Hey everyone Im new to the board and catfishing. Been fishing over 30 years and always felt catching a cat was a waste of time. Recently took my young son to Mosquito for some crappies and was fishing a leech off a bobber and hit into some cats and "WOW" now Im hooked. Dont know too much about the species yet but believe they were channel cats all in the 20 - 28 inch range and fought like a wild tiger. Ive read the boards and would really love to tie into a big ol flathead so here is my question. Everyone says fish live or cut bait, (gills, shad etc.) but fishing with a young one makes it hard to hook up a newly caught panfish on the old catfish rig. Ive been preaching catch and release his whole life. So will I have any luck using the things I read about on here like shrimp, bacon, liver or should I stay with leeches, a big old clump of crawlers, big shiners, or maybe even crawdads. Can I mix some old stinky rotten meat with some type of live bait for the best of both worlds ? Any and all help appreciated. It would make my day to see my son tie into a big ol cat and have the fight of his life.