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Catfish come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them a coveted prize for game fishers or those fishing for food. The best catfish baits come from the natural habitats of these freshwater creatures, and they work by drawing these fish by smell. Most of the best baits for catfish are easy to find and cheap, because fishers can gather them on their own or purchase them at local stores.
Crawfish is the best catfish bait because they are a natural food source for this freshwater fish. A crawfish has a lot of meat in its tails, making it attractive to fish swimming in the area. Shelled crawfish are best for still fishing because the meat easily falls off the hook due to its tenderness. Crawfish bait works best for spring to late fall fishing trips. Many people trap their own bait or pick them up from bait shops. Crawfish at grocery stores are expensive to purchase for bait because price depends on crawfish season yield.
Like crawfish, shrimp or prawn work as ideal catfish baits because they serve as food for these freshwater fish. Shrimp vary in size, so bait hooks with whole shrimp or cut large prawns. Crawfish tend to fall off in waters with high currents, but shrimp are sturdier and can withstand moving water and long line casting. Fishermen can purchase fresh or frozen shrimp at supermarkets or go to bait shops where large prawns are pre-cut.
The best catfish baits include clams because they are available year round. Fresh clams work better as catfish bait than those found in frozen food sections or processed clams. Clams work best for nighttime summer fishing expeditions and catching pan-sized catfish. Fishermen get fresh clams at seafood stores.
The one the best catfish baits not found at bait shops is chicken liver. Game and Fish says that fishermen swear by chicken liver because the strong smell of the meat seems to yield large amounts of fish of at least 10 pounds. Chicken livers are hard to hook and toughen up when they hit the waters, useful for 15 to 20 minutes on the hook. Purchase this cheap bait at any grocery store.
The simplest catfish baits are night crawlers. They are the best catfish bait because their natural smell draws fish to them, encouraging them to take the hook. The more worms on a hook the better the chances of getting catfish to bite. Night crawlers are cheap catfish baits. Many fishers dig their own night crawlers or purchase them at bait shops.
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About the Author
Based in Tucson, Ariz., Cicely A. Richard has been writing since 1996. Her articles have been published in the “Arizona Daily Star” newspaper and “ForeWord Magazine.” Richard earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and journalism from Louisiana State University. .
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