By Josh Boyd
In all honesty, who can truthfully say that they do not get a thrill out of watching their rod tip thumping, at the hand of a channel cat on a muggy evening? There is something exhilarating about that thump that has lit a fire underneath catfishermen for generations.
Matching wits against a hungry catfish is indeed exciting, and few activities will get your blood pumping quite as quickly as getting into a tug of war match with these often hefty freshwater behemoths.
This rush has led many anglers to hone their catfishing prowess, in order to put more fish on the stringer or in the boat. For many, this begins and ends with the matter of bait selection.
The Secret Recipe
The sport of bass fishing has fancy plugs and high dollar jigs. Fly fishermen have their lucky flies. When it comes to catfishing, especially for channel cats, it does not get much better than a good old homemade dough bait.
Catfishermen have been making their own dough bait for ages, and many would be about as quick to part with their recipe as Colonel Sanders was regarding his secret blend of thirteen herbs and spices.
This has led a number of anglers to do a little experimenting in the name of all that is good in catfishing. This has given birth to countless new concoctions, with virtually every serious catfisherman claiming to have the best “secret” bait anywhere around.
The truth is, making catfish dough bait can be relatively simple, and the fruits of your labor are likely to put fish on the stringer and keep your fish fryer hot all summer long.
What Does Dough Bait Consist Of?
It is often easier to answer the question of what does not go into dough bait, as opposed to what does. Catfish will naturally consume just about anything that will not eat them first. However, it is a safe bet that anything with an extremely foul odor is a good place to start. If you can think of several items that fit this description, along with something that can be used as a binding agent, then you have a recipe.
If you were to look at 100 different catfish bait recipes, it is safe to say that all 100 would differ from one another in one way, shape, or form. This stems from the fact that there really is no wrong way to make dough bait. Much of the process relies upon trial and error.
Some of the most popular dough bait ingredients include chicken liver, sardines, dog food, cheese, poultry blood, garlic, minnows, oil of anise, and worms. However, this list can go on indefinitely.
Although experimentation is the best way to settle upon a dough bait that works best for you, the following basic recipes should give you a few ideas to get you started.
* 2- pounds of chicken liver
* Garlic powder
* 2- tins of sardines
* 2- cups shredded parmesan cheese
* Flour (sufficient amount to achieve desired consistency)
When making this blend of dough bait, the use of a blender or food processor will be required. It is highly advisable to purchase a cheap blender specifically for this use, or risk being bludgeoned by your significant other.
Simply place your chicken livers, sardines, and cheese into the blender, and process until all contents are mixed into a paste. Next, sprinkle a healthy dose of garlic powder into your mixture, and stir throughout. You will now add enough flour to this mixture that it can be worked up into a thicker paste. When finished, freeze your dough bait until it is to be used.
* 3- cups of dry dog food
* 1- can of raw (wet) dog food
* 20 minnows
* Oil of anise
Once again, you will need a blender or food processor at the ready. Begin by dumping both your dry and raw dog food into the blender. Next add your minnows, molasses, and oil of anise. The amount of molasses and oil of anise that is to be used will differ depending upon desired consistency. Continue by mixing all of the ingredients until a paste is formed. Store this mixture in a freezer until it is to be used.
* 2- full chicken breasts (allowed to set in the sun for 24 hrs.)
* 1- pack of cherry Kool-Aid mix
* Vanilla extract
* 4- cups of corn flakes
This recipe differs slightly from those previously mentioned. Though the chicken is allowed to simmer in the sun, the rest of this recipe’s ingredients are of a sweet nature. This recipe is fairly straightforward and can be prepared quickly.
Begin by placing both chicken breasts and an ample shot of vanilla extract into a blender. Process these ingredients until they have become a watery paste. Next, add your packet of Kool-Aid into this mixture and continue blending. At this point, you will add, and blend, as much cornflake cereal as is necessary to create the intended doughy consistency.
Make It What You Wish
Creating your own blend of catfish bait can be quite enjoyable, as there are really no negatives to the endeavor. If you find success, you are rewarded with a banner day of fishing. If you are not quite as successful, then you go back to the drawing board, and have a wonderful excuse to spend additional time on the water as you conduct “product testing”.
The most important thing to remember when making your own dough bait is to have fun. If you are having a great time along the way, then catching a stringer full of channel cats will just be icing on the cake.