By Josh Rouse
Catfish are one of the oddest species of freshwater game fish you’ll find in the United States.
Rather than hunting by sight, the way a bass does, catfish use their unusual sense of smell to locate their next meal. This leads to many anglers wearing plastic gloves, trying to scoop some of the stinkiest concoctions on Earth onto a treble hook — rotten chicken livers, soy beans, shad guts and more.
However, there are several other odd bait choices that can catch a catfish. Perhaps the strangest of those choices is soap.
Yes, Ivory bar soap will catch a catfish. Catfish love the smell of lye and will go after it just as well as any other stink bait. Anglers take the bar and cut it into small squares and cast it into a current so the smell will disperse and attract catfish.
There are other unique baits that anglers can consider using to catch a big catfish, as well:
■ Hot dogs — Catfish and I have a lot in common. We both have whiskers, we both thrive during the night and we both love hot dogs.
Any type of hot dog will work, so stick with the cheaper ones. Also, don’t feel like you have to use a lot. A tiny slice of hot dog can go a long way when fishing for catfish. Soaking them in garlic powder prior to fishing also is a good idea to get some extra pungency.
■ Chunky dog food can also catch a load of catfish, which makes me wonder exactly what hot dogs are made out of.
■ Velveeta cheese — Another popular bait for catfish is cheese, and Velveeta is the brand that seems to work well and stay on the hook.
Stinky Limberger is another type of cheese that seems to work well, perhaps to no surprise from those who have fished with rotten chicken liver. The worse it smells, usually, the better it works.
■ Fruits — Several types of fruits and berries are also good for catching catfish, oddly enough. Mulberries, blackberries, blueberries, bananas and even apples all work on catfish.
■ Bubble gum — Another popular choice, especially when you run out of your other bait, chewed-up bubble gum on a hook can work surprisingly well on any species of fish.
If you have a unique bait you use to catch catfish, let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to send me Dog of the Year entries at the same address by emailing your dog’s name, photo and story, along with your own name and location.
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