Best Bait for Fishing for General Fishing

If you’re a fishing fan; finding the Best Bait for Fishing is essential. Every fisherman or woman from professional to someone seeking a new hobby should realize that using the best bait for fishing will ultimately provide you with a good fishing trip.

For the more experienced and avid fishermen, you may want to skip to the next pages. Please use the sidebar navigation we offer to find the best bait for fishing Crappie, Bass, Carp, Bluegills, Catfish & much more!

OK, you’ve bought a fancy rod and a shiny new reel, you even know where you want to go fish, but now the big question is: What is the best bait for fishing whatever you want to fish for?

The first step is to decide what are you fishing for. Different fish will bite on different baits – Just as some baits will work best in fresh water while some work best in salt water. There are many different options, but all basically in 2 main categories; live and artifical. It’s important you have a general idea of what you’re fishing for. However, if you’re fishing for the fun of it and unsure of what you’re fishing for – there are two universally known best baits for fishing.

A very common bait for fresh water fishing is to use a night crawler. Night crawlers can be used in many different ways such as the whole worm, half pieces, floating or following behind a flasher. The night crawler can be used to catch a variety of fish including bass, trout, catfish, strippers, crappie and bluegill – making it the most simple yet effective live best bait for fishing in fresh water. With a night crawler you have the chance of catching a 2oz bluegill to a 10lb bass. You can find night crawlers everywhere. Nearly all fishing stores will have these, and you can even find your own.

Althouh this site is mainly focused on fresh water fishing, we will say this about salt water: It is different and will require another sort of bait – squid to many fishers is their #1 best bait of choice. You have many options on how to bait the squid. It can be alive, dead or frozen. Whole squid, chunks, or strips of squid. Squid is a favorite among White Sea Bass, Yellowtail, Jacks, Rock Fish and perch. It’s a simple yet effective bait which will provide you with a good fishing experience. Good Luck.

Different Types of Bait

It is important to know your different baits and lures while looking for the best bait for fishing. This will guide you through the process of finding the best bait for all types of fish. Below is a list of artificial and live baits that will help you find the best bait for fishing.

Best Bait for Fishing – Live Baits

Worms – The two most popular worms for fishing are earthworms and night crawlers. They can be found abundantly, and often come out after it rains. Worms are considered to be the best bait for fishing Bluegills.

Crayfish – Crayfish, also known as crawdads are widely used by many fishermen. They can be bought at certain fishing stores or captured in a net. Bass love to eat crayfish.

Baitfish – Minnows are the most popular baitfish. They can be purchased from just about any fishing store and range from very tiny sizes to large sizers. It is also possible to catch your own, baiting them with bread and then netting them while they are eating the bread. Minnows are considered the best bait for fishing Crappie.

Leeches – These are very popular among deep water fish. They are not very pretty, but don’t let that fool you – as long as the fish like them.

Insects – Ants, grasshopers, crickets are very good fishing baits. Pet stores will have crickets for you to buy, other insects can be found at local fishing stores. They are ideal for catching Bluegills.

Dough Balls – Doughballs are widely used as baits for carp and catfish. You can make these using simple recipes found below .

Carp are well known as the fish that “eats everything.” While that may be to true to a point, they can be very picky fish. Finding best bait for fishing carp can be difficult because carp simply lose interest in over-used bait. Carp will eventually grow wary of a certain type of bait or even ignore a certain bait. One way to get around this is simply use any proven best bait for fishing carp that looks and tastes different from what everyone is using. For example, if everyone is using regular dough balls, carp will be more attracted to bait such as sour dough balls. Vibrant colors and sweet flavors will improve your chance of having the best bait for fishing carp.

Simply put, the best bait for fishing carp is a combination and variety of well known carp baits – such as canned corn, dough balls, cornmeal, chicken liver, hot dogs, and bacon. Just remember to be creative and don’t use what everyone else is using. Keep in mind carp have been proven to go for strong flavors such as vanilla extract, anise extract, curry powder and garlic.

  • Dough Balls – Carp love dough balls. They are considered the best bait for fishing carp. You can make these balls or buy them from a local fish store. Below is a recipe for making your own.

How to make dough balls (The Best Bait For Fishing carp):


1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 quart water
1 cup molasses

Mix the flour, cornmeal and sugar. Add water slowly until it makes a heavy thick dough. Roll them into 1 inch balls. Mix the remaining water and molasses and put it in
a pan. Add garlic to the pan. Bring pan to a boil. Drop in dough balls, cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Chicken Liver – Very popular among catfish and carp. You can directly insert the liver onto a hook or “spice” up the liver making it the second best bait for fishing carp. Below is a recipe.

How to make custom Chicken Liver Bait Recipe:


Chicken Liver
1lb grit
Anise powder

Put the grits into a bowl, blend the liver with anise powder. Add the blended liver to the grits until you get a thick consistency.


Best Bait for Fishing – Artificial

Jigs – Jigs have a heavy round metal head with a tail that immitates different types of live baits. Many fishers will add a piece of minnow or other live baits to the jigs hook for increased fishing results.

Spoons – Spoons are lures with the purpose to look like swimming fish. These are meant to be casted out and reeled in with a jerking motion.

Plastic Baits – Plastic baits are simply plastic insects, minnows and crayfish. They come in many colors, which can be a great advantage.

Crankbaits – Also known as diving plugs have a plastic lip making the lure dive to a desinated water depth. They usually have two hooks.

Spinner Baits – Spinnerbaits are popular lures that have a metal blade that spins, which catches the attention of fish. These are very popular among bass fishers.

Flies– Flies are very small baits that are used to catch fish that feed on the surface. Flies are mostly used on trout.








Free Homemade Catfish Bait Recipes Author:Chad Ferguson

Juggs Davis Stink Bait

  • Melt 1 pound of cheese for about 1 minute in the microwave
  • Chop 6–8 ounces of raw pork, perch, or both in combination
  • Chop 1 head of garlic and add garlic salt
  • Mix in 1 can dog food
  • Add 1 dozen minnows and enough flour to give a dough consistency.
  • Mix in a food processor (and then quickly hide it before your wife sees it
  • This bait works best on treble hooks or bait tubes.

Cajun Mud Bait

  • In a blender mix 24 dead minnows after they have been allowed to sit outside for 24 hours
  • Add 1/4 cup of the juice the minnows were in
  • Add 1/2 cup parmesean cheese
  • Add 1 box cherry jello
  • Add 1/4 cup molasses
  • Add 3 tablespoons of onion salt and garlic salt
  • Add 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce

Add flour to thicken then work into a dough and place in baggies in 1 inch balls use on a treble hook.


Trinity River Bait

  • In 1/4 cup boiling water add 3 beef bullion cubes
  • After beef cubes disolve add 3 oz lunch meat
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of garlic salt and onion powder
  • Add 5 slices of bread
  • Add 4 Tablespoons of of melted peanut butter
  • Add 20 crackers

Pour in a blender and mix. Place in sealable container in a cool place with lid on tight. Use as a ball on treble hook.

Jack’s Cat Attack

  • Mix 1 lb of aged in the sun chicken livers and 1 package of hot dogs together in a blender and mix (this may be best performed outside or with wife gone).
  • In a gallon jug place a half a loaf of bread torn into bite size pieces
  • Pour the liver and hot dog mix over bread
  • Add 2 cans of nacho cheese
  • Add 1 can corn
  • Add 1/4 bottle of Tabasco,
  • Add a dozen worms cut up

Pour this mixture out and knead good until it gets thick and a dough like consistency. Store in the sun, in a large plastic container, and handle with care.

Chicken Little’s Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

  • In a blender place a pound of chicken livers partially frozen
  • Add half a box of cornflakes
  • Add 1/2 cup garlic powder or two heads of fresh garlic
  • Add 1/3 cup of each: parmesan cheese, molasses, sugar

Blend well place in small dishes and freeze what you don’t plan to use as this bait will spoil very quick. Best if used when fresh.

Shadrack’s Dip Shad Catfish Bait Recipe

One use for the left over shad when you got too many at the end of a fishing trip.

  • Place about 20 small threadfin shad in a blender
  • Add 1/2 Cup of cornmeal
  • Add 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and sugar.

Blend well and place this mixture in a jar and shake twice daily for a week and its ready. Use with dip worms or sponges.

Uncle Dewey’s Catfish Bait Recipe

Place about two pounds of leftover shad and a tub of chicken livers with about two cups of bacon grease or vegetable oil in a loosely covered bucket and allow to sit in the sun until the shad turn to liquid.

  • Add about 6 cups of regular oatmeal
  • Add 2 cups of yellow cornmeal
  • Add a cup of brown sugar
  • Add 4oz package of limburger cheese

Stir carefully but thoroughly and return the bucket to a sunny location for another week for more fermentation. Thicken with flour or cattail fuzz for bait, or thin with water for chum.

Leather Chicken Liver Catfish Bait Recipe

  • Take 2 lbs of chicken liver and 32oz. can of garlic salt.
  • Lay liver out in layers on cooking sheets or cardboard covered with foil
  • Sprinkle a hefty amount of garlic salt on it chicken livers
  • Add another layer of chicken livers and salt (continue until the liver is all used).
  • Let sit for a couple hours outside (It doesn’t have to be in the sun).

After a couple hours take the liver and dump into a bucket and start stirring, every 3 or 4 stirs add some more garlic. Do this until you have about 1/4 cup of garlic left. Put it in the garage for about 9 or 10 days, make sure its covered.

When you get ready to use it dump the rest of the garlic salt in, stir, and go fishin. The salt will make the chicken liver alot tougher. You can use a single wire hook doing it this way.

Instead of Garlic try Anise, Vanilla or what ever you want. Just make sure you add salt (alot) because this is what makes it tough.

Catfish Blood Bait Catfish Bait Recipe

Here’s two methods of making blood bait for catfish.

Find a locker plant that will let you have a set of beef lungs with windpipe still connected.

  • Hang lungs up by windpipe.
  • Pour fresh blood into windpipe.
  • When full hang in cooler until blood coagulates.
  • Leave in cooler 24 hours.
  • Take out of cooler and slice into cubes.

Because of the consistency of the lung, the lung absorbs the blood. When you put the slices on the hook, the bait will stay on the hook, but the blood will still bleed out, putting scent in the water.


Alternative Blood Bait Method

Contact a slughter house or butcher for blood. You’ll need enough fresh beef blood or chicken blood (it makes no difference) to fill a large baking pan just below the top of the pan.

  • Fill the pan just below the top with beef or chicken blood
  • Place it a refrigerator for approximately one week (it will get somewhat hard like a rubber mat).
  • Place the pan in the sun for as long as it takes to get a hard cover.
  • Cut into 2″ squares, put in plastic containers and place back in the refrigerator (or freeze).

Catfish Dough Bait Recipe

  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 16–20 ounces of Big Red
  • Anise oil
  • Add cornmeal, flour and anise oil to pot.
  • Use however much anise oil you need.
  • Add almost 3/4 of a bottle of big red.

Cook this over medium heat constantly stirring until most of the liquid soaks up and the dough is stiff and sticky. Flour a counter surface and transfer the sticky dough on top of it.

Here is the important part, knead the dough, just like you would with a loaf of bread incorporating more flour for at least ten to fifteen minutes. This allows gluten to form in the dough and prevents the bait from just coming off the hook. Knead more flour into the dough until the dough is not sticky.

Use a treble hook and good luck.

The maker of this catfish bait recipe says “I have been doing really well with this bait for quite a while”. The nice thing about this dough is it freezes well and lasts a long time.



Bells Of Hell Bait Ingredients

  • 36 lbs hog brains
  • 40 lbs cheese (use 60 lbs for thicker bait)
  • 1 gallon shad or other small baitfish

Use what ever kind of cheese you can get. Cheddar, Colby, Jack have all gone into it in the past. 40 lbs is the least amount of cheese I would use and it will be runny at that. 50 or 60 pounds will make better catfish bait for warmer weather. Keep in mind that bait will thin when hot and thicken when cool.

Put the hog brains out in the sun for 2 or 3 days. If you start with soured brains , it will speed the process up.

You need to have the cheese grated in some way. I have a friend who runs it through a meat grinder.

Put everything in a large plastic barrel (trash cans with flat bottoms work) .

This is very important!

The container must be three times the size of the quantity you’ll put in it. For example If you’re going to put ten gallons of bait the container must be at least 30 gallons. The bait will swell and needs the space to expand.

  • Blend everything together with a paint stirrer on a drill motor.
  • Cover the barrel in some way to keep out flies , dogs and cats.
  • Set the barrel in a warm spot (away from neighbors)
  • Stir the catfish bait every other day*.

If the brains were real funky before you started it will take about 2 weeks before the fermenting slows down. If maggots get started , no problem , they will die quickly.

When there is little swelling between stirrings , dip the bait into quart jars ONLY HALF FULL, the bait will swell again in the jars.