Game & Fish has published many articles on catfish baits, and on the variety of baits that will do the job — from old standbys like chicken liver or some equally stinky concoctions to the munch more unusual like soap and lubricants.
It seems whisker fish will eat job about anything … or will they? (Hint: You might consider what smells are on your hands when you’re out on the river or lake)
By Dan Anderson
The list of baits that have caught catfish is long, varied and sometimes bizarre.
Chunks of Ivory or Zote soap, Bazooka or Double Yum bubblegum, cheap hot dogs, mulberries, persimmons, Spam, raw or cooked bacon, and Tender Chunks dog food are just a few offerings that have put catfish on the stringer.
At the other extreme are a few flavors that catfish find distasteful.
Research by the folks at Berkley proved that catfish are not fond of the taste of DEET, the active ingredient in many mosquito repellants.
Cats also showed aversion toward the nicotine that can transfer from cigarette-stained fingertips to baits.
That’s not to say that DEET or tobacco flavors completely deter catfish from biting. But on a slow day when cats are finicky, it’s something to consider.