Do Catfish Eat Boilies? [My Secrets to Success]

Do Catfish Eat Boilies?

Boilies are one of the best and most versatile baits that exist.

Anglers can choose the color, texture, flavor and smell, to adjust to any given situation, year time and location.

When someone mentions boilies, many people will associate this bait with carp.

But if you can adjust the recipe, especially if you prepare them yourself, why not to use them for some other species?

Catfish are not picky eaters and they too will eat boilies. They like smelly baits and by adding all kinds of flavors you can really make an efficient catfish bait.

If you have ever wondered do catfish eat boilies and which boilies do they like, you can find the answers in the following chapters:



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What Do Wild Catfish Eat in Nature?

To understand why some boilies work better than other, you must know what kind of food catfish naturally eats.

There are thousands of catfish species in nature, and here I am going to mention the food consumed by those catfish species interesting to anglers.

Catfish are omnivorous creatures, and they are not exclusive bottom feeders, as many people mistakenly think.

Catfish will eat almost anything that ends up in front of them, and that includes:

Insects and beetles
• Water algae and plants
• Crayfish and snails
• Frogs
• Small mammals that accidentally end up in the water
• Fish eggs

As you can see, there is not a lot of things a catfish wouldn’t eat.

These opportunistic feeders feed in all the water layers, during day and night. Of course, there are times when they are less active, but they will almost never turn down a good meal.

To locate food, catfish depend on their barbels which are used to sense the smell and taste.

They can also feel vibrations produced by their pray. As they depend on these senses more than on sight, there is not a lot a potential prey can do to hide.

Wild catfish consume more protein-based food ...  

That means that wild ones eat more fish.

But, Do Catfish Eat Boilies?

To catch a catfish, anglers use a variety of baits ...   

From chicken liver to nightcrawlers, anything can bring results, depending on a situation. But, do catfish eat boilies?

As already mentioned, YES, they do.

And anglers like to use catfish boilies because they are not stinky and disgusting as many other options, including stink baits.

Boilies for catfish can be bought or homemade, and both options are very efficient.

They are made in the same way as carp boilies, but the flavors vary, while the base ingredients are the same.

Catfish will mostly bite on boilies which are fish flavored.

There is a chance that a wild catfish has never seen a boilie, and can get a bit suspicious, but if presented right, during active feeding, catfish will not be able to resist.

Some anglers will say that boilies are not the best bait for catfish, and in some cases they would be right. However, those who claim that boilies are not good, have probably used the wrong ones or don’t know how to use them.

Same as for carp, you have to choose right color, texture and presentation.

Why Do Catfish Like Boilies?

Catfish like stinky baits!

They like rich flavors and strong smell (like shrimps, cheese, liver, etc.). Good thing about boilies is that you can mix almost any kind of ingredients and attractants to make a fish bite.

Because catfish are not picky, and they will eat anything that fits into their mouth, boilies make a great bait.

Another benefit is that boilies are easy to store and you can always have a pack with you to change on the spot.

Some catfish will be very interested in some new smell and taste instead of already familiar ones.

Also, boilies can be easily positioned on the bottom, in mid water layer or even on the surface, because of their different textures.

Because of that, boilies will always be in just the right spot for a hungry catfish.

Observe the area, see where they feed, and position the bait accordingly.

What are the Best Boilies for Catfish?

When it comes to catfish bait, the answer is the smellier the better.

The best answer for those who are asking do catfish eat boilies, would be yes, they eat the smelly ones.

If you are lucky, you can catch a catfish when using all kinds of boilies, but the best ones are definitely those with fish or seafood flavor.

Fish has a strong distinctive smell which can be detected from great distances.

Because catfish depend on smell to find food, this is the way to go.

Another important thing is that fish boilies have a higher protein content than some of the sweet carp boilies.

As already mention, wild catfish eats a lot of protein, so for wild ones, this is mandatory.

Crayfish, squid and crab flavors are also good for catfish. These are the most similar to their natural food.

When it comes to size and color, choose according to the year time, fish activity, fish size and water color.

If the catfish are small or inactive, use smaller boilies.

For active ones and bigger ones take the largest.

Use bright colors for murky, and natural for clear water, but keep in mind that catfish does not have a good sight, and the taste and smell are much more important.

And one more thing - what do you think about using hotdogs for catfish bait? Hotdogs can be a really good bait - so, learn more at the link!


Boilies will work well for catfish fishing in many occasions.

If you still wonder do catfish eat boilies, my advice would be to get some boilies, and go and test it yourself.

There is a chance you will be pleasantly surprised.

Of course, not all catfish will eat boilies, and don’t try to use it for monster-size Wels catfish, but these baits will work in almost any other situation.

And don’t forget to pair the boilie with a right hook size too. Every piece of fishing equipment is important.

If you don’t have experience with boilies, learn how to use a hair rig, it will benefit you a lot!

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