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Homemade catfish bait is a popular bait for many anglers but my preference has always been to lớn buy a proven catfish bait.

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There’s a lot of valuable information in this article that will help you in the process of making your own homemade catfish bait recipe or following one of ours.

Because of the length of this article, here’s a quick index that you can use. Just click the liên kết to take you lớn the part of the article you might be interested in.

Quickjump Links

Why Are Good Homemade Catfish Bait Recipes Hard to lớn Find?Do You Really Want to lớn Make Your Own Homemade Catfish Bait?How lớn Develop Your Own Recipe From Scratch!Basics Of Making Cheese Based Catfish Baits12 miễn phí Catfish Bait RecipesBells Of Hell Stink Bait, Weapons Grade (The Good Stuff)Want to lớn Catch More Channel Catfish With These Baits?

I’ve always preferred khổng lồ leave the mess (and work) of making bait khổng lồ the experts và I use commercially manufactured products. After fifteen years as a professional catfish guide, I’ve found there’s a lot of really great catfish baits available in stores (but there are some bad ones also), and making “stink baits” is a lot of hard work!

The internet is littered with tons of catfish bait recipes và in recent years I’ve even begun lớn see books & other resources for sale with recipes khổng lồ make your own catfish bait, but there are very few (if any) really good catfish bait recipes publicly available.

Why Are Good Homemade Catfish Bait Recipes Hard lớn Find?

First and foremost, when someone develops and manufactures a bait after coming up with a formula, or being handed down a recipe, it usually involves them selling the finished product và they are not willing to cốt truyện the secrets that they have worked so hard for.

The bottom line is there are really aren’t HUGE variations between baits. Once you break down the basic ingredients, you can come up with a formula on your own.

You are probably not going to lớn be able khổng lồ copy a bait that is sold in stores exactly. The companies who make these products have been perfecting them for years. They know exactly what makes them work, exactly what needs to be done lớn make them their very best, exact mixes of ingredients, how long lớn let the ingredients sit, and so on. It’s a fine-tuned process when you’re selling it and have had years to perfect the process.

You can however come up with your own basic formula, địa chỉ and change ingredients & experiment with what will catch fish và what will not until you perfect your process.

Do You Really Want lớn Make Your Own Homemade Catfish Bait?

The first thing you need khổng lồ ask yourself before you decide lớn make your own baits is if it is really worth it for you lớn make your own homemade baits.

Would you rather spend your time making baits or fishing?Would you be better off buying a bait that is proven & you know works?Are you willing lớn invest money into making something that might or might not work?Is it going to lớn be more costly to make your own or just purchase something already made?If you decide khổng lồ make your own, and it is a “stink bait” will you have a place to make it without it being bothersome?Are you willing to commit the time to lớn really make your own catfish bait the right way (MOST effective “stink bait recipes” are not made in a short period of time? Most involve ingredients sitting together, or separate for long periods of time.

I know many of the manufacturers of what I consider lớn be some of the best baits on the market. I’ve seen many of these manufacturers make their products, and I know exactly what goes into some of these products, và the exact process used to make them. Making catfish bait is a LOT of work.

In many instances, you can buy a manufactured bait for the same price or cheaper than you’ll be able to make your own, especially if the recipe involves cheese.

My family has manufactured và sold Redneck’s Catfish Bait Soap* for over a decade & I know first hand the work involved. The recipe has been on the family for over seventy years & I’ll tell you first hand there’s a lot of work involved when you’re making your own catfish bait.

(We’re not currently selling Redneck’s Catfish Bait Soap but may bởi vì so again in the future. We’re taking a hiatus for a little while because of other business commitments.)

If you think that you want khổng lồ move forward with making your own bait formula then read on.

How khổng lồ Make Your Own Homemade Catfish Bait Recipe From Scratch

There’s a basic mix of ingredients for 99% of the good catfish baits và the processes to make them are very similar.

I’ll walk you through the basic ingredients and processes of most baits & give you some free recipes as well & some comments on each. This gives you the option of using one of the recipes provided or having a basic understanding of what ingredients are in most commercially manufactured baits so you can develop your own formula.

Prepared baits (often called) “stink baits” can be broken down into a few major categories

Sponge BaitsBlood Baits

Let’s examine these different types more closely, as well as some of the pros & cons of making these different types:

Making Homemade Catfish Punch Bait

Punch bait gets its name from the process used khổng lồ bait the hook. You take a bare treble hook & “punch” it into the bait with a stick (or screwdriver) và when you pull the hook back out it will be covered in the bait.

Cheese is the main ingredient in these baits combined with some sort of thickening agent, baitfish, & some “secret” ingredients that vary by manufacturer.

The ingredients are usually prepared for extended periods of time, and they are typically allowed to lớn sit for long periods of time after they are mixed. Some manufacturers I know take up lớn one year (or longer) to make a single batch of bait. I’ve got a friend that makes a very popular (and effective) punch bait that lets his punch bait sit for two years prior khổng lồ selling it.

Pros và Cons Of Making Your Own Catfish Punch Bait:


Highly EffectiveHave a Strong Smell (Attracts Fish)Effective On Blues and Channels (Better For Channels)Require No Special Hooks Or RigsFairly Clean to Fish With (Clean is a relative term when fishing with stink bait)


Require Extended Periods Of Time lớn MakeIngredients May Be CostlyIngredients May Be Hard to lớn Get

Making Homemade Catfish Dip Bait

Dip bait is similar to lớn punch bait in many ways but the major difference is consistency. Dip baits are thinner which requires something lớn hold them on a hook. This is typically a sponge, tube, or small ribbed rubber worm.

Like punch baits, dip bait has cheese as the main ingredient & often some sort of thinning agent combined with “fish attractants”. Animal “parts” are also a common ingredient (usually hog brains).

Most dip baits are stored for extended periods of time after they are made & before they are ready khổng lồ use (up to a year or more).


Highly EffectiveHave a Strong Smell That Attracts FishEffective On Blues và Channels (Better For Channels)


Require Extended Periods Of Time to lớn MakeIngredients May Be CostlyIngredients May Be Hard lớn GetMessy lớn Use (and Make)Require Specialized Hooks (Dip Tubes or Worms)

Catfish Sponge Baits

Punch bait is thickest, dip baits are thinner and then you have sponge baits. Sponge bait is more than dip bait with more of a watery texture and like their name implies fished with a small piece of sponge on the hook khổng lồ absorb and hold the bait.

Just lượt thích the other baits, the primary ingredient is cheese & there are often animal parts involved as an “attractant” in the baits (but not always).


Highly EffectiveHave a Strong Smell That Attracts FishEffective On Blues and Channels (Better For Channels)


Require Extended Periods Of Time khổng lồ MakeIngredients May Be CostlyIngredients May Be Hard lớn GetMessy khổng lồ Use (and Make)Require Specialized Hooks With Sponges

Basics Of Making Cheese Based Baits

Again, the basics of making punch, dip, & sponge baits are relatively the same & they all involve cheese. These are more complex homemade catfish baits but they work well!

Most people that decide to make a cheese-based catfish bait for the first time think they’ll use nacho cheese as it’s cheap và readily available but I’m not aware of any good catfish bait recipe that has nacho cheese in it and I’d suggest you avoid this.

You’ll need block cheese with a firmer consistency và most catfish bait manufacturers use a “white” or lighter cheese because of the consistency.

Getting the right cheese is the hard part, you need lớn either find someone to lớn give you enough scraps or see if you can buy scraps (some companies sell them in five-gallon quantities). If you go to lớn the store to buy cheese off the shelf khổng lồ make even a gallon of these baits you’ll quickly find it’s cheaper khổng lồ buy commercially made catfish bait.

For punch baits, you’ll need a thickening agent like cattail fibers, or some sort of synthetic fiber. Many baits also include tallow or lard as well.

For dip baits you may need a thickening agent as well, many people use flour for this.

Then you have the fish attractants to showroom which are most commonly some sort of baitfish lượt thích shad, river minnows, or even crawfish. It’s also common practice to add additional “attractants” (in addition to lớn bait fish) with strong smells like garlic or onion powder và anise.

The Most Important Part of Cheese Based Catfish Bait Recipes

Where most people go wrong (besides trying to use nacho cheese) is trying khổng lồ make bait when they need it. Making cheese-based catfish baits is a slow process that takes time.

Cheese & many additives used in these catfish bait will separate. If you take a bucket of cheese that’s gone foul on you và sitting for a few weeks & mix in a bunch of baitfish that are “fresh” or haven’t been sitting for an extended period of time & work on getting the consistency “just right” you’ll be disappointed. In a matter of days, it will change in consistency and will continue to vị so until all the liquid separates.

Homemade Blood Bait For Catfish

Blood bait recipes contain some sort of blood as the main ingredient (either chicken or beef blood) & some sort of thickening agent khổng lồ make the blood coagulate, stay together, and stay on the hook. Brown sugar is a very common ingredient for thickening blood baits.

Blood bait is made by pouring large amounts of blood onto a flat surface (usually a screen placed over a piece of plywood). Once you pour a layer of blood on the flat surface you sprinkle a heavy layer of brown sugar & then pour more blood, repeating the process several times.

Then it’s a waiting game as you allow the mixture to lớn sit in the sun and thicken. When it has a gelatin-like texture (usually takes at least a day, sometimes multiple days) you cut it into strips và place the blood bait into storage containers.


Highly EffectiveHave a Strong Smell That Attracts Fish


Require Extended Periods Of Time khổng lồ MakeIngredients May Be CostlyIngredients May Be Hard to lớn GetMessy lớn Use (and Make)Difficult lớn Keep On Hook

Catfish Dough Bait Basics

Dough bait recipes typically contain flour or wheat, some sort of thinning agent (water or oil), và scent. Dough baits are one of the very few baits that can be mixed & fished in a very short amount of time.

Start with a base of flour or wheat and địa chỉ water or oil until you reach the desired consistency và then showroom scent & attractants. Anise is very popular for this type of bait but there are many other catfish attractants you can use.

I’ve never been a fan hâm mộ of dough baits and never had success fishing for cats with them so I’ve never invested much energy into them. There may be some good dough bait for catfish, I’ve yet lớn find one though.

Knowing these basic catfish bait ingredients will give you a good start on making your own homemade baits. You can acquire the basic ingredients and start experimenting with making your own until you get the texture, consistency, & smell that you are looking for.

Just be sure lớn keep track of what you’ve added & the steps you followed, so you can duplicate your results when you have success.

Adding Scents và Catfish Attractants to lớn Your Bait

Once you come up with a good basic recipe, then you can experiment with adding different scents khổng lồ see if it makes it more or less effective, until you come up with the very best formula.

Some different scents or ingredients to add and experiment with that are very common are:

Garlic (powder or oil)Oil of AniseCinnamon (powder or oil)Blood (chicken, beef)Asafoetida (powder)

Most of these attractants are self-explanatory but asafoetida always raises a lot of questions. Asafoetida is a spice that comes from several species of Ferula, a perennial herb. It’s also known as “devils dung” because of its strong odor. Asafoetida is used often in Indian cooking và can be food in many specialty grocery stores.

12 free Homemade Catfish Bait Recipes

Now that we understand the basics of different types of baits và making your own homemade catfish bait, let’s move on khổng lồ the không tính phí catfish bait recipes.

I haven’t made or used allof these recipes but they’ve been on my website for about ten years & I’ve had good feedback on all of them at one point or another.

I’ve used Leather Livers, Blood Bait & Bell’s Of Hell Stink Bait “Weapons Grade” and can testify that they work. You better have an awful strong stomach if you plan on mixing up a batch of either Bell’s Of Hell Catfish Bait Recipe, it’s toxic.

Juggs Davis Stink Bait

Melt 1 pound of cheese for about 1 minute in the microwaveChop 6–8 ounces of raw pork, perch, or both in combinationChop 1 head of garlic and địa chỉ garlic saltMix in 1 can of dog foodAdd 1 dozen minnows & enough flour khổng lồ give a dough consistency.Mix in a food processor (and then quickly hide it before your wife sees itThis bait works best on treble hooks or bait tubes.

Cajun Mud Bait

In a blender set 24 dead minnows after they have been allowed to lớn sit outside for 24 hoursAdd 1/4 cup of the juice the minnows were inAdd một nửa cup parmesan cheeseAdd 1 box of cherry jelloAdd 1/4 cup molassesAdd 3 tablespoons of onion salt & garlic saltAdd 1 cup bread crumbsAdd 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce

Add flour to thicken then work into a dough và place in baggies in 1 inch balls use on a treble hook.

I’ve had complaints about catching carp with this bait which is probably due to the molasses & jello.

Trinity River Bait

In 1/4 cup boiling water add 3 beef bullion cubesAfter beef cubes dissolve add 3 oz lunch meatAdd 3 Tablespoons of garlic salt & onion powderAdd 5 slices of breadAdd 4 Tablespoons of melted peanut butterAdd trăng tròn crackers

Pour in a blender & mix. Place in a sealable container in a cool place with the lid on tight. Use as a ball on a treble hook.

Jack’s cát Attack

In a gallon jug place half a loaf of bread torn into bite-size piecesPour the liver & hot dog phối over the breadAdd 2 cans of nacho cheeseAdd 1 can of cornAdd 1/4 bottle of Tabasco,Add a dozen wormscut up

Pour this mixture out và knead well until it gets thick & a dough like consistency. Store in the sun, in a large plastic container, and handle with care.

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Chicken Little’s Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

In a blender place a pound of chicken livers partially frozenAdd half a box of cornflakesAdd một nửa cup garlic powder or two heads of fresh garlicAdd 1/3 cup of each: parmesan cheese, molasses, sugar

Blend well place in small dishes và freeze what you don’t plan to use as this bait will spoil very quickly. Best if used when fresh.

Shadrack’s Dip Shad Catfish Bait Recipe

One use for the leftover shad when you got too many at the end of a fishing trip.

Place about đôi mươi small threadfin shad in a blenderAdd 1/2 Cup of cornmealAdd 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder & sugar.

Blend well và place this mixture in a jar và shake twice daily for a week và it’s ready. Use with dip worms or sponges.

Uncle Dewey’s Catfish Bait Recipe

Place about two pounds of leftover shad & a tub of chicken livers with about two cups of bacon grease or vegetable oil in a loosely covered bucket & allow to sit in the sun until the shad turn to lớn liquid.

Add about 6 cups of regular oatmealAdd 2 cups of yellow cornmealAdd a cup of brown sugarAdd 4oz package of Limburger cheese

Stir carefully but thoroughly và return the bucket lớn a sunny location for another week for more fermentation. Thicken with flour or cattail fuzz for bait, or thin with water for chum.

Leather Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

Take 2 lbs of chicken liver and 32oz. Can of garlic salt.Lay liver out in layers on cooking sheets of cardboard covered with foilSprinkle a hefty amount of garlic salt on chicken liversAdd another layer of chicken livers & salt (continue until the liver is all used).Let sit for a couple of hours outside (It doesn’t have to be in the sun).

After a couple of hours take the liver và dump it into a bucket & start stirring, every 3 or 4 stirs địa chỉ cửa hàng some more garlic. Bởi vì this until you have about 1/4 cup of garlic left. Put it in the garage for about 9 or 10 days, make sure it’s covered.

When you get ready to use it dump the rest of the garlic salt in, stir, and go fishing. The salt will make the chicken liver a lot tougher. You can use a single wire hook doing it this way.

Instead of Garlic try Anise, Vanilla, or whatever you want. Just make sure you add salt (a lot) because this is what makes it tough.

Catfish Blood Bait Catfish Bait Recipe

Here are two methods of making blood bait for catfish.

Find a locker plant that will let you have a phối of beef lungs with a windpipe still connected.

Hang lungs up by windpipe.Pour fresh blood into the windpipe.When full hang in cooler until blood coagulates.Leave in cooler 24 hours.Take out of the cooler và slice into cubes.

Because of the consistency of the lung, the lung absorbs the blood. When you put the slices on the hook, the bait will stay on the hook, but the blood will still bleed out, putting scent in the water.

The maker says “My Dad bet a man that he could put a cube of blood bait on a hook & line & drag it behind a pickup, one city block, và bait would still be on the hook. I witnessed this happen”.

In my experience with blood, the heavier the beef, the better the blood (bull blood).

Alternative Blood Bait Method

Contact a slaughterhouse or butcher for blood. You’ll need enough fresh beef blood or chicken blood (it makes no difference) lớn fill a large baking pan just below the top of the pan.

Fill the pan just below the vị trí cao nhất with beef or chicken bloodPlace in a refrigerator for approximately one week (it will get somewhat hard like a rubber mat).Place the pan in the sun for as long as it takes lớn get a hardcover.Cut into 2″ squares, put in plastic containers, và place back in the refrigerator (or freeze).

Catfish Dough Bait Recipe

1.5 cups of cornmeal1 cup of flour16–20 ounces of Big RedAnise oilAdd cornmeal, flour, và anise oil to lớn the pot.Use however much anise oil you need.Add almost 3/4 of a bottle of big red.

Cook this over medium heat constantly stirring until most of the liquid soaks up & the dough is stiff and sticky. Flour a counter surface & transfer the sticky dough on vị trí cao nhất of it.

Here is the important part, knead the dough, just lượt thích you would with a loaf of bread incorporating more flour for at least ten to lớn fifteen minutes. This allows the gluten to form in the dough & prevents the bait from just coming off the hook. Knead more flour into the dough until the dough is not sticky.

Use a treble hook & good luck.

The maker of this catfish bait recipe says “I have been doing really well with this bait for quite a while”. The nice thing about this dough is it freezes well và lasts a long time, it’s an excellent homemade catfish bait.

Garlic Weenies Catfish Bait Recipe

I just take a jelly jar (wide mouth) và slice hot dogs in 1/2 to ba phần tư inch slices.

Put hot dogscrushed garlic (buy crushed garlic in a jar in any food store) into the jar.

Stick in the refrigerator (and don’t tell the wife).

I have tried garlic powder & salt. Fresh crushed works the best but a little salt helps. Catfish love salt. I think it goes with their beer.

Bells Of Hell Stink Bait Catfish Bait Recipe (Dip Bait)

This bait recipe belonged to Texas angler Jackie Hughes who’d been making it for many years. He sold this commercially in Texas stores for years and it’s somewhat legendary.** It’s even appeared in the Wall Street Journal at one point.

This is a proven & successful recipe that I know works if you want a dip bait. I personally know many anglers make và use this bait and it works very well. Getting the ingredients can be tough, it takes time khổng lồ make & you’ll need somewhere you can get it away from your house or you’ll regret it.

The comments listed are all of his notes và information that he has provided for making it. You will see below when you read through it that he explains you can make this a dip bait or a punch bait.

Before proceeding with making this please chú ý the following:

We will not be responsible for your vomiting.We will not be responsible for you getting divorced.We will not be responsible for your children not talking lớn you.We will not be responsible for citations or other legal recourse taken by local or state governments.

Bells of Hell Weapons Grade Catfish Bait Recipe

This is the complete Bells Of Hell Catfish Dip Bait Recipe including all the secret ingredients.This is the holy grail of homemade catfish bait!

This is not something you should make unless you are part buzzard, it really stinks. However, if you like to catch lots of channel catfish, then make it.

Don’t try to lớn make this unless it’s hot outside. (The guy that made this lived in Texas and said he waited until at least July lớn start).

Bells Of Hell Bait Ingredients

36 lbs hog brains40 lbs cheese (use 60 lbs for thicker bait)1-gallon shad or other small baitfish

Use whatever kind of cheese you can get. Cheddar, Colby, Jack have all gone into it in the past. 40 lbs is the least amount of cheese I would use & it will be runny at that. 50 or 60 pounds will make better catfish bait for warmer weather. Keep in mind that bait will thin when hot & thicken when cool.

Put the hog brains out in the sun for 2 or 3 days. If you start with soured brains, it will speed the process up.

You need to lớn have the cheese grated in some way. I have a friend who runs it through a meat grinder.

Put everything in a large plastic barrel (trash cans with flat bottoms work).

This is very important!

The container must be three times the kích cỡ of the quantity you’ll put in it. For example, If you’re going lớn put ten gallons of bait the container must be at least 30 gallons. The bait will swell and needs the space to expand.

Blend everything together with a paint stirrer on a drill motor.Cover the barrel in some way to lớn keep out flies, dogs, và cats.Set the barrel in a warm spot (away from neighbors)Stir the catfish bait every other day*.

If the brains were real funky before you started it will take about 2 weeks before the fermenting slows down. If maggots get started, no problem, they will die quickly.

When there is little swelling between stirrings, dip the bait into quart jars ONLY HALF FULL, the bait will swell again in the jars.

Notes On Making Bells Of Hell Stink Bait: Weapons Grade (and Fishing With It)

Use sponge bait hooks (the smaller the better) to lớn dip in the bait. Make sure khổng lồ wring any water out of the sponge before redipping or the bait will become runny. Bait the hook again about every đôi mươi mins.To make a punch bait instead of dip bait you can địa chỉ cửa hàng cattail fuzz until it becomes the consistency of peanut butter. If you make punch bait take a small bare treble hook (#8 treble hook works real good) và push it into the punch bait. It stays on the hook for a long time.I make this bait every other year và it’s always better the second year. This makes a lot of bait and you could try cutting the amounts back.In the đôi mươi or so years I have been using this, I have never caught anything but channel catfish onit.A meat marketcan order the brains for you.Finding the cheese is a little trickier. I found a wholesale cheese distribution company và they sell me moldy or out-of-date cheese for 50 cents a pound. If you have lớn pay full price for brains and cheese you’re talking a bunch of money.

Want lớn Catch More Channel Catfish With These Baits?

If you plan on fishing with prepared baits for channel catfish check out the Secret Channel Catfish Rig và Summer Channel Catfish Techniques books. These in-depth guides will put you on the fast track lớn success catching channel catfish based on my experience of over fifteen years as a professional catfish guide.

Want More Catfishing Tips?

Check out these other vị trí cao nhất resources khổng lồ help you find và catch more catfish!

The Ultimate menu Of Catfishing Tips

Catfish Tackle: The Ultimate Guide to Catfishing Gear

Catfish Reels: The Ultimate Guide to lớn Catfish Reels

Catfish Rods: The Ultimate Guide khổng lồ Catfish Rods

Finally, kiểm tra out this article on some of my other favorite catfish baits (my đứng top picks)