Cheese for Catfish Bait? [Definitely YES!]

Cheese for Catfish Bait

Catfish are present in many waters around the world, and anglers love to catch them. Catfishing is an interesting hobby, and baits play a big role in it.

These creatures are not picky, and they will eat almost everything if the scent is right. That includes some crazy baits like soap, or even dog food! So, what about other foods that are not present in nature?

Can you use cheese for catfish bait and is that effective? The answer is YES, you definitely can! Cheese can be used alone or as an ingredient in DIY baits or chumming mixtures. And if you are wondering what kind of cheese, the answer is the smellier the better!

Catfish rely on their sense of smell more than sight, and that is why you should worry about the scent more than the looks of presented baits.

Beginners or those who dislike nasty catfish baits can really benefit from using cheese because it is far less disgusting than other options.

Here I will tell you more about catfish diet and cheese as bait. That even includes a simple DIY recipe!



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Have You Ever Wonder What Does Catfish Eat in the Wild?

Many fish species are picky eaters, and you have to invest a lot of time and effort to conclude what bait to present to them. Luckily, catfish are not one of those species.

Of course, among all the best baits for catfish fishing some will work better in summer, some in winter, while others are better for certain catfish species. But generally, if they are hungry and active, they will eat almost anything.

The only limitation factor in what does catfish eat in the wild is the size. These fish have no teeth, and they suck and swallow their food whole. Biting off a piece of food is not an option for catfish. In simple words, catfish will eat anything that can fit into their mouth.

Diet of a specific catfish depends on a fish size, and it includes almost any living organism you can find in the water. On their menu, you can find algae, insects, crustaceans, crayfish, baitfish, worms, snails, frogs, and even terrestrial animals that fall into the water. If catfish is big enough it can eat small mammals or even birds if opportunity for such prey arises.

Some species scavenge for food, especially in times of years and specific conditions when usual food sources are unavailable.

Can you Catch Catfish With Cheese Bait?

As you already know, you can catch catfish with a lot of unusual baits, and cheese is one of them. Catfish live in all kinds of waters, and some of them are very murky and dark. To adapt to those conditions where food is barely visible, catfish developed very strong sense of smell.

Their barbels are olfactory organs that can detect particles of scent from far away. Therefore anglers use smelly baits like chicken liver. For some catfish, angler will even use baits that got spoiled in the sun, to increase the scent.

The reason why cheese works excellent is its distinctive smell that can be sensed from far away. Of course, your selection of cheese plays a role here too, and you can’t use any kind of cheese. I will mention the best ones later.

When it comes to some general rule, it is best to avoid mild and gentle cheese like gouda cheese and similar kinds.

Of course, this will not work on every species of catfish. Avoid it for flathead and blue catfish and use it for channel. When it comes to body of water, it will work better in ponds and lakes than wild rivers.

If you like to experiment, try using it anywhere and see what happens. Every catfishing area (like river Ebro in Spain) and waters there are different, so you may get a bit different result than I did.

How to Use Catfish Cheese Bait? [On Hook!?]

Taking a piece of cheese and placing it on a right sized hook may seem convenient, but it is not that simple. If you can find cheese that is strong enough to stay on a hook, but soft enough not to crumble, and it has extremely strong scent, you can put it on a hook (just find the right hook type). But that’s just a theory. In practice, cheese works better if used with other ingredients.

Unfortunately, when it comes to cheese, bait thread won’t help a lot. You could try with a mesh to keep it in place, but cheese is not easy to use as it is. This is why anglers use it with other ingredients.

You can add it for flavoring in dough baits or add it to any kind of chumming mix. Of course, cheese can be the main ingredient, so you can just add a bit of flour to soft cheese to be able to form balls and attach them to the hook.

When used for dough or as flavoring, you can use both hard and soft cheese, but soft is easier to use. Hard ones dry out the dough, you have to melt them, they harden up when cooled, and it is hard to get it right. Luckily, some of the best ones have just the right consistency.

Cheese for Catfish Bait - How To

What is the Best Cheese for Catfish Bait? [Limburger, Velveeta, etc.?]

The best cheese for catfish bait is the one that has a very strong smell. Unfortunately, a lot of smelly cheeses are considered to be a delicacy, so they come at a price. You probably don’t want to pay a lot for it, so you want it to be relatively affordable, easily accessible, and effective. You have two great options.

Limburger cheese for catfish bait works excellent because it has extremely strong smell. Depending on its age, it can have normal consistency, but it can also be very soft from the inside. Both options are usable as bait. When older than three months, it starts to stink really bad.

Another option is Velveeta cheese for catfish bait. This is a processed cheese that is widely available and affordable. And the best of all, it works great as an ingredient of baits. It is not too soft when kept in normal temperatures, but when warm, it becomes perfectly creamy. This makes it ideal for dip or dough baits.

These two are the most popular, but your options are almost unlimited. There are hundreds of different kinds of cheese on the market, and you can choose whichever you like.

What is the Best Cheese [DIY] Recipe for Catfish Bait? [Homemade]

When you get the best cheese for catfish bait, you have to know how to use it, and how to incorporate it into effective DIY baits. You can find a lot of various recipes, but as a beginner, start with simple ones. When you master those, start playing with the ingredients to get the most effective bait for specific conditions you are fishing in.

Here is the best cheese recipe for catfish bait that can be made by anyone. The only thing you will need is a blender or some similar food processor.


• Cheese – 1 lbs./0.5kg
• Baitfish of any kind – 1 lbs./0.5kg
• Teaspoon of garlic powder
• Can of dog/cat food
• Wheat flour
• Water


• Mix baitfish, can of dog/cat food, and garlic in a blender.
• If the cheese is really soft add it and blend it too. If the cheese is not very soft, melt it first and then add to blender and mix.
• Pour the blended ingredients into a large bowl.
• Depending on cheese, exact quantity of all ingredients and canned pet food, this mix can be more thick or more liquid. Slowly add flour and knead it like dough. If you get it too thick, add water. I can’t tell you exactly how much flour you need, but you will see it yourself.

And when you get the right dough consistency you are good to go! Mount it on a hook or use bait tubes. If you used melted cheese, keep in mind that the dough will harden up a bit when cooled. Keep the dough in an air-tight container to prevent it from drying out.

How to Use Nacho Cheese for Catfish Bait?

Nacho cheese has strong scent, it is almost liquid, and it comes in convenient package. As an ingredient, you can use it in almost any DIY recipe, including the one I listed in the previous chapter. If you decide to do that, you will need a lot more flour than with Velveeta or some other harder cheese.

Here is a tip (here you can check for more fishing tips) that I learned that will help you combine nacho cheese with other ingredients. Use a desired amount of nacho cheese, and twice as much meat that you will ground. You can use it with chicken meat (even breasts) or with liver.

You can add garlic, make dough, or you can use this liquid cheese as an ingredient in dip baits. If you are making dip bait with it, you can even add blood or other “disgusting” ingredients.

This cheese also works excellent as a chumming ingredient. Basically, if you need anything in a semi-liquid state, nacho cheese is the way to go.

Cheese for Catfish Bait - Nacho

Can You Use Cheese Bait for Hoop Nets & Catfish Traps? [If Allowed!]

Using cheese bait for catfish traps can be very effective, but only if allowed! I assume that all of you know that you must have a fishing license that is valid at a time of fishing, and that you have to obey all local rules and regulations, including those about allowed methods of fishing.

When using hoop nets (check what types of fishing nets do we know), you will need a bait that can stay solid and in place for a long time. Cheese is excellent because it will not dissolve in water, especially some harder kinds. The same goes for any kind of catfish trap and baits used in them.

Another excellent feature of cheese is that tiny fish are not interested in it, and there is almost no chance that it will get stolen if left for a long time in one place.

There is no special way of using cheese in traps, and everything stated in previous chapters can also be applied here.

5 Reasons Why Using Cheese for Catfish Bait is Good

Cheese is a great catfish bait, and it is one of the best ingredients for various DIY recipes. I already mentioned all the benefits it has, but I will sum it up here just in case that you skipped some parts, or you need a bit more convincing to try it out!

Easy and Pleasant to Use

Catfish baits can be disgusting and using your kitchen to create stinkbaits from chicken liver can cause arguments with your family. Keeping those baits in buckets in the sun makes them so horrible that you have to be extremely careful not to spill it all over yourself or your car. Cheese is nothing like that. You can easily create effective baits without any stress!

Accessibility and Price

Any grocery store, supermarket, and even some gas stations, have cheese available for purchase. There are so many different kinds, smells, textures and of course, price ranges. You can choose various ones, experiment, and change them until you find a perfect one for your baits.


Strong scent of cheese will attract catfish even from a large distance. You can even increase this effectiveness with other strong scented ingredients like vanilla or anis. Cheese is also excellent for traps and nets as it will stay there for a long time without dissolving. In addition to all that, it can be used for catfishing in any time of the year.

It Can be Combined with Every other Bait

The more smell the better when it comes to catfish. All kinds of baits can be combined together to create a perfect mix. Cheese goes excellent with basically anything. Cheese is almost like garlic when it comes to its compatibility with various ingredients.

It Acts like Glue

This may sound funny, but it is actually very important, especially for baits that should last for a long time when submerged. Water will not dissolve it like many other binding agents. Regular dough, no matter how well made, may fall apart. Cheese will hold it together even better than eggs that are frequently used. Depending on cheese consistency, you can even use it to get thicker or thinner dough or dip bait.

Cheese for Catfish Bait - Main Reasons


Catfish are not picky eaters and will eat almost anything that can fit into their mouth. This is why using cheese for catfish bait works so well.

Cheese is easily accessible, affordable, and extremely effective it the smell is strong. It works excellent with other baits, and it is a perfect ingredient for various doughs and dip baits.

From an angler’s point of view, it is one of the least disgusting baits for catfish and it is easy to handle. All that makes it valuable for catfish anglers, especially those who are creative and like to prepare DIY baits.

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