5 Effective Catfish Bait Recipes For Beginners (Detailed Guide)

When it comes to catfish fishing, the issue of bait recipes is very controversial. In detail, arguments regarding which method is better for getting the most or biggest catfish. As a result, while many types of bait are still effective, some fishermen prefer homemade baits. Indeed, premade baits or live baits can’t bring the unique flavor and several advantages as homemade ones.

Thus, anglers, especially beginners, will often learn about catfish bait recipes before each catfish hunting trip. Continue reading this article to find out 5 effective catfish bait recipes for beginners.

5 Effective Catfish Bait Recipes For Beginners

Recipe 1: Garlic Liver Catfish Bait

In this recipe, the garlic provides flavor to the mixture. The liver acts as bait and will cling to the hook. Meanwhile, the salt will have dried and stiffened the liver as well.


  • 1 container of garlic salt.
  • 2 lbs of chicken livers.
  • Tinfoil.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Use tinfoil to line a cookie sheet.
  • Add a layer of chicken livers, then sprinkle with garlic.
  • Repeat layering until using up all livers and about half of the garlic.
  • Let the mixture sit outside for 3-4 hours (don’t place it under direct sunlight).
  • Next, put the mixture in a container like a bucket.
  • Add half of the remaining garlic and stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to sit covered for a few days.
  • Before going fishing, add the remaining garlic to the mixture.

Recipe 2: Cheese Liver Catfish Bait

This recipe is pretty straightforward. Indeed, don’t worry if no chicken liver is available in your fridge. Any type of meat can work well in this recipe.



  • 8 oz of chicken liver.
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder.
  • 16 oz of cheese.
  • 2 whole, small catfish bait fishes (bluegill or shad).
  • 1 can of dog food.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Mince chicken livers.
  • Microwave the cheese to melt it.
  • Mix the minced liver and cheese.
  • Toss in the dog food, garlic powder, and baitfish.
  • Add flour to thicken the mixture.
  • Put the mixture in a food processor.
  • Blend until completely pureed. Add more flour in case to create a doughy consistency. 
  • Once the mixture has attained a proper dough-like consistency, your catfish bait is ready.

Recipe 3: Lunch Catfish Bait


  • 6 slices of white bread.
  • 4 tbsp of peanut butter.
  • 3  cubes of beef bouillon.
  • 3 slices of lunch meat.
  • A sleeve of saltine crackers.
  • 3 tbsp of garlic salt.
  • 3 tbsp of onion salt.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Melt the peanut butter in a microwave until it becomes a liquid.
  • Use ¼  cup of boiling water to dissolve bouillon cubes.
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Seal and let it cool.
  • Roll the mixture into balls and set them on treble hooks.

Recipe 4: Clean Catfish Bait

Unlike stink live baits, this catfish bait from Ivory soap is cleaner. Although Ivory soap sounds weird, it is free from most additives. Hence, Ivory is an effective bait for catfish.



  • ½  cup of sugar.
  • ½  cup of water.
  • 3 bars of Ivory Soap.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Dissolve sugar in a saucepan of water at medium heat
  • Continue heating on low to medium heat.
  • Grate the soap into the sugar water with a cheese grater.
  • Mix the soap until it is dissolved, then add more until it is completely melted.
  • Add the mixture into ice cube trays.
  • Wait until it becomes firm but still pliable enough to come out of the trays without breaking. Moreover, it works best with silicon ice cube trays to pop the cubes right out.
  • Remove the cubes and chop them into bait-sized chunks.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Recipe 5: Stink Catfish Bait

This recipe provides an effective stink bait. Yet, if the smell gets into the cloth, it is challenging to remove. As a result, it needs to be used with caution.



  • 2 cans of tuna in oil.
  • 2 cans of sardines in mustard.
  • ½ lb. chicken livers with blood.
  • 2 boxes of stuffing mix.
  • 1 tbs of garlic salt.
  • A loaf of dry bread.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Use a blender to puree the wet ingredients and the garlic salt.
  • Put the mixture in a sealed container. 
  • Leave it in the shade to ripen for a week or more.
  • After more than one week, stir it well in the stuffing mix.
  • Add dried bread to achieve a thick, dough-like consistency.

Read more: How Long Do Catfish Live And What Do Catfish Eat?


Catfish require specific bait because of their excellent sense of smell. Thus, many catfish bait recipes work particularly for catfish but can’t be as effective on fish like bass or trout.

This article has provided 5 easy catfish bait recipes for beginners. Hopefully, this guide can help you determine what works best for your catfish fishing adventures.

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