Naturally, different baits for fish will have different results depending on what you use and where. The options available vary about as much as fish do especially for catfish. In addition, the best dip bait for catfish is the one that will catch smaller to decent sized fish in a number of situations, year-round. What are those, exactly?
Success in fishing for Channel Catfish is normally looked at from the standpoint of numbers instead of huge size. Every single time we are after Channels, we are trying to achieve one of two things. Those who go trophy hunting for them usually will use cut bait of natural food to lure them in.
Most of us though, want to hook up with some smaller individuals from our local pond or lake so we can have a fish fry or great pictures to remember the trip later. Usually, that means you typically would have chicken liver, worms, or Bluegill heads in hand. They will all produce well, but the absolute best way that we have found to reel in numbers of these fish year-round is the dip bait. It is one of the best catfish baits.
Dip bait is generally a creamy mixture of different ingredients that attempt to attract feeding fish through smell. Usually made out of cheese, Shad, or another base, they give off a huge scent and flavor trail in the water that the hungry fish can use to find the path back to your hook. In saying that, their keen senses will be overstimulated to the point where they want to take a bite.
While every whisker seeker has the uncanny tendency to give credit to their grandfather’s old secret recipe that he mixed with blood or worms moons ago, there are also some commercial options that work exceptionally well. We have handpicked to be in our opinion, the best dip baits on the market.
1. Team Catfish Secret 7 – Our Top Choice
The absolute best stuff that we have ever found is called Secret 7 dip bait. It is made by Team Catfish. There are many reasons why. The first reason is the effectiveness. It has a very smooth, creamy, texture with an awesome scent and flavor profile.
It sticks extremely well to a dip tube so you won’t have to worry about it flying off very much. The scent and flavor cloud that it produces in the water also helps in attracting catfish from very far away. The stuff is actually fairly runny yet thick. The best we have seen.
It can start to smell really bad if you leave it out in the sun for too long. To prevent this, keep it cool or in an ice chest. It is also very well priced. It is usually around seven to ten dollars per tub. It will vary depending on which supplier you purchase it from.
The secret 7 formula is well, top secret. It is extremely effective in helping you catch more fish.
You can rig it on a bait tube, a sponge hook, and many other forms of bait holding methods. It works for primarily small and decent sized Channels but it will also catch a small Blue on certain occasions too.
The only negative thing we see is the amount you get. It is sold by the pint and it does not come in bigger amounts. You will need to purchase more containers of the stuff if you run out.
2. Sonny’s Super Sticky – The Best All-Around
Formerly known as Sonny’s Super Sticky dip bait and now Triple S, this particular tub is quite possibly the best catfish bait on the market. While a lot of the extra ingredients still remain unknown, there is one ingredient that serves as the main attractant. That ingredient happens to be cheese. Cheese is an excellent choice if you want to catch them. It comes in the original cheese flavor as well as a blood flavored formula.
Both of these are hugely effective. It has what most would consider being a potent smell. That is great when you are after any catfish. Triple S also comes in two different size jars. It is available in 15-ounce jars as well as a bigger 45-ounce tub for when you want to fish with many rods.
This one is our highest rated on the list and for a good reason. It works. It works extremely well. Success is foretold by many anglers to vary based on what flavor you use.
Many catfishermen say they catch more on the original cheese while many others say they catch more on the blood. You want to use a plastic worm holder to hold this one on the hook instead of using a sponge. They work so much better for this bait.
Pretty much the only problem in relation to Triple S is the price. The reason that it does not claim the top spot is that it is expensive. From the official website of this product, a huge 45-ounce tub is only twenty bucks. Not a bad bargain at all. If you buy it from most other places though, it is usually around double the price, which is certainly something to be aware of. The benefits of paying double per tub do exist though. For instance, it arrives at your house or dwelling place much quicker.
In addition, you do not have to buy more than one of anything unless you want to. Also, the best thing about it is that the extra twenty bucks can be easily be reimbursed if you consider that Amazon will give you free shipping for that huge 45-ounce tub. That is still a pretty good deal when you consider how hard it is to ship something this massive.
You get a whole lot of bait to use which will last for a very long time. It never requires refrigeration either. This is what we recommend if you could only get one and you need to make an upfront investment but don’t know which to buy. Try this one first.
3. Magic Bait Hog Wild – Best Price And Value
Hog Wild is one of a few different options on this list that is manufactured by and put out by Magic Bait company. Magic Bait is a great company because they locally source all of their ingredients used in all of their products.
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, ever. The tub has a rather interesting artwork design on it. A hog with horns acting aggressively, which is indicative of its name. As it relates to the bait itself, it is actually quite an aggressive smell in the water.
It will be extremely strong regardless of which flavor you decide to get, but it does come in three varieties to choose from.
You have an option of a Shad flavor, a blood flavor, and a cheese flavor, which should pretty much cover your fishing needs.
Hog Wild is slightly runnier than secret 7 or Sonny’s. Some would argue that this means more scent dispersion and in some cases, more effectiveness. Because of this runnier formula, it is probably best to use a sponge hook instead of a plastic worm or holder.
It certainly excels in attracting fish in ponds or small man-made lakes. Since it is made from all-natural ingredients, it is heat sensitive. Keep it in a cooler and out of the sun to prevent it from getting soupy. The price is also quite good.
If you just want to go out and give this type of fishing a try without forking over an arm, leg, or eyebrow, Hog Wild provides a cost-effective way for you to do it.
4. Premo Super Sticky – For Beginners
Yet another dip bait from Magic Bait company, Premo super sticky is exactly how it sounds. A premium grade, absurdly sticky, concoction. Originally made as an extra sticky version of Hog Wild, this is a tub that can be a very effective producer if used properly.
As the name of it implies, it was made for better adhesion to a sponge hook or holding worm. This was intended to avoid coming off as easily in warmer water.
That is precisely what its predecessor, Hog Wild original, had problems with. Still, this is not one that you want to deliberately keep out in the sun just because you can.
Still, keep it in a cool place if you are able. It is better at working better in these conditions but it still has its vulnerabilities to it too. Compared to the original Hog Wild, the scent and flavor cloud disperses at about the same rate and is exactly as strong and potent. There is the original flavor which is still good, but also offered is a blood flavor.
The base of the formula is made out of cheese. With this one, it sticks better to worms and other holders and using a furry hook or sponge is not really necessary. The price is actually pretty good too. This is the one we recommend if you are just starting out with this type of fishing.
It is a great one that will pretty much do everything you want it to do. It will help you learn how to start fishing with dip baits if you don’t already know how to. It shortens the learning curve.
5. Sudden Impact Fiber Enriched
While not actually considered a dip bit, Sudden Impact fiber-enriched from Team Catfish is actually a punch bait. The reason it is on this list is that it can be used exactly like a dip bait, without the disadvantages that go along with keeping it out in the scorching sun for long periods of time. A dip bait vs punch bait situation is a call for how you can rig it. With a punch, you can use a bare treble or circle hook. For the former, a holder is needed.
You can use a bait holder worm, a sponge hook, a circle hook, a treble hook, and many other things. The main advantage of this one is that it has fiber in it. That translates to unsurpassed adhesion to your hook or holder worm. The fiber causes it to stick in a way similar to velcro closures.
This is very helpful if you live in the south or hotter climates. During the hot weather seasons, this is what you want to take with you when you go. The effectiveness and stink of the bait are also very good. It makes no sense to take a sticky tub with you if the mix is no good.
The smell isn’t actually that bad if you are a human. If you are a catfish, then it will certainly appeal to you. While it does reek when you get a good whiff of it through your nose, it is not one that will pinch your nose shut for the rest of the day.
It comes in one flavor, but that seems to be all that’s needed. It will catch them in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and pretty much everywhere they swim.
6. Berkley PowerDip – The Strongest of Scents
If you asked many different anglers about companies that consistently help you catch more fish, it would be hard to run into one that would forget to mention Berkley. Fishing experts are at the core of their company. As such, they pretty much have the attracting, hooking, fighting, and landing of both freshwater and saltwater fish down to a Science.
That is why it isn’t surprising to see them have their place on this list. Take the PowerDip for example. Made as an extension of their Powerbait line of lures, Berkley knows that lures are not the norm for Channel Catfish. Since this is the case, they are keeping up with angling demands by manufacturing baits that catfishermen can use too.
They mix there exclusive Powerbait formula with some other great ingredients to create the mix. They offer in comparison to most other options, a flavor of cheese and a flavor of blood. What is so excellent about it is the uncanny ability to stick very well to bait worms.
It is super sticky, almost to the point where getting it on your hands is something you want to avoid. Try your hardest to avoid it if you can.
Also, this is one of the most putrid and potent smelling mixes on the market. Good grief. If you want to attract fish from halfway across the lake, this is an option you must consider. It also works well in higher temperatures such as 70+ degrees but will start to get soupy in temperatures over 90.
The Powerbait elixir is already spectacular for attracting freshwater fish already. This is only amplified when everything else is added to the mix. The price is pretty comparable to other offerings from Berkley and depends on what size container you get. While not particularly inexpensive, it is still available at a price point that most people who regularly fish can easily afford.
7. Wicked Sticky – For White Water Fishing
Wicked Sticky is one you want to have if the waters that you fish are turbid or fast-moving. Manufactured by Junnie’s Cat Tracker, this excels in white water situations. When the situation calls for the one you can rely on in faster moving currents, this is it.
As the name implies, it was made to be extremely sticky. It was meant to effectively adhere to bait worms, furry hooks, or sponge hooks. The smell of it is actually pretty odd.
It is potent but not near as potent as a few others on this list. Apparently, it contains blood which should be no surprise. It also has cheese which again, is not a surprise.
It is fairly weak to heat and warmer climates so you should keep it in an ice chest to keep it from getting soupy or runny. It is fairly thick and should last a very long time.
The price of Wicked Sticky is around average compared to what you would normally pay.
It comes in a convenient size to anglers though. What you would normally expect to be a peanut butter jar. That makes it very easy to take with you especially if you have limited space in your tackle bag.
You will catch a lot of eater sized fish and occasionally, you will land a decent size Channel or Blue on it. We have yet to catch Flathead on this one yet.
Dip Bait Buyer’s Guide
Modern methods of catching catfish on dip baits require you to be familiar with the tools you are working with first. There are a few things that you need to consider. All of these play an important role in how it will perform once you have thrown your hook or rig into the water.
We recommend that you consider all things before you make a decision. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is 100% effective all of the time. That isn’t to say that there are not some things you need to first be aware of. We will cover some of those, briefly.
What Is The Best Dipbait For You?
- Smell and taste profile: The smell and taste profile refers to what makes the fish want to bite. Usually included are things like cheese, Shad, Sunfish, onion, garlic, other meat, and fish oil. These ingredients dissolve in the water and make it easy for them to find as well as tempt them into biting the tasty offering. They can easily detect these things because their bodies are covered in taste buds.
- Adhesion: If keeping the stuff on the hook is troublesome, its adhesion may be lacking. This is why you want to vary your method of presentation depending on which one you use. These are catfish tips to remember. Some stick better to furry hooks, some stick better to plastic baiting worms, and some stick better to sponges or bare circle hooks. You need to be aware of which ones stick better to what tackle.
- Heat resistance: Different brands have different resistances to heat. Some brands are very heat susceptible and will become soupy or watery when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. This negatively affects the formula’s adhesion properties as well as how well it works. Some just perform better in heat. Some do not. Some require no refrigeration while others will be best kept in a cooler or in the shade for the best results.
Wrapping It All Up
Dip bait fishing is one of the most rewarding ways of fishing for whiskers out there. It’s effective, it’s inexpensive, and it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. All in all, we believe that the only way to experience how well that these options can work for you, we want you to try them!
Filling up a livewell for a fish fry at the end of the day is an enjoyable task regardless of who you are. Great photos never hurt anyone either. Dip baits provide the most effective way to do it.
If you like this post, have something to add, or even disagree with our list, leave a comment in a reply down below so we can hear what you have to say!