Chicken livers, worms, soy beans, shad guts — avid catfish anglers try a variety of different (and often stinky) methods to try to lure in one of nature’s tastiest treats from the murky depths below.
However, a simple bag of dry cat food is all it takes to turn your run-of-the-mill fishing hole into a catfish paradise.
This unusual method of chumming for catfish was first shown to me by my grandpa, Sonny Swader, who took me fishing at a friend’s pond a few years back. He had told me stories about this fishing hotspot and how it was packed to the brim with big cats, so naturally I was eager to try it out.
As we were leaving, I saw him grab a bag of Meow Mix dry cat food from the table. When I asked him what it was for, he just said “You’ll see.”
When we got to the pond and set up on the dock, he opened up the sack, took a red Solo cup full of Meow Mix and threw it in the water. As I sat waiting for a couple of minutes, I wondered if this would actually work.
Pretty soon, the water around the dock came alive with the sounds of splashing, and I watched with awe as schools of 5 to 10 pound catfish began swarming my bobber. After pulling in a nice stringer of catfish, I was eager to try this again. I went to another catfish hotspot with my friend, and apparently the owner of this pond had used a similar trick, because it once again worked almost instantly.
The following spring, I returned with another friend to the first pond, my trusty bag of cat food at the ready. It was still early in the season, and he hadn’t been feeding them regularly, so this time the effect wasn’t as immediate. However, after the cat food had been sitting in the water for some time and the sun was beginning to set, we started seeing bubbles pop up near the soggy bits of food, and pretty soon we were lifting out catfish from 5 feet off the bank.
When baiting your hook, you can use regular baits like chicken livers, shad or dough baits, or you can try putting several pieces of the cat food on your hook. Try feeding the fish cat food regularly for best results.
If you have a lure or fishing trick you’d like me to share, send me an email at email@example.com, and if it’s a good tip I may just publish it.