Using Shrimp For Catfish Bait: Why and How to Use Shrimp Effectively

Catfish is a well sought after species because of how common they are in freshwater, as well as how easy they are to catch! However, you can only get successful catches if you choose the right equipment, particularly bait.

Many have claimed that using shrimp for catfish bait is very effective, showing effectiveness. But does it really work well and how can you use it properly?

Read on as I show you all about using shrimp for catfish bait!

Why Use Shrimp For Catfish Bait?

Using shrimp for catfish bait is an extremely effective way to improve your chances of getting a bite. In fact, it’s a go-to catfish bait, so long as you’re targeting channel catfish. It may work for other catfish species, but it may not be as effective for flathead and blue catfish.

If you plan on targeting channel catfish or bullheads, shrimp is the way to go. But for flatheads and blues, then you may want to test shrimp, but also try other baits in case it isn’t as effective.

Here are the advantages of using shrimp for catfish bait:

  • It is very easy to use and hook with an almost effortless rig setup
  • Shrimp come in abundant quantities
  • You can easily find and purchase shrimp anywhere
  • It’s extremely effective in catching catfish or bullheads

However, they do have their disadvantages, such as:

  • Shrimp is quite costly if you purchase it in stores
  • There may be other more effective bait options for blues and flathead catfish
  • You’ll need to wait for at least 72 hours before using it for it to be most efficient (I’ll get to this in the next section)

With that in mind, these are just minor issues. You can still reap the benefits, as long as you use the bait correctly and use it for channel catfish.

Using Shrimp For Catfish Bait

Now that you know how beneficial using shrimp for catfish bait can be, how do you use it properly? There are different tips and methods you can do, depending on the type of catfish you want to catch, as well as when to use it. Follow these quick tips:

Making Bullheads Bite Shrimp

Bullheads like having shrimp, and while they bite plain shrimp, you can have better success when adding some flavor to it. Furthermore, it’s best to have the shrimp marinade and let it have more scent, as I mentioned above.

One thing I like to do is to make flavored shrimp bites. All you need to do is to add a bit more scent to the shrimp, like sprinting Kool-Aid or garlic salt to it. You can add these to freshwater shrimp or dead seafood shrimp, and you can reap similar results.

Allow the shrimp to marinate for at least three days (only if you can). The longer you let the shrimp rest, the stronger its scent and taste would be, attracting catfish better.

You don’t need to cook shrimp for catfish bait, as you’ll have better luck using raw shrimp with its natural scent. Besides that, you waste a lot more time doing this.

When to Use Shrimp as Bait

You can use shrimp to bait catfish all year long, though one of the best seasons to use it is during the summer. This is because the scent of bait won’t spread as far in cold waters as it would in warmer waters.

In warmer waters, the shrimp smell would travel further, drawing in catfish. This is also the time catfish would be more active and looking for food. They would go a great distance to find edible food!

What Type of Shrimp to Use

There are different considerations when selecting the type of shrimp to purchase for bait:

  • It’s best to use freshwater shrimp that live wild in the state, as catfish love to feed on natural living things, or at least fresher bait compared to store-bought ones. However, shrimp from stores will still give good results, I just recommend to add some flavoring to it for more scent.
  • You can use frozen shrimp, but allow it to rot under the sun for three to five days before using it. While having live shrimp is fine, it won’t give significant difference, but an added hassle to keep them alive.
  • Avoid getting shrimp from bait stores, opting to catch fresh shrimp yourself, or from the grocery store.

How to Hook the Shrimp Properly

There are two ways to hook your shrimp:

  • You can hook the shrimp through its head, having the hook come out from the other side of its head. Do NOT string the shrimp all the way until the tail, so it can sit correctly, giving a better bait presentation when at the bottom. The only issue is that the shrimp may fall easier compared to stringing your hook through the shrimp’s whole body.
  • You can also hook through its broken tail, which is good when aiming for cruising catfish or those that don’t hang out in deeper holes. Snap the shrimp’s tail for more scent and natural attractant, then place the hook through the shrimp’s rear and let it exit mid-torso.

I favor the second method, as it gives more casting distance because of the added weight from the shrimp. Furthermore, the broken tail offers more smell and attractants that would be a bit more appealing to incoming catfish.

Read More: How to Catch Shrimp In Florida: Your Helpful Guide to Shrimp Fishing

If you want to learn more on how to use shrimp as effective bait for catfish, check out this helpful video:

Wrapping It Up

If you’re planning to catch catfish, then you should consider using shrimp as the bait. When used properly, you’ll be able to get bites to reel in and bring home! Just make sure that your area permits the use of shrimp as bait, and that you follow any particular rules and regulations.

I hope that this article focusing on using shrimp for catfish bait helped you out! So if you’re planning to catch catfish anytime soon, try using shrimp and let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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