issue spraying this stuff on fresh bait that I know works. Fresh shad (or skipjack) is the “cats pajamas” when it comes to bait for blue catfish. I kind of felt like I was peeing next to the deer feeder or something but I made myself do it for the sake of testing.
Frozen Bait – I used it on shad, carp, buffalo, gaspergou and perch that was frozen for at least 30 days and then thawed again. I tried not only just spraying the Dead Red Blood Spray on the bait before I casted it into the lake but also tried soaking the bait into it for different intervals leading up to using it. I experimented with letting the bait soak anywhere from 10 minutes up to a couple of hours.
Recycled Baits – Let me elaborate on “recycled baits” a bit more. When you leave cut bait in the water for a while it starts to lose its “pizazz” after a while. It gets less oily, it loses its smell, the slime washes off of it and so on. It’s common practice for many anglers (myself included) when you are running low on bait to “recycle” these baits. One of the common methods used is to take these pieces of bait and soak them with other baits in a plastic container or bag and allow them to “soak” in the oil and slime. Rather than doing this I took these baits and soaked them in the Team Catfish product.
Different Seasons – I tested the product in all different seasons with different levels of fishing activity. Basically when the fishing was as good as it gets and at its absolute worst.
Techniques – I use a variety of different techniques which included fishing on anchor, drift fishing and pretty much everything in between. I also use the catfish attractant in swift moving water and in still water in and tried the product in reservoirs and in a small to medium sized river.
Species – I targeted both catfish species, blue catfish and channel catfish with the spray on baits including the previously mentioned baits as well as several types of punch bait and dip baits and even on a sponge only (see my article on how to make your own sponge hooks).
How Dead Red Blood Spray Performed
Does Dead Red Blood Spray Work? Yes it does, but keep reading.
Fresh Bait – Yes, it works, but keep reading. I couldn’t tell that the product made a difference with fresh bait fished either cut or whole. I didn’t catch noticeably less or more catish in any scenario and it didn’t seem to hurt or help. As previously stated, I am a purist and I had a real aversion to spraying this stuff on fresh caught cut bait that had not been tampered with that I know works. Once I got past that I found that it worked but again, did not see a significant increase in bites. There were times when the fish would hit the bait that had been treated with this better than they would the plain bait, and times they would not touch the bait that had been treated with it. This however could have been due to a variety of reasons including bait placement and a variety of other factors.
Bottom line on fresh bait, if fishing is slow and is not producing and you are confident you are fishing in the right area, give it a try and see what happens.
Frozen Baits – Yes, it works: Again, I don’t use frozen baits. I prefer to catch fresh bait every day I fish and will always prefer that. I am of the belief that there is no better alternative. I used more frozen bait (in conjunction with fresh bait) in testing this product than I have used in 10 years combined. I sprayed it on the baits when I casted it out and experimented with soaking the bait in the attractant also. I even tried freezing some of the bait in the product to see what that did. I saw a noticeable difference in strikes and number of fish caught on frozen baits treated with dead red over the baits that had not been treated. The spray worked when simply sprayed on the baits prior to casting them out but it worked significantly better when I soaked the bait in the spray for a little while prior to fishing with it. My assumption is that soaking the baits allows the bait to absorb the attractant so it adds more scent.
Bottom line on frozen bait, if I was one who was going to fish with frozen baits I would absolutely use this product, at least on some of my baits. I still stand firm that using fresh caught bait is the best alternative though.
Recycled Baits – Yes it works: Again when cut baits soak in the water for long periods of time they don’t work as well. I used these baits after removing them from the hooks and tried fishing with without dead red blood spray, with it, and when the attractant and soaking them in shad oils (slime). I tried side by side with each and fished these against my previous technique of just soaking them in the slime. The combination of soaking the bait in the slime with the dead red also outperformed baits with nothing at all and those only soaked the the slime. When fished side by side with fresh bait these “treated” baits came in second place but still performed well.
Bottom line on recycled bait, I will absolutely keep this on hand for use when I am running low on fresh bait and will use the spray in combination with shad oils (slime) and soak “recycled baits” in this mixture.
Different Seasons and Techniques – Yes it works: I saw no noticeable differences in seasons or techniques and how this product performed.
Different Species – better for blue catfish: The attractant worked best for blue catfish. I tried several times fishing for channel catfish with it and didn’t have much success. I used it in combination with punch bait, dip bit, sprayed on sponge hooks and on shrimp. Of everything tested for channel catfish the shrimp performed better than any of the others. I think the stink of the prepared baits just overwhelmed the dead red blood spray. We even did some jug fishing for channels and blues and also tested it out on trotlines to see how it performed.
The Bottom Line On Dead Red Blood Spray from Team Catfish
Overall I am happy with the product and would suggest it to blue catfish anglers. I will continue to use it on recycled baits and if for some reason the world comes to an end and I start fishing with frozen shad I would definitely use it in this application as well.
The only complaints I have about the product is I am not crazy about the smell. It doesn’t smell bad by any means but the sweet smell makes me a little queasy for some reason. I guess I have just gotten too used to the smell of stink baits and catish chum. The only other complaint I have is it is a little messy. I would suggest being careful if you have carpet in your catfish boat and try to avoid getting it on your clothing if possible. Definitely make you are upwind of it when you spray it because if you don’t you will be smelling like it for the rest of the day.
Catching shad is an essential part of targeting blue catfish. Not only is fresh shad one of the best baits for blue catfish but learning to find and catch shad will do wonders for you in your quest to catch blue catfish.
To get more information including an in depth guide on choosing a cast net and tips and tricks on finding and catching shad and everything else you ever need to know on catching bait, click here.