Some of the baits I have used for used for CATFISH here on the Ohio River. Chicken liver,minnows,shrimp,Spam and French Fries. Fresh chicken liver work better than frozen liver that has thawed out. It does get bites however cats peck at it so by the time you pick up the rod they have cleaned the bait off the hook. My experience is the fish swallows the bait more often than getting a clean hook up in the mouth. The biggest drawback is keeping the bait on the hook when casting from the bank. Trying to get a long cast with chicken liver is very difficult. It seems like half the time the liver will just fly off the hook with any forceful cast of the rod. This is no problem if you are fishing from a boat, just flip it out and feed it line so the current can take away from the boat for you. Spam does get bites but is even harder to cast from the bank. 3 out of 4 cast can see the bait go flying in the air before the line hits the water. Shrimp works well for it does have a scent to it and it does stay on the hook when casting from the bank. You normally have to get the shrimp when it is on sale and freeze it. The get it out the night before you fish to let it thaw out. Minnows are good for there are so many fish that will feed on them beside cats. So even if the cats are not biting you could get a Perch, Largemouth Bass, Stripper or a white bass. YES I did say french fries as bait! I have caught channel cats below and above the I-275 bridge on the Ky. bank using FRENCH FRIES. Did read posting from a guy that caught a large Flathead on fries by one of the restraunts on the river in Newport Ky. Any fast food place that sells fries works. If possible pick some up when heading to your spot so they are on the warm side. That allows the grease to get into the water to make a scent trail easier.
This past summer I was able to use a casting net to get some gizzard and thinfin shad for bait. These fish die very quickly. So I just cut them up for bait. Skipjack is a great bait if you can get them. Down around Cincinnati they can be caught on a rod and reel in the Fall. Other than that the only place I know of for skipjack year round is the Power plant at Aberdeen Ohio.
UPDATE AUG 2004 SKIPJACKS are being caught at the Cincinnati Public Landing! Fish at the back end of the Showboat starting around sunrise till late in the morning. Using a SABIKI jig rig for best results. The Skipjacks I caught today were averaging 5 inches. My brother had a foam bucket 1/3 full when he left at noon. The skipjacks should be easier to catch as the river cools down and gets into better shape.
If anyone has any other locations near the Cincinnati area PLEASE send me the info via E-mail. I have some frozen cut skipjack from last Fall to start off this season.
Caught on FRENCH FRIES Aug 2003!!
July 19 2003 Caught two Channel Cats around 2 1/2 lbs. using the SKIN from fried chicken. It says on the hook for casting O.K. Had 3 other bites but they stripped off the bait. Not sure if large cats bite on it. Just started using it today.So when your family is done eating their chicken dinner put the scraps of skin in a small zip lock bagin the freezer till you go fishing.
Just learn from another Catfisherman about Chicken NUGGETS for bait. He had been telling me about it a couple time this summer. The other week I saw him actully catch a 5 lb channel cat out of the river using chicken nuggets. He turn to me and said that was the SMALLEST one of the day. He had landed 5 other cats earlier that morning and released them. HE had stopped at McDonalds and picked up a 6 nugget serving that morning. He said he has used other companies nuggets in the past. I am going to give it a try tomorrow morning 9-13-03.
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