Ultimate Guide About Catfish Punch Bait [Learn More!]

Catfish Punch Bait

It’s not a secret that catfish will eat almost anything with a strong scent, and that is why catfish anglers become masters of creating such baits.

Among many options, there is a punch bait that is very effective, especially for species like channel catfish.

Catfish punch bait got its name due to process of baiting a hook. You simply punch the hook into it, and it stays on. It is in a way similar to dip bat, but the consistency is different. And of course, it has strong scent as many catfish baits do.

Great thing about this bait is that it can be bought, but you can also prepare it at home to create a perfect recipe for your local waters and fish that live there.

If you know how to use it, it can be very effective! And to make it effective, you must understand how exactly it works.

Here I will tell you everything you need to know about it!



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What Exactly is Punch Bait for Catfish?

I already briefly explained what punch bait in simple words is, but here are more details.

There are many brands available in stores, and even more DIY recipes. It can be described as a paste, or a thin dough, that has just the right consistency to stay on a hook.

Many punch baits are based on cheese as a main ingredient due to its creamy consistency. What makes it stay on a hook is added fiber in form of other ingredients. So, when you punch a hook in it, it stays around it and conceals it.

These baits became popular due to their simplicity. They are “user friendly” and that is one of their advantages over similar baits like dip baits.

Most often, these baits are used for channel catfish. Species like blue catfish, or in some limited situations even flathead, can be caught on them but it won’t be as effective as when using cut or live baits for these two.

Channels love it and I use it for them!

Catfish Punch Bait - What Is

How Does Punch Bait Work in the Water?

Catfish punch bait is effective for various reasons. First of all, it is very greasy/oily due to its ingredients (I will mention those a bit later on).

Oil spreads out well and carries scent very effectively through the water. That is very important as catfish rely on scent to find food. Their whiskers enable them to do so much better than other species of fish. Catfish do not rely on eyesight very much and that is why anglers focus on choosing scent instead of appearance when it comes to baits.

Their consistency is thick, and that enables them to stay on a hook longer. This long “exposure time” makes them great is you need to attract catfish from a distance.

These baits are excellent for warm water.

In addition to scent, there is fiber. Fiber has the sole purpose of keeping the bait together. If you can produce punch bait with sticky consistency with more flavor and less fiber, that is even better.

How to Use Punch Bait for Catfish? [+ Best Rig?]

To successfully catch a fish, you have to know how to use punch bait. So, how will you punch it?

Firstly, you must use catfish punch bait rig. Not all rigs work well. You have two possibilities which are slip bobber or a slip sinker. It depends on where in the water you want to position this bait. Hook must be a treble hook, as that is the only one that works with punch bait. I would advise you to use this technique only when you plan to keep a catfish for lunch as catch and release is not an option here.

When you have your rig ready, you need to bait it. Here are the steps:

1. Prepare for the punch!

Take a container with punch bait and lay your hook on top of it.

2. Punch it!

Take a long, strong, and straight stick (loke wooden stirrer or a metal tool). Position it above the hook and submerge it into the bait.

3. Make it nice and tidy!

Keep the hook submerged and use a stick to make the bait smooth on top and around it.

4. Pull it out!

This is the tricky part. You need to pull the hook out firmly but not too fast or too slow. Do it at an angle of about 45 degrees. Your hook should appear full of bait! If it doesn’t, repeat the process. A bit of practice may be required.

And that’s it! Present it to channels! Just be careful not to cast too hard and make a big splash as it could fall off the hook.

Is it Possible to Make Punch Bait for Catfish at Home? [DIY Recipe]

The easiest way to get a great punch bait is to buy it. You can choose from numerous manufacturers, and it is widely available.

However, if you want personalized recipe, you are creative, and want to save some money, you should learn how to make catfish punch bait.

Catfish Punch Bait - Buy It

The process may require some practice, but it is not hard, and it is far less disgusting than other various forms of stinkbait.

Here is a simple catfish punch bait recipe that can be adjusted to suit your needs.


• Cheese trimmings – 3 lbs
• Chicken liver – 1lbs
• Cattail – one small piece
• Flour – half a cup (flour has to contain gluten, like wheat flour)
• Garlic – one small spoon of powdered and dry garlic


STEP #1: Dry out the liver. I know that this sounds a bit weird as liver is effective because of blood but it will still stay in as a flavor just with less water. This is necessary because you do not want to have watery consistency.
STEP #2: Grind the cheese
STEP #3: Warm up the cheese to melt it a bit, just make sure it doesn’t boil, it just needs to be soft so that you can add other ingredients
STEP #4: Add liver and garlic and stir it until well blended together.
STEP #5: Add the shredded cattail (some people use cotton however I avoid it because it stays in the water)
STEP #6: Add flour and stir thoroughly. This is the hard part because this paste has to be dense. It takes some effort and a strong hand.

If it seems too watery, add more flour. If it is too thick, either add just a bit of water.

Let it sit outside for a few days and it is ready! You can store it in a cool place later, however, it may get moldy so it is better to use it.

Catfish Punch Bait - How to Make

What is the Best Catfish Punch Bait?

The best catfish punch bait is the one that works. It really depends on your local fishing conditions. If you plan to make it yourself, you will soon find the perfect recipe.

If we are talking about brands, I had excellent experience with CJ`s Catfish Shad Punch Bait. It works great in various waters and water temperatures. It will not go bad, which is one big advantage over DIY punch baits.

Consistency is just right, and it stays on a hook well!

Another option is Magic Baits Stick It Punch Bait. This one has much longer fibers and that makes it even firmer on the hook. In addition to long fibers, it has four attractants added and that increases its effectiveness.

Both are great, however, I have noticed that the latter one is either loved or hated by the fish. First one is more versatile, while second one is more effective if your local catfish want it.

5 Reasons Why Using Punch Bait for Catfish is Good

There are various reasons, and some were already mentioned. Here is a short recap ...

1. Cleanliness

If you use it right, you will not get your hands dirty and you will not smell horrible after the fishing trip!

2. Effectiveness and versatility

Punch bait is very effective and versatile. You can choose among various flavors, attractants, and even a bit different consistency. You can use it in different water temperatures, in both moving and stagnant waters.

3. Creativity

Why buying catfish baits when you can make them! Fishing is all about planning and preparing for it. You can enjoy days while you are not on the water and make your own perfect catfish baits!

4. Great back up bait

Going on a fishing trip with just one bait is not a good idea. Punch bait can be stored in an airtight container and easily transported. Whatever you plan to use as a first option is fine, but you can pack this versatile bait as backup!

5. Availability and price

Punch bait is available in bait stores, tackle stores, web stores… Even in some large supermarkets in the USA. Prices vary a lot, but some are quite affordable. If you want to lower the price even more, you can make your own punch bait with cheap ingredients available almost anywhere!

Other Secret Catfish Baits [Good Alternatives to Punch Bait]

Punch bait is not the only great catfish bait! Which one you will choose depends on a catfish species, and your local fishing conditions. Here is a list of great alternatives:

• Cut bait
Live bait
Hot dogs
Dog food
• Dip bait

All of these have their advantages and disadvantages, but the best thing is that they are all widely available, easy to use, and fairly cheap!

Catfish Punch Bait - Best


There are many baits for catfish, especially channels, but catfish punch bait is one of the best! It is easy to use, you won`t smell bad, and it is very versatile and effective.

The best thing about it is that it can be bought in stores or even created at home with personalized ingredients. To use it, choose one of the two simple riggs mentioned, and enjoy fishing!

And one more tip about it, rebait your hook often! Bits of the bait will fall off during casting and while sitting in the water. Don’t wait for too long if you don’t feel a bite!

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