Catfish And Amino Acids

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by hct236, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Have you ever wondered how catfish develop a taste for items that are totally alien to their enviorment like chicken livers? Turns out that the catfish do not have a taste for liver, they are reacting to an amino acid in the chicken blood.
    Catfish, like all animals, need certain amino acids in their system to aid in everything from digestion, muscle growth, and even breeding. Catfish are very adept at detecting even trace amounts of these amino acids and will aggressively seek them out once detected.
    When a catfish detects these amino acids their instincts take over and they will begin "swimming". This is when they search for the source by moving in the direction where the "scent" grows stronger. They do this by swimming and when the scent falls off they will change direction until they narrow in on the direction of the source of the amino acids.
    Most all productive baits have a good supply of these amino acids and proteins in them. Catfish are swimming chemistry labs, are able to break down "food" into its base elements and detect the elements they require. We, as humans, smell a cheeseburger. Catfish will "smell", individually, grain in the buns, proteins in the meat, vitamins in the vegetables etc. This explains why catfish will eat items like lye soap baits. Not that they are interested in the soap, they are detecting the proteins and amino acids in the primary ingredient in lye soap; Lard.
    So the next time you hear someone say "catfish will eat anything", just assume that they are not eating just anything, they are detecting something they need in that bait. So to say catfish are not picky eaters, when compared to other fish, may be true. But It is more truthfull to say "Catfish are better at detecting amino acids, nutrients, vitamins, and proteins than other fish, and they can detect them in baits that other fish cannot".
    Us, as fisherman, sould take full advantage of the catfish instincts to aggressively seek these amino acids by selecting baits that have high levels of the amino acids that trigger the feeding response, Lysine, Proline, Argenine, Alanine, Threonine, and more.
    All this is not to say that catfish do not have favorite foods that they like the taste of, because certainly they do. Now combine their favorite scent and flavors with the amino acids they need to survive, and you will have an outstanding bait that, thanks to catfish instincts, will be very difficult for them to resist.
    There are some manufactured baits and additives that focus on amino acids and have proven quite effective. Most proprietary base mixes for making dough baits for carp and catfish have very high levels of these amino acids with some scent and flavor items added to make them more appealing to catfish and carp.
    You can research and find these bait additives out there, and combine them with a proven catfish bait and this may well be the bait combination that greatly improves your catch numbers.
    R. D. Hilton and Salty1 like this.