In the Wild with Greg Wagner


It’s the time of year that I hold close to my heart (away from my nose). It’s the time of year for some outstanding post-spawn night fishing for channel catfish with prepared stink baits, woo-hoo!

That means it is the time of year to mix up some real stinky stuff to catch them whiskered ones that are so widepread in Nebraska. In fact, did you know that the channel catfish is Nebraska’s official state fish? It is.

Now, being the cheap you-know-what  that I am, I prefer to buy inexpensive ingredients to make my own channel catfish bait for the lake or the river.

Raw (fresh or frozen) chicken livers are on the shopping list for bait.

Here are a couple of  my favs I’ve used for years with good success. Enjoy (sorry about the smell).  

Chicken or Beef Catfish Blood Bait Recipe

Heat one gallon of chicken or beef blood without scorching or boiling it. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 cup of corn starch. Replace the bottom of a cardboard or wooden box with screen wire and layer it with three to five sheets of newspaper, paper towel or napkin. Pour the blood mixture into the box in 1/2-inch layers. When the mixture hardens, cut it into chunks. Refrigerate but do not freeze. Alternatively, pour the mixture over chunks of open-cell foam or sponge, then dry in the sun.

Greg Wagner’s No. 1 Favorite Catfish Bait

Submerge chicken or turkey livers in a large jar containing a half-and-half mixture of anise oil and water, plus enough salt to make the mixture grainy. Seal and let the livers “ripen” 5-6 hours in the sun or 12-14 hours in a warm room. Can’t go wrong with this channel catfish bait!

Good luck, I’ll see ya’ out there, or, uh, smell your catfish bait before I see you, HA!


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