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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I'm Christopher. I live in Southern Mississippi and have been fishing for channel catfish practically my whole life. For over a year now, I've been experimenting with making my own punch baits. This is the basic recipe and process I currently use to make my bait. I am constantly experimenting with and improving my recipe, so I will probably edit this post several times in the future. I am sharing this recipe so people can have some of the amazing experiences I have had making my own bait and catching fish on it. I do not personally recommend punch baits for fast moving water, as they are designed to slowly dissolve off the hook.

Basic punch bait recipe:
  • 6 lbs. cheese trimmings (I get mine from
  • 2 lbs meat (wet) I like to use shrimp, beef or chicken livers, or fish such as mullet.
  • 1 large cattail (the bigger around the better)
  • ~ 30 cotton balls
  • 1 cup bread flour or vital wheat gluten
  • Additional attractants are optional. Ex: anise, garlic powder, fish oil or beef fat. I suggest using no more than 1 tbsp. oils, as it softens up the bait.

-makes a little under a gallon

Dehydrate meat at ~150*F until completely dry, powder in seasoning grinder or food processor. I do this so as to add as little water as possible to the bait, which makes for a thicker bait that is less prone to going moldy.

If using fresh cheese, grate or run it through a meat grinder. Let sit in warm place for a week or so in container. If not, this step isn't necessary, but will enhance the pungency and flavor of the bait. Some companies let their cheese sit until it's dark brown, which takes several months.

Add cheese to crock pot to soften. A crock pot is not necessary, but will make incorporating other ingredients easier. Add meat and any attractants you want to add. Combine thoroughly. Unroll and tear up cotton balls, stir into bait 5 or so at a time until no clumps remain. A large screwdriver is great for this. You can divide up the meat/cheese mixture into several smaller containers to mix in fibers easier. Add bread flour or gluten. Transfer to gallon bucket, let sit outside in warm place for a week or so. Keep in fridge or other suitable cool place away from pets and children. Drain off separated oils during summer months for a thicker bait consistency.

To fish with it, take a paint stirrer, popsicle stick, or stick and press a #4 or #6 treble hook to the bottom of the container of bait. Smooth it over, and pull it out at an angle. Fish below a sensitive bobber and set the hook a bit more quickly than you normally would, as from my experiences, the fish tend to not hold on as long.

Additional tips:
You can bait up and cast a bit past the spot you want to fish and reel back in, then re-bait and wait for a bit to kind of chum the water and attract fish.
Fish near structure such as submerged logs, lily pads, large boulders/rocks, and overhanging branches.
You can add a small minnow, worm, or chunk of meat to the hook after baiting to add an extra bit of fish attracting potential.
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