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Bullhead Catfish can be commonly found in south-eastern North America in a variety of habitats. They are sometimes stoked on purpose and eat virtually anything.
If you’re one of the many anglers pursuing the Bullhead Catfish, you have some variety when it comes to your bait options. Bullhead Catfish, unlike others in its species, eat dead fish or animals which makes finding bait a little easier.
So what’s the best bait for Bullhead Catfish?
You can use the same bait that you would for other channel catfish such as cut up fish parts (cutbait), chicken parts, or blood-soaked meal.
Bullhead catfish have a sense of smell that works just as well as a dog’s, so make sure whatever you use smells good enough to eat!
Often, these fish are an extremely popular option for frying up and eating. I mean why not, they’re delicious!
They are smaller and look very similar to other catfish. They have a squared tail and a muddy-brown appearance that helps them blend into their environment.
Bullhead Catfish are often around one to two pounds in weight but can get up to ten pounds.
They do not provide a whole lot of meat, but cooked properly, they make a yummy meal.
Should I use bait? And what should I use?
Yes. You should use bait. Bullhead Catfish are known for eating anything and if you’re fishing specifically for them, using bait will make your life significantly easier.
With the right yummy treat, they won’t even think twice about grabbing onto your hook. Now the question is what kind of bait to use.
Bullhead Catfish are not picky eaters. They’ll eat anything from nightcrawlers to chicken livers so it mostly depends on your budget.
Keeping things simple may be the best and there’s no need to get too fancy for a fish that just doesn’t care, right? So, do yourself a favor a just stick with the classics until that stops working.
Nightcrawlers and other worms are you best options, and probably easiest to find, especially if you add some enticers to it.
There are some tricks that experienced anglers recommend. You can “blow up” your worm using a syringe so that it floats or pump it full of beet juice to make them extra red.
Also, making your own dough bait using meat and an oat of your choice is an option and many anglers have their own “secret” recipes that they use.
Either way, bullhead catfish bait is easy to come by and it’s okay to have some fun with your options.
Make sure your hook is showing through whatever bait you end up using. Hiding the hook for some fish is essential, but, a bullhead catfish isn’t going to care.
Covering the hook with whatever bait you’re using is just going to prevent the hook from actually going through the skin.
Also, make sure to bring plenty of hooks because catfish are notorious for swallowing hooks like they swallow their food.
What to avoid with Bullhead catfish bait
Yes, actually, there is. Bullhead Catfish have a really strong sense of smell and anything chemical that you have on your hands will pick up (like sunscreen).
One way to avoid this is by fishing at night which is when catfish are out more frequently anyway.
At night, there is not such a need for sunscreen or bug spray, but if you can only fish during the day, try to wear gloves when handling your bait to keep away any chemical smells.
Some bait options include:
- Nightcrawler/Worms – Easiest to find and use these are the traditional method for any fisherman.
- Chicken Livers – Another common option for catfish fishing, these have to be applied to the hook properly or will fly off during casting.
- Cut Bait – This is a good option if you’ve run out of bait and keep catching fish that you’re not looking to eat. You should check to make sure fish are legal to use first, but catfish love to eat other fish and it doesn’t have to be a lot for Bullhead Catfish (even a minnow would work). Better have a knife on you!
- Bacon – Because of its strong smell, this makes an excellent choice if you can hook it to your line without snapping the crispy pieces.
- Dough Bait – Usually a homemade recipe, these are pieces of dough and meat that are mixed together and frozen.
- Hot Dogs – Hey, why not? These cheap treats might just work for a hungry catfish and they’re easy to hook on a line.
- Bubble Gum – I know what you’re thinking but some people actually swear by it. If your desperate, maybe give it a try and see what happens. You gotta chew it first though to make it soft.
Best Bait for Bullhead Catfish
If you’re looking for the right bait to use with Bullhead Catfish, there are a number of options that may work well for your fishing needs. The following products could provide you with a good place to start.
Wild Cat Pre-Molded Catfish Bait
This product comes in a resealable bag and a strong odor. They’re about the size of a nickel and are premolded for your convenience.
You can smell the product outside the bag, which is perfect for the catfish you’re trying to bait.
This particular one is made from chicken blood but there are other blends that are offered by the company such as chicken liver, cheese, and “full stringer.”
View at Amazon to learn more about this product and how it could work for baiting catfish.
Catfish Charlie’s recipe is, of course, not labeled but those who have used it swear by it.
The product can be pair with Catfish Charlie’s specialized hooks (Catfish DBG-3-01 Dip Bait, Worm Scented – View at Amazon) that have deeper grooves to hold the bait on your hook better.
These are an excellent option for beginner anglers who just want an easy bait option but worms aren’t’ working for them or if you’re an angler that just doesn’t like the mess of making their own bait from raw meat.
Licorice Flavored Catfish Bubblegum 2 Pack
This is not bubblegum that you would eat. This is “bubblegum” made in Texas and out of all natural ingredients to catch Catfish “guaranteed.”
Because of its consistency, this is easy to attach to your hook and produces no smell. At least, not to our noses.
It is refrigerator safe and needs to be frozen or refrigerated when not being used.
It is licorice flavored which apparently catfish love.
This product come in a one pound tub and can be paired with Bradley’s Bite Enhancer which is a lure spray that naturally attracts fish to your lure. A product that needs an additional spray may have some negatives to be said about it but, again, it always nice to have fun with your bait options.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your cat fishing needs.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com