Catfishes have barbels on their whiskers which are good sensor organs. As a result, they have a good ability to test and smell. On the other hand, they have a good vision of freshwater and muddy water system. Therefore, it’s easy to bite catfishes in holes than any other fish. In this blog, I will try to explain how to bait a catfish hole and think it will be helpful for you.  


Catfishes are more available on all the continents except Antarctica. These guys are mostly freshwater species. Generally, catfishes are bottom feeders and eat water insects, aquatic plants, small fishes, snails, frogs, dead fishes, etc. They are mostly cylindrical body shape and the lower side of the body is flattened which allows them to drive the lowest level of water body systems and to find bottom foods. They are olive-brown and have many round black spots on the backside.

Types of Catfish

Invertebrate order, catfish is the second most species. Among the three most available catfish in freshwater are Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, and Blue Catfish. Identification of those fishes is not very hard, which is discussed below:

Flathead Catfish: Flathead catfishes are more identical than channel and blue catfishes. Those can be identified by their tails which are round in shape. The head is flatter than other catfishes. Skin color is a bit darker but it’s depended on the water quality. 

Blue Catfish: The tails of Blue catfish and channel catfish are the shape of the same fork, but Blue Catfish are bluer than Channel Catfish. The main differences between Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish are in anal fin and black spots. The anal fin of the Blue Catfish is more straight out as rectangular shape and does not have any black dots on its body. If you try to count the anal fin of blue catfish those are over 30 raised in number. Live and dead bait both are popular for Blue Catfish.

Channel Catfish: Channel Catfishes are brown and have black spots on their body side but it also depends on water quality. The anal fin is round in shape and less than 28 raised. Doe baits, worms, or any other small baits are used for channel catfish.

Living Habitats of Catfish

Catfish are found in a wide range of habitats based on their size and abundance of foods. They love to build their habitats on the current,well-oxygenated water but not deep. You may find them in rivers, lakes, ponds, streams swamps, side of the channel, shallow sandbars and seasonally inundated floodplains, and many more inhabitant’s ecosystems.

Eating Habits

Catfishes are good predators and omnivores, so they eat meat, plat, and hunt their foods. Their eating habits are changed with their age. At an early age, they hunt insects, mosquitoes, and their larvae. Starting to be adults they hunt snails, little frogs, small fishes, and seaweed, and in old age, they try to eat high protein foods. In a word, they eat, which fits in their mouth.

Where to Find Catfish to Get Bite

Locating the fish before baiting is a very important step to catch fish otherwise, your whole day will waste of time. It doesn’t matter how good is your bait or fishing gear, it doesn’t matter how good is your bait or fishing gear, you are not able to catch them without locating them. Catfish love to build their habitats around available foods like bluegill, and crayfish and where they can control body temperature. So, finding out the food chain of catfishes is very important before catching them.

Emerged weed bed edge of the river and lake is one of my favorite places to catch catfishes. Here, baby fishes live and grow up, and the catfishes are waiting for one to hunt on the edge of the weed beds.

Another great location to have catfish is an old rickety dock. Catfishes tend not to live under that but they use it as their hunting zone. A lot of bluegills, crappie, and minnows love to live under the dock. Dock boat ramps are also a great place for fishing.

You may find a pretty decent-size channel, blue and flathead catfishes underneath the bank. The better the undercut, the better to bait catfishes. Little nooks caves, steep slopes under the water, the shadow of hanging trees over undercut, and fallen dead trees for the extra shelter of catfishes are the most findable places to have catfishes. Undercut with a steep bank of deep water is the best place to bait catfishes. 

The process to Bait a Catfish Hole

Finding catfish hole: You can find the holes undercut the river bend which is shadowed by hanging trees, and fallen dead trees. You may also find it under the old rickety dock and emerged weed bed.

Bring them towards the fishing area or directly bait in the holes: Before starting fishing, it needs to feed fish in a fishing area for 2 or 3 days at a certain time of the day. It helps to catch a lot of fish of different types. On the opposite side, you may also find catfish holes and bait in the holes. 

How to Bait a Catfish Hole

Bait for Catfish

Unfortunately, no bait works for every situation to catch in different environments and different kinds of catfishes. For bigger one shad is better than chicken liver sometimes. Sometimes hot dogs or worms or boiled feed corn work better to catch a little one or a good size one. There are many types of bait out there, some of these can use directly, or some need to add some flavoring ingredients for attraction to catfishes.


Prepare bait is very popular among fishers men. There are many types of ingredients are used to prepare bait for catfishes.

  • For chumming baits dog food, chicken liver, or blood bait, minnows are used directly or with additives.
  • Wheat, cracked corn, and soybeans are the main ingredient to prepare bait among fisher’s men.
  • Cheese, blood, Jell-O powder, garlic, and anise oil are used for smell and color.
  • Beer and yeast are used to accelerate the fermentation process.


Preparing bait by yourself makes the bait less expensive. It’s very easy to prepare the bait. First, you need to take grain in a bucket or a bowl and add some water to make it slurry. Next, add some flavoring ingredients and take them for a moment for fermentation. Beer, which is a favorite in fish, can use to accelerate this fermentation.

For chumming bait as beef or dog food, you can use some Jell-O with it and take it to the refrigerator. After a certain time, you can see your bait is ready.

Popular Catfishes Baits

Schooling baitfish (Shad and Minnows): Gizzard Shad, pumpkin seeds, bluegill, white bass, hickory shad, American shad, Asian carp, sunfish, and minnows are the best bait fishes for catfishes. Catfish the little ones started to eat by hunting these little fishes and those are also eaten by many predators. Numerous schooling bait fishes are easily caught, throwing a cast net is the most common way.

Boiled Feed Corn: For catching a good size of channel catfish and blue catfish, feed corn is good as bait. The best part of feed corn is that it is super cheap. Making corn bait is easy. First, you need to soak it for 12 hours and then boil it until squishes by fingers. 

Store Bait: Some grocery store items that can be used as bait include blood bait such as chicken liver, turkey livers, beef, hot dogs, and shrimps are also good baits for catfish in holes. Chicken liver is an excellent bait for holes, but the biggest problem with the liver is that they come off the hook so easily.

Worms (Earthworms): Earthworms are also a good quality full bait for catfish. But the biggest problem with worms is that all kinds of fish big or small are attracted by worms.

Stink Bait (Pre-prepared Bait): There is some fishing pre-prepared bait in the store such as boilies which have a stinking for attraction of fishes. Different flavors of boilies are prepared for fishing bait.

Overall Thinking

Catfish have a good sensor organ that helps them to detect food easily. And now you know how to bait a catfish hole. So, make or take a stink bait and hold it in front of the catfish holes and stir.

More Posts:

Categories: Fishing

Alex Hoang

This is Alex Hoang, who lives in Florida and has been obsessed with fishing since he was 8 years old. Since then he gathers much experience in different types of fishing in various water and recently runs a fishing gear shop. Today he has a dream to spread fishing in a fun, educational, and respectful format.