Catfish are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything that can fit into their mouth.
These omnivores are very popular among anglers, and you can use various baits to trigger a bite.
They rely on their taste of smell, and react well on foods with strong scent.
Some anglers use foods that may seem strange at first, but actually work.
One of the examples are hotdogs …
Hotdogs can be used as bait for catfish, and many anglers like to use them. They are cheap, easily accessible, easy to use, and often work when other baits seem useless. Hotdogs have a strong smell, and the cheap and nasty ones, usually avoided by humans, will work great for catfish.
Here I am going to tell you a bit more about hotdogs for catfish bait and how to use them, in the following chapters:
Are Hotdogs Good for Catfish Bait?
Yes, hotdogs are really good for catfish bait!
In some areas, like the USA, this is a well-known practice. Besides, hotdogs can be eaten by both you and the catfish you are trying to catch.
Catfish will follow the scent of food. Cheap and “bad” hotdogs have a strong smell, and using those will give you the best results. There are more expensive hotdogs on the market, and you should keep those for yourself, as they have less appalling smell, and better content in general.
Besides attracting catfish, hotdogs have other benefits too.
You can buy them in almost any supermarket, and they are easy to store, even on longer fishing trips.
Preparing them, and hooking them, does not require any special skills, so beginners may enjoy using them too.
Those who like to try homemade baits, and want to make them perfect, can try using hotdogs as an ingredient of other bait mixtures.
Those who don’t like the hassle, and want to use the bait in the same form they bought it, can do it and still be successful. Hotdogs are full of ingredients such as preservatives, sodium, and artificial flavors, which are great attractants for the hungry catfish.
However, you have to be aware of the fact that hotdogs will bring you small to mid-size catfish. Very large specimens are much less likely to bite it.
This versatility makes hotdogs a great catfish bait.
How to Use Hotdogs as Catfish Bait? [Recipes]
There are various hotdogs catfish bait recipes, and all of them are extremely easy to make.
Anglers will add different flavors to enhance the hotdog attractiveness, or use hotdogs as an ingredient of other baits. Here I am going to mention both possibilities.
#1: Flavoring the Hotdog
If you just want to add something to the hotdog, and do it in the easiest possible way, you are going to need a plastic bag, a few hotdogs, and a flavored juice powder (the most popular one in the USA is the KoolAid, but if you are living somewhere else, you can buy your own version, because every country has one).
Take some strong and smelly powder flavor, like strawberry. Cut the hotdogs in to pieces, and do not cut it too large. Less than 2.5 centimeter/one-inch chunks will work fine.
Mix them with the powder and place them in the bag. Leave it overnight, and the hotdogs will soak up the flavor. You can prepare the juice too, and leave the hotdogs soaking in it. This works well too, but depending on a hotdog, there is a chance that they change their consistency. Some will harden up, and that is actually good, but some hotdogs can get slimy and soft.
#2: Using Hotdogs as an Ingredient
Some anglers like to try out different homemade bait recipes.
Stinky chicken liver is great to attract catfish, so you can combine these two.
You are going to need a pack of hotdogs, chicken liver, bread, and a blender to mix it.
Take about 0.4kg/1lb of chicken liver, and 1 pack of hotdogs. Blend them together in the blender. You will get a disgusting and smelly liquid, which may seem gross to you but great for catfish.
Cut the bread into pieces and place it in a bowl. Pour the mixed liquid over it and knead it like a dough. You can add more bread or liquid to get the consistency right. Then leave it overnight to harden up and store it in a plastic container. To use it, form small balls and attach them to the hook.
How to Add [and Keep] The Hotdog on The Hook? Best Way …
Using hotdogs for catfish bait is not complicated, however, you have to know how to properly hook them and use them.
As I already mentioned, avoid using too large pieces. Those who want to keep the catfish they catch, can put the hotdogs on treble hooks, if those are allowed in the area. These hooks are better in holding the hotdog in place due to their sharp, wide, and pointy “triangle” top. Thread the hotdog on the hook, all the way over the shaft.
To make it even more firm, thread the hotdog in a way that the treble hook goes through and then turn it and stick the point in the hotdog again.
Soaking them in a flavored juice can make them harder and easier to use on a hook, so try this if you are using other hooks. Leave them to soak for 24 hours. Some anglers do this for chicken liver too.
Some anglers like to spice them up with garlic powder, as that makes them stronger too. If you cover it with garlic powder and shortly place them in a pre-heated oven, they will harden up a bit. Just make sure you don’t bake them or even burn them.
Adding garlic is actually a great hotdog spicing technique, and I am going to tell you more in the next chapter.
The only downside is that hotdogs are quite gentle, so you will have to slightly adjust your casting technique, and do your best to keep them on a hook.
Avoid casting too far, too fast, or too hard in general. That will result in your hotdog bait flying off the hook. Because of this, hotdogs are great to be used in shallow waters, near the shore, so try using them in morning or evening, when catfish come close to you to feed.
Hotdogs and Garlic? Is this a Good Combination for Catfish Bait?
Hotdogs and garlic for catfish bait are a great combination.
You can use fresh garlic, or garlic powder. Both are going to work very well (also with shrimps).
#1: Fresh Garlic
To spice up the hotdogs, you will need fresh garlic, hotdogs, and a jar with a lid.
Take the fresh garlic and crush it. Cut the hotdogs into pieces and place both ingredients into the jar. Mix it thoroughly (or if the jar is half full you can simply close it and shake it so that the garlic spreads all over the hotdogs) to get the garlic everywhere.
Close the jar and leave it overnight. Your bait will be ready to be used the next day. Some angers add a pinch of salt too, so you can try adding it into the mixture.
#2: Garlic Powder
As I already mentioned, garlic powder can make the hotdogs stiffer and easier to hook, if you heat them with it. Catfish react on garlic powder as well as on fresh garlic.
To spice them up, cut them into pieces and add the powder to cover them. Leave them overnight so that they can soak up the flavor. It should marinate closed within a jar or a plastic bag. Some anglers use garlic salt, but if you do that, use less of it, otherwise there will be too much salt.
Garlic is great because it has very strong smell that spreads around fast.
And we all know that catfish love smelly baits. You can add it into other catfish baits, such as chicken liver, or all kinds of homemade prebaiting mixtures.
Best Tips for Using Hotdogs for Catfish Bait
Here are a few tips about using hotdogs for catfish bait.
Some of them were already mentioned, but I would like to sum them up here.
• Cast very gently and short.• Avoid casting into the currents because your bait could fall off, and use hotdogs in calm waters.• Avoid casting near weeds or large obstacles, because the hotdog can get torn off your hook.• Buy the cheapest hotdogs, preferably those you wouldn’t want to eat yourself.• Bullheads and smaller channel catfish tend to react better on hotdogs as bait.• Blue catfish and flathead catfish, together with very large specimens of other catfish species, are less likely to bite the hotdog.• Spice the hotdogs if possible, to increase their effectiveness.• You can use the second recipe I mentioned as a prebaiting mixture. Just take a bunch of tiny pieces and throw them into the water to attract catfish. Small pieces of bread dissolves fast and carry the smell around.
AND, for the end – keep in mind, that you have to go catfishing only when is the best time to fish for catfish …
Hotdogs for catfish bait can be used by anyone, and they are a really good bait.
If you have never practiced this, or find it strange, take a few to your next catfishing trip, and try it out.
If your usual baits are not working, you can switch to hotdogs too. Use them gently and cast lightly to avoid falling off the hook.
This is a great summertime fishing bait, when catfish are feeding actively in the morning and evening. Follow the given tips to increase your success rate, and if it seems that your hotdogs are not working, try changing the location, or spice them up a bit for the next time.