Top 5 baits for catfish in AZ Community waters

Channel catfish are being stocked by the thousands of pounds through the fall. The “expansion/custom” Community fishing waters are scheduled to be stocked this week. Time to pick a lethal bait.

These all have a strong scent of some sort, some are even tasty to humans — and all have a long record of catching catfish in Arizona’s community waters.

Here, then, are the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s top-5  best baits to catch these channel catfish:

5. Marshmallows

mallowsMmm … marshmallows. Can you blame catfish for wanting to chomp one of these sweet, beautiful, poofy globs?  Just smash a big marshmallow on a No. 2-4 hook and hang on. Yet another catfish bait that also makes for a good human snack.

4. Anchovies/sardines


An age-old bait for catching fish just about anywhere. Keep ’em frozen and stick a piece on a No. 2 baitholder hook. Available in many surplus stores and tackle shops.

3. Shrimp


Pick up some frozen, uncooked shrimp and put one on a No. 2-4 baitholder hook. Keep ’em frozen in an ice chest while fishing. If you’re like us, you might even want to saute up some of your bait — yep, the shrimp — with your freshly caught catfish.

2. Stink bait in a tube


Stuff some catfish stink bait — and there are many effective brands — in a baitholder tube and you’ve got a secure rig sure to stir up some catfish action.

1. Hot dogs


This is no secret, and it still tops our list. Cheap and effective, a thumbnail-sized piece fits comfortably on a size 1/0, 1 or 2 baitholder hook. Cut a frozen thumbnail-sized piece in half, hook the piece through  one side, turn the hook around, and hook the point back through the skin of the dog.


So what’s your favorite catfish bait? Tell us your story in the comments section below.

18 thoughts on “Top 5 baits for catfish in AZ Community waters”

  1. I cut up hotdogs in bite size pieces, and cover with garlic salt. Every 15 min shake them up. Do this for 1 hour then freeze. After 1 day pull container out” i use butter container” shake and all excess salt falls off. Discard salt and use dogs for bait. This process makes them like rubber and wont fall off hook. Also word of advise… Carp love these to so hold on to your poles…. Good luck

      1. Awesome idea! I’ll try it! I’ve been using worms with a marshmallow to float it up about 1 ft off the bottom

    1. I agree Jay. Got some great 3-5 pounder cats that way, and the occasional carp is great fun! And you are right—Hang On To Your Poles! Often hotdogs are just $1 a pack for 8. Cut hotdogs into 1/3, and you get 24 pcs of great bait for a buck!

  2. Hands down the best catfish bait is hemp seed… European style of bait…. Caught 56 channel cat in in 4 hours using this… All fish were caught on a barbless hook and returned to fight again.

  3. Use chicken hearts and stink bait nuggets(chicken liver/blood) with good success. And what about the go-to bait for most fish, WORMS…

  4. All of the above work great! I ask the seafood dept at my local store, towards the end of the day, if they are going to throw away seafood. They usually have something and its great bait for catfishing!

  5. When you clean catfish at Lake Havasu you will find their bellies filled with crawdads. Try crawdads! Also, live bluegill does the trick on both channels and flatheads. As far as store bought bait, Mackerel is number one on my list.

      1. Caught a 15 pounder a couple of years ago on a crawdad that I suspended up upon off the bottom.
        Last week we caught about 10 cats over 10lbs. The the biggest was a 17on a live bluegill. My father in law caught a 16 lb. Flathead on a whole anchovie. Heading back up to Havasu this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s