Stink Bait for Catfish [The Ultimate Guide for Beginners]

Stink Bait for Catfish
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It is a well-known fact that catfish love smelly baits, and they can be caught on some crazy baits like hotdogs or soap.

This allows anglers to be creative and make various DIY baits at home in order to create the perfect recipe for their waters and local fish.

Stink bait for catfish is one of the most popular catfish bait options. It smells bad to humans, but it is appealing to fish. You can either buy it or make your own. This bait is sticky, can be formed into balls, and you can choose among dozens of smelly ingredients.

Although effective, this bait will not magically land you a lot of fish, and you have to know everything about other baits too in order to choose the right one for specific conditions.

Stink bait is excellent for novice anglers because it attracts younger and smaller catfish which are easier to catch.

Here I will tell you more about why catfish love it, how to use it, and even give one of my favorite recipes for beginners.



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What is Stink Bait for Catfishing?

Stink bait for catfish is well-known by many anglers, and you will often find it on various lists of the best catfish baits. But what is stink bait exactly?

Stink baits are baits that have somewhat creamy/dough/sticky texture and are made from various smelly ingredients including extremely smelly cheese, chicken liver, blood, baitfish, meat, and spices like garlic.

To increase the smell, anglers often leave this bait to stay out for days to start spoiling. Some even use spoiled ingredients. This is fine if they are not completely rotten.

If you find some food in your fridge that expired recently, or you forgot that you have barbecue leftovers from last weekend, you can incorporate those into your mix.

The goal is to get something that smells strongly, can be formed into balls to put on a hook, and that it can release and carry smell under water.

It may sound easy, but even if your bait smells bad, that doesn’t mean that it will attract catfish. Therefore, blood and bloody ingredients like liver work excellent because they have the right smell and the blood can carry smell through water.

Is Catfishing With Stink Bait Any Good?

Catfishing with stink bait works excellent in certain conditions and for specific species. You can’t use it anywhere, for any catfish.

When it comes to species, it works on channel and sometimes bullheads. It will also bring you smaller specimens, and not the large ones. Big ones, and other species like flathead, prefer fresh or live bait. In some cases, you may be lucky and get a blue catfish on it.

As a beginner who is still learning you can use it to catch channels and to learn proper fishing techniques. Making your own baits is also beneficial as it will help you understand fish better and make perfect baits for your waters.

If you don’t want to mess up your kitchen and smell like rotten meat for days, you can make dough bait instead, which can be described as a mild version of stink bait. It is also effective.

Stink Bait for Catfish - Fish

Why Do Catfish Like Smelly Baits?

To understand why this horrendous bait works you have to know a few things about their natural feeding patterns. Catfish are not picky eaters, and they will eat anything from algae to rodents. As they grow their preferred foods change, but they will still feed on variety of stuff. Some will even scavenge for food if other options are unavailable. All of this is the reason why you can use various ingredients in stink baits, and they will all work well.

Another reason why stink bait works is because catfish rely on their sense of smell to find food. They often live in murky waters where it is hard to see, and evolution gave them small eyes too. When compared to some other species, their vision is not that good either. This is the main reason why anglers don’t choose colors for catfish baits like they do for other fish.

To locate food, catfish use their barbels. Barbels contain a lot of olfactory sensors and taste buds. When smell is carried by the water catfish can smell it from a great distance.

What is Stink Bait for Catfish Made Of?

What is stink bait made of can vary a lot. Some may have just two or three ingredients while other have a dozen. The exact composition depends on the manufacturer if the bait is bought, or it depends on an angler who is making DIY bait at home.

Some ingredients are “normal” and those can be found in any kitchen. Some anglers add flour or corn starch for thickness, anis or garlic for additional smell, or various cheeses, in addition to the main ingredients which are smelly.

And what to use to get this horrible smell? You have a variety of options, including:

Limburger cheese
• Blood
• Chicken liver
• Raw fish or shrimp (go to a local fish market and ask if they have something that spoiled from few days ago to sell it cheaply)
• Meat (chicken, etc.)

Of course, you can use the fish or chicken guts too, and if it is spoiled, it will work excellent. The same goes for any smelly cheese. You can even buy those with mold.

Stink Bait for Catfish - Cheese

How to Use Stink Bait for Catfish? [Best Way!]

Catfishing with stink bait is not complicated, but it may be tricky for some beginners, especially if you make DIY baits. Be careful not so spill them in your car, and you may have to make them a few times before you get the right consistency.

I will tell you how to attach it to the hook and what rig to use in the following chapters. Here I will focus on the right time and place.

Stink bait works great in large lakes with currents and rivers. Using it in ponds is unnecessary as you can attract catfish in smaller waters in many other ways. Stink bait can be used through various seasons, although many anglers prefer summer for it. Remember how I told you that some let it sit and spoil? Well, it works the best if you leave it in the sun!

I usually avoid faster rivers as stink bait is not the most stable bait on a hook, but some anglers swear that they can use it anywhere, so you can try to discover yourself. However, some current is necessary as it helps to carry the smell.

Use it in murky waters where catfish cant see and you have to rely on smell to attract them.

Is There Any Good Homemade Catfish Stink Bait Recipe? [How to Make?]

I already told you what is stink bait made of, and now I will tell you how to make stink bait. The process is quite easy, but there is a chance that your house ends up smelling really bad. Do it when there is no one around to be mad at you!

Homemade stink bait for catfish can be made from various ingredients, and here is one catfish stink bait recipe that is cheap and easy. This is the first one I have tried years ago, and I still make it today.


• 5 lbs. of Limburger cheese
• 5 lbs. of bloody chicken liver (raw)
• Water
• Flour
• Teaspoon of garlic
• Fish oil


STEP #1: Blend bloody liver in a blender.

STEP #2: Cut Limburger cheese to small pieces and melt it in a microwave.

STEP #3: Add a cup of warm water to the cheese and stir it up to make it more liquid.

STEP #4: Mix the liver into the cheese and water in a bowl. It should have a paste texture.

STEP #5: Put it in an airtight plastic container and leave it somewhere for few days to start spoiling. Leave it outside in warm temperature.

STEP #6: Open it (in a yard, not in your living room) and see what is happening. If it started fermenting, this is the time to add some flour and fish oil to get a dough-like consistency. If it is too thick add water or blood if you have some together with flour.

Flour is an important ingredient as it is a binding agent. Even if the mixture is thick enough it is required. Otherwise, it will crumble from the hook. You can add more liquid or solid ingredients to get the perfect consistency.

Add a teaspoon of garlic to add more of those strong smells if you want.

Stink Bait for Catfish - Recipe

How to Keep Catfish Stink Bait on a Hook?

Before I get into details, I would like to mention that term stink bait is often used for smelly baits of different consistency, like dip bait, sponge bait, and punch bait.

The question is not how to keep stink bait on a hook, it is how to make it to stay on a hook. Consistency is the key. If you buy it, it will be easy, but if you make DIY stink bait, it can be tricky. Sticky ones stay on the hook better.

Treble hooks work the best, and this bait is not for those who want to practice catch and release.

So called punch baits are the only ones that can stay on a hook alone. Take the hook by holding the fishing line and lay it on top of the stink bait. Use some kind of spatula to push the hook in, and then smooth the bait over firmly. Pull the line to get the hook out. It is one of the best ways to get it on a hook.

Another option is to use specialize tubes (called dip tubes) that will hold the bait, if the consistency is thinner.

Some anglers use sponges and dip them into more liquid stink baits. Another option is to wrap it up with a cheese cloth to make it firm. It all depends on the consistency of your bait.

How to Make Catfish Stink Bait Sticky?

To make this bait stay on a hook, you need to make it firm and sticky. So, how to make stink bait sticky?

Some people will add a lot of flour or cornstarch but that will make it thicker, and not stickier. If you have troubles using such bait, you have to add something to make it stickier.

Peanut butter, molasses, and cattail work excellent. Although very sticky, molasses may add to much sweetness if added in too large quantities. Peanut butter works excellent on cheese-based stink bait. I have learned this from experienced anglers who know all those well-kept secrets. Cattails work excellent with blood and liver-based stink bait, while molasses can work with anything if you need just a little bit of that extra stickiness.

Some anglers use cheese with sticky texture, and that cheese makes up more than 60% of all ingredients combined within a bait. Any kind of dense but creamy and sticky cheese could work excellent. It doesn’t have to be extremely smelly if you will add other ingredients with strong odor.

And the last thing I have to mention before I list some baits you can buy is catfish stink bait rig.

What is the Best Catfish Stink Bait Rig?

Stink bait for catfish works excellent when used on a Carolina rig. This rig works excellent in slow moving or stationary waters, where you will be using stink bait.

It is easy to make and suitable for any beginner before gaining experience and moving up to more complicated rigs.

The reason why this rig is not for fast waters is high chance of tangling, and that is the last thing you need when using sensitive baits.

Carolina rig is great for punch baits, as there are not a lot of parts that can table while you are sticking the hook into a bucket full of bait.

What is the Best Stink Bait for Catfish on Amazon? [Triple S?]

The best stink bait for catfish is the one that works for you. If you want to buy instead of make it, there are a few very good options. Triple S stink bait is one of the most popular and it is highly effective. And the best of all, you can order it from Amazon from the comfort of your home.

Triple S Channel Catfish Dip Bait Blood Flavor (#ad) - this bait has excellent consistency, and it is blood based. As already mentioned, blood is one of the most effective ingredients for scent dispersion.

Another option is Triple S Channel Catfish Dip Bait Cheese Flavor (#ad). Cheese is sticky and easy to use, and the smell of it is very appealing to catfish. It may not be the cheapest one, but it is the best.

Third option is CJ's Catfish Punch Bait (#ad) - unlike previous two that require tubes to stay on a hook, this one can be used alone in a way I described in the previous chapter. It is also more affordable but equally effective.

What is the best stink bait for catfish depends on your budget, local waters, and local catfish.

Other Secret Catfish Baits [Alternatives to Stink Baits]

Now you know everything about how to use stink bait, but that is not the only effective bait you can use. There are many other options including:

• Baitfish (alive or cut)
• Dough bait
Dog food
Hot dogs
• Chicken
• Liver
• Cheese
Punch Bait

Some of these can be a great alternative to those who don’t want to handle extremely smelly baits.

Of course, not all baits are suitable for all catfish species, waters, or seasons. Channels can be caught on anything, flatheads prefer live baits like fish or crayfish, while blue catfish are something in between.

When it comes to baits like chicken, if you are using plain meat like breasts you have to spice them up with anis or garlic to make them effective. Gizzards are excellent alternative to liver as they stay on a hook longer.

When talking about catfish bait, your options are almost unlimited.

Stink Bait for Catfish - Baitfish


Stink bait for catfish can work excellent if you know when and where to use it. This bait can land you a lot of small to medium size channel catfish, preferably in summer, in large lakes or rivers.

It can be bought or prepared at home which is a great way to learn something about baits and fish behavior. Just be careful not to spill it all over your house or a car.

If you don’t think this is a good option for you there are many other equally effective but far less disgusting baits that can be used instead!

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