Catching Channels
Inside the Outdoors, June 9,

When an area resident recently called me on the telephone to announce that she and a numbers of others were holding a catfish derby, I thought to myself “What timing…” Before I knew it, we were discussing bait. That was going to be my topic for next week. Could this be a coincidental?

In any case, I had begun my research long before she called, so I was prepared to help with her questions.

One of the statements I found in the website, at best was the fact that, “A channel catfish body is covered with approximately 20,000 internal ‘taste buds’ and the exterior of the body has approximately 175 external ‘taste buds.’” Their whiskers, known as barbels, have as many as 25 ‘taste buds’ per square millimeter and there are some, as well, on the fish’s gills.

The author of this website claims that since the sensitivity detection of this fish is so great, the best bait to catch channel catfish are the ones that smell hideous to us. That is why they’re called ‘stink baits.’ The odors that may be rebelling to us actually attract these fish.

Thus, he concludes, ‘prepared baits’ are the ticket for catching channels. The suggestion is this “Just take a wad of the ‘punch bait’ and hook it into a number six treble hook. Since there are fibers in the bait, it will hold in place without getting washed off.

The three baits this fisher recommends (that can be purchased over the Internet) are Cj’s Catfish Punch Bait, Sudden Impact Fiber Bait, and Sure Shot Catfish Punch Bait.

One combination of bait and rig is the BobberWithABrain invented by Latrobe’s Frank Moff. Its whole construction is made to catch channels of any size. It is more sensitive than any other fishing rig; one will know when anything comes anywhere near one’s bait, when the slightest bite is taking place, and when one will be able to react quickly when there is a bite. And the best part is, one will be able save more money and catch more fish.

With Moff’s invention, just the slightest bite can be detected, and that is the ticket for catching finicky catfish that just may shy away from alleged food rather than taking it. The slightest detection whereby there is movement of the bobber will tip off the angler that a cat just may be interested and to be ready for the take.

The secret with channels is to always set the hook quickly if one suspects he has a fish. That’s one aspect that is different than other ploys of fishing.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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