Fishing for catfish on ponds can be incredible.
Often you even know the owner or may be the owner yourself, so you have a tremendous upper hand on knowing where the structure and underwater logs and rocks may be lingering.
One question remains, however.
What is the best catfish bait for ponds? Everything will work well when fishing for catfish in ponds. A well-chosen bait and some basic catfish fishing knowledge, and you can have a hell of day pond fishing for catfish.
Which Baits Will Work Best For Catfish in Ponds?
I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing this from my numerous other blog posts, but catfish will eat just about any of the favorite baits that we all know and use regardless of the body of water. The reason I write these blogs is that I notice a lot of other blogs break up the common baits for catfish based on the water type. Simply meaning, it seems some anglers believe that catfish won’t bite one bait in a pond that they bite on in rivers. I find this to be 100% completely false.
I suppose it’s possible I’m entirely wrong about this, but this has never been the case for me.
Which baits will work best for catfish in ponds? All the same catfish baits work for me in all bodies of water. The stink bait and dip baits, night crawlers, chicken liver, and cheese bait, would be some top baits I use regardless of location or the body of water.
The only time I really must adjust baits is for 2 reasons…
2 Reasons to Mix it up
I’m targeting massive catfish such as blues while river fishing or I’m fishing in the colder months and trying to stir up additional activity when the metabolisms and activity are at somewhat lower levels. I really don’t have proof that a simple nightcrawler is ineffective during these times either. I just have had better luck going with something much more potent during these times of the year.
They may work just as well, but during these colder months, I prefer to go overboard with the baits and really put off a strong statement into the water.
Overall, however, all common baits used for other waters and catfishing will work great fishing in a pond as well.
Make sure to read my full article: When is it too cold to fish for catfish?
What is The Best Bait For Catching Catfish on Ponds?
What is the best bait for catching catfish on ponds? Any of the known catfish baits that we are all familiar with will work great for catching catfish whether it’s a pond or not but my overall all-time favorite to date would hands down be stink bait with dip worms or chicken livers.
I’ve never had any other baits come close except maybe shrimp and nightcrawlers.
I would also argue that these three baits are perhaps the easiest to use for catfishing. Possibly except for chicken livers. They can get a bit tricky from time to time to keep on the hook, but with the proper catfishing gear, it’s simple to overcome this issue and fish with chicken livers effectively.
What is Good Homemade Catfish Bait For Ponds?
I’ve never been great about making my own homemade catfish baits. I haven’t quite figured out what my issue is with it, but I’m assuming it’s my effort and consistency in trying different avenues in coming up with the perfect formula that leaves the catfish striking all day long.
Yes, I’m also aware that homemade catfish bait is perhaps one of the best ways to catch catfish, it’s just always been a struggle of mine at this point in my catfish angling hobby.
I’m also a bigger believer in the idea that the time you put into making the homemade recipes for bait, you could be spending catching more catfish with bait that’s already proven and can be picked up in a matter of minutes.
Other Factors to Consider With Homemade Baits For Catfishing
Also, keep these other factors in mind before setting out on the journey to make your own bait for catfishing.
- Long Waiting Times: At least if you do it correctly- Homemade baits take time to sit and mix together to come out correctly and be effective baits (This may have been my problem with creating a decent bait. I wasn’t patient enough and wanted to fish)
- Where are you going to create the stinky nasty bait at? Hopefully not your Kitchen table.
- What will it cost you to produce at the end of the day compared to purchasing other baits?
If you decide that homemade stink bait is still your best avenue, here are the most common forms of stink bait made in your own garage you will run into.
- Punch Baits
- Dip Baits
- Sponge Baits
- Blood Baits
- Dough Baits
The overall pros of making your homemade baits for catfishing would be the following.
- Can be highly effective
- Can be cost efficient depending how you purchase your ingredients
- Can Create a more abundant supply of the bait
- High scents and attractants can be added to really lure the catfish in.
Fishing in a pond with these great homemade baits could be the perfect storm for attracting catfish to your bait and rig in a matter of minutes. The beautiful thing about fishing for catfish in a smaller pond is your not asking for a lot of distance to need to be traveled by the scent of your bait.
Placing your bait in a right spot is obviously only going to strengthen your odds that much more if you can effectively do so but even if you cast dab center in the deep waters, a homemade bait should start to stir some activity rather quickly.
The only downside to this is a regular purchased bait probably would have gotten the same results or close to the same results without much of an additional effort.
A Top Choice For Homemade Baits For Catfishing Ponds
Most anglers I talk to or take a quick look at the homemade bait they are using to reel in catfish it’s a combination or an alternative method to either a blood bait or a cheese bait. These do work well, and I use to use a version of this that was sold commercially but was homemade and a famous recipe in my area.
It was a blood bait knockoff, and it was lethal. The smell was so potent it made it tough to even want to open the lid to place on the dip worm. However, man did it work, and it worked great.
Notice again how I did not even home make this bait myself. I just happened to get lucky and had a small local store that sold it. It was sold out all the time, so you had to buy multiple huge jugs of it at a time if you wanted a chance at not running out of it within a few weeks.
I’ll admit, it worked better than almost anything I’ve ever used, but I didn’t have to go through the trouble of making it either. It was a simple exchange. It did, however, lead into one excellent catfish dip bait.
Best Water Temperature is Best For Catching Catfish in Ponds?
When catfishing a pond, it’s going to be easier like we discussed before to arouse some activity out of the catfish. They will be active in all water temperatures, but you may need to be changing locations and using different casting methods during extreme heat or extremely cold weather elements. Overall, the best water temperature when pond fishing for catfish is going to be right in line with the best temperatures for other bodies of water.
What water temperature is best for catching catfish in ponds? Right in the 55-70-degree water temperatures is when Catfish are very active, and the bites are coming in one after another. Overall, the best water temperature when pond fishing for catfish is going to be right in line with the best temperatures for other bodies of water.
5 Pond Catfishing Techniques And Tips
1. Use a Long Fishing Rod and the Correct Catfishing Gear
You want the ability to hit any chosen location when fishing a pond or small body of water. A longer fishing rod will give you the ability to do just that. Stick with a rod at least 7 feet long. This is also going to improve and help with sensitivity and give you more power and control over the catfish once you have the hook set.
2. Understand the Catfish Patterns and Behavior
If you want to fish at noon and when the sun is beating down, you need to cast into the deeper waters for the best results. If your night fishing or early morning fishing you can target the shallows or covered areas near shallow water and still be effective. When it’s hot, the catfish will find cooler waters and often be deeper.
When it cools down, they are going to actively feed where food sources are more present or washing down near rock ledges, cover, and shallow waters.
3. Learn to Find the Structure
Structure with Catfishing is so huge that I feel it finds itself in every blog I write about catfishing. You must learn to find and utilize the structure as much as possible when catfishing. Plain and simple. There is no way around this if you want to be as successful as possible with catfishing.
How to find the structure when catfishing on ponds
Locating the structure in ponds when catfishing can either be easy or a little bit tricky. One method is simply just to speak to the owner of the pond and find out if he is aware of any underwater structures such as logs, rock ledges or other downed trees or structure that was placed in the pond intentionally.
You can also scout the pond yourself and try to learn the waters with trial and error.
The last option would be to use a sonar/depth/fish finder. They make incredible castable versions now that will give you all the data you need to execute and find the fish with ease. All you have to do is get one, get it out in the water, retrieve it and review the data and you will be one step ahead of the catfish and know the sneaky hiding spots where they like to sit and feed and or relax in the colder waters.
4. Try float fishing or bobber fishing for catfish on ponds
Another method that can work great on ponds is to bobber fish for catfish. Depending on the weather and water temperature you can have great luck getting out of the deep waters and attempting to bring your bait closer to the surface. The wind can also serve as a natural drift method to keep the bait moving closer to the water surface.
This ultimately will put off more scent and give the catfish more of an opportunity to get stirred up and hungry for what you have to offer.
5. Chumming and Pre-baiting
I talk about chumming and pre-baiting often in my carp fishing blogs. I mention it all the time just because it works. Chumming and pre-baiting the area is basically like setting up the “home alone” house for your prey. It’s an excellent form of stalking and getting one step ahead of the catfish.
Getting the catfish used to the bait and smells as well as loving the taste before your even ready to strike has an incredible advantage. If your willing to put in the time and effort to do so, it can work great to increase your catch rates when pond fishing for catfish.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully, I’ve illustrated clearly that many different baits will be successful when pond fishing for catfish. You don’t need the secret sauce to catch plenty of catfish. Especially on a pond where the square feet your covering is smaller, and the fish will pick up on the scents that much easier.
I’d stick with all the baits you already know, love and are comfortable using. I’d always worry more about effectively finding the catfish and placing the bait in the best possible spot you can for increased chances.
Using the correct catfishing gear is essential regardless of the body of water you are fishing, but I’m confident if the pond is your water of choice, you will have no problem catching catfish in a hurry following some of tips and techniques we laid out for you here in this post.
As always, I appreciate you stopping by and if you haven’t done so already, make sure to subscribe our email newsletter for the most up to date tricks and tips and my latest fishing gear recommendations.
Until Next Time. Thanks for reading.