Do Catfish Like Hot Dogs?
We all run out of our favorite baits from time to time. Let’s face it. Getting a bit desperate is easy. Sometimes lack of planning leaves you fresh out of your desired bait in a time where you can’t run to the nearest shop to get anymore. You’re left feeling hopeless for a moment. Fear none-however, there is always the good old-fashioned catfishing with weenies method. I know you’re probably wondering, do catfish like hot dogs? Does this really work?
The answer is, absolutely! Is it my number 1 bait choice when catfish fishing? Absolutely not. Will it still land you some nice size catfish? You bet. The biggest struggle most seem to have with the hot dog method is keeping it on the hook which we will cover briefly. The main point to take away before diving into this blog is that hot dogs do absolutely work for catfish fishing.
Don’t knock it until you try it! It’s a cheap, easy to use bait and clean compared to other options as well. Especially when you mix chicken livers, stinkbait and live bait into the mix. A hot dog doesn’t seem like all the bad of an option when you start adding these considerations into the mix.
Table of Contents
How do I Know Hot Dogs Work For Catfishing?
I live in Central Illinois. Roughly 30 minutes south of Joliet which is near Chicago, there is a club in Dwight Illinois reserved for campers and avid fishermen. All year long the camping fans park their campers and RV’s (when the weather is permitted of course) and spend most of the time away from work at the campgrounds.
My wife’s family is from the area, so I’m up on these campgrounds and lake frequently. We already know I’m an avid catfish angler. For whatever reason every time I visit, I never go prepared with any bait to fish effectively but luckily, I always have my rod and reel.
Well, what do people do when they camp?
Cook hot dogs on the grill! I always have at least one effective bait for the bank fishing on the lake for catfish. The downfall to the method I use is that it’s usually Friday night and I have a few frosty beverages while doing so. It would help significantly if I remembered my bite alarms and indicators to give me a heads up when a nice sized channel catfish takes the hot dog and runs.
We usually have a fire and cast the poles out with a sliver of hot dog on the hook, and I’ve caught plenty of channel catfish using this method and promise that hot dogs work just fine for catfishing.
How do we Keep The Hot Dog on The Hook?
I’m kidding about the drinking. Well sort of. It’s obviously going to be a bit more difficult to effectively rig your hook with hot dogs if you have tossed a few too many back already.
This is a common problem I know other anglers have and that even the beer drinking lawn sitting cat fishermen has when using hot dogs. The first problem you have is that they are slimy and casting with any juice behind it or any muscle, it goes flying 20 yards past where your hook and weight land.
Frustrating as hell to say the least. There are two fixes for this. Don’t run out of beer and crack another one or you use a treble hook. Here are a few methods you can use to keep the hot dog on the hook when catfishing.
The Kool-Aid Method- This is easy. Just make a batch of Kool-Aid and place the hot dog pieces in the Kool-Aid to soak for a day or two before fishing with the hot dogs. Many anglers use this method for fishing with chicken livers as well. It’s just a nice easy way to harden them up a bit which in return keeps them a little tighter, and they tend to stay on the hook a bit easier.
The Double Back Method- This is only just making sure you run the hot dog back through the second part of the treble hook and make sure the barb is lodged nicely into the hot dog.
Don’t use massive chunks of hot dog. It’s not necessary and a key reason they tend to fall off. Keep it small and less than 1 inch in total length. You should have about 4 pieces of bait out of one full hot dog.
Do Catfish Like Garlic And Garlic Powder?
Another big yes. It also will help with keeping the hot dog on the hook if you cover the hot dog with the garlic powder and heat it up. It will be another method you can use to toughen up the dog a bit and give it a little stiffness to help keep it on the hook when casting.
Cast Gently when Using Hot Dogs
This is another overlooked way of keeping the hot dog on the hook. Casting to hard or too fast and furious is a guaranteed way to make sure your hot dog goes flying way past where you intended it to land. If your fishing in the evening or mornings, you can easily cast much closer to shore and wait for a bite for a few minutes.
The catfish will move into much shallower waters around evening time. Cast lightly, and you will have a good chance of keeping your bait and place.
Try and Avoid Current if Possible
I’ve also used hot dogs as catfish bait river fishing for catfish and noticed it increases the difficulty of keeping them on the hook dramatically. If there is much of a current present, it gets tough to keep them on the hook regardless of how well and how long they soaked in garlic or Kool-Aid. Anytime it’s avoidable, stick to using hot dogs on calm waters to avoid frustration.
Keep it cheap when Using Hot Dogs as Catfish Bait
The cheaper hot dogs have also proven to work best for me. The catfish aren’t picky and don’t know what you’re using so stick to just the basic less than 1 dollar per pack hot dogs. Use small pieces and save the money and you still have a budget-friendly excellent bait to land catfish.
Why do Hot Dogs Work for Catfish Bait?
This is simple to explain. Catfish have very keen senses and are not picky about what they eat in most circumstances. The added preservatives and sodium that’s present in store purchased hot dogs is plenty enough attractants to get the catfish moving to you.
What Do You Do if It’s Not Working?
This could be due to several factors. Most likely you are just fishing in a wrong spot. I’ve always emphasized the importance of locating catfish and targeting the correct areas. If you are keeping the bait on the hook and in a decent spot, you shouldn’t be having issues catching catfish with hot dogs.
If you are, something is wrong, and it’s the most likely location. It shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes to land a bite in the correct fishing spots. I have an entire article dedicating to learning waters or using a tool such as the Deeper Pro Sonar+ castable fish finder that can dramatically change your fortunes when catfishing with any form of bait.
It’s worth considering and taking a quick look at if you’re serious about your catfishing success.
Wrapping it up. Do you believe hot dogs can be used effectively to catch catfish?
What are your experiences with using hot dogs for catfish bait? Do you have any secret methods of keeping them on the hook longer or easier? Maybe you prefer a different last second bait option when catfishing?
Regardless, I’d love to hear from you, and I’m sure the rest of the Gone Fishing Blog community would love to hear from you as well. If you have any further recommendations or experiences using hot dogs as catfish bait, be sure to leave a comment below so we can all catch more catfish the next time hitting the waters.
Overall, it’s a great bait option especially in last second situations or on a tight budget. It does work, it can just be a pain in the rear from time to time. Follow the guide laid out to increase the chances that you don’t leave frustrated. As always, I appreciate you and thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter. I send out my recent blogs weekly and my newest recommended fishing gear items to improve your fishing game.
Thanks again. I appreciate you. See you next time.