I don't think I'd wanna wash with any soap that doubles as cat bait. Might want to put that in the you might be a redneck catfisherman thread.
You might be a redneck catfisherman if your soap doubles as your bait.
At certain times of the year cats will eat soap pretty well and that's been proven many times.
The old favorites were Ivory, Octagon and P&G along with Zote where it was availible. Modern commercial soaps aren't made using the cold process method like they used to be but they will still work. Your best bet is to find someone that still knows how to make lye soap becuase they hit that best due to the superfatting and glycerine content lye soap has but commercial soap now doesn't.
I've made lye soap myself and used it for years and it works well, but honestly folks, shad and other more "normal" baits are far more effective.
From what I have heard it is best used on trotlines because it is a slow bite. Zote is preferred because it is soft and easily cut and hooked. Soap is made with a small amount of animal fat that is why the cats like it.
Jason is right on the slow bite. Some people use it on their trotlines. I have used ivory soap as a kid and caught channels. Its been too long ago to be sure exactly how well it worked but I do know that I have caught fish on it. One good thing is nothing else is probably going to bite it so its good if catfish and catfish only is what you are after. Some people melt the soap down, specifically the ivory type soap. Put the shavings into a pot and melt it slowly, then pour it onto a cookie sheet and let it cool. You can then cut it into bait size chunks and it tends to stay on the hook better supposedly than just using the soap straight from the store. I do remember it had a tendency to crack and you had to be careful when putting it on the hook, so you might try cooking it and see how it goes.
Zote soap is a great Catfish bait because of the fats that are in it. It leaves a trail that Catfish will follow.
I have melted it down and added a small amount of bacon grease, and Garlic to it, then poured into a container of my choice to let harden back up.
This bait does not work well at all on rod and reel. It does however work great on trot lines. As was mentioned earlier, that it's a slow bite bait. That is correct.
This is the only bait I use on my trot lines as it only attracts catfish. Of course that's what I'm after anyways.. Now don't expect to haul in the Big Boys with this bait, as they prefer Cut bait, or live bait.
Now if your after some good sized eaters then this bait will work for you. It certainly does for me. Just remember that not ALL baits, work everywhere.
As mentioned about using Ivory soap, it also works but it's very hard and crumble's easily. Now I know that one of our Brothers, (Jtrew), has used Ivory and did fairly well on it.
I think he used a small drill bit, and made a hole just big enough to put the hook through it. One thing about using soap is, it's clean, and cheap.
If your having problems with Gar, or Turtles, then using this bait will solve your problem. Don't be afraid to try out new baits whatever they are, who knows, you might catch something.....