I use several methods to catch my bait for catfish...as I am attracted to the more reasonable pricing of catch your own...as well as it's part of the fun of the whole experience. Sometimes it pays to have a plan "B"..."C"...and even a "D" plan when it comes to bait. Catfish appreciate a buffet every bit as much as we do during steak nite at Golden Corral. There are those days when a catfish of any species will want ONE certain thing...and more often than not...that can change daily...sometimes hourly. Black perch or pumkinseed are my fav due to their tendecy to be hardy on the hook...and are widely known for their survivability of extended soaks....as well as their ready availability. Trapping is an easy way to load up on perch of any species. Just locate a likely perch hole...ones with weeds, moss, brush, and clear water with a black bottom...load up the trap with bread crumbs or pieces of raw bacon...and soak your traps for 12-24 hours. If there's a known healthy population where you're trapping...run it sooner...but don't disturb the location too much or you'll spook them. Rod and reel...4 lb flourocarbon line...with a small #10 aberdeen hook...under a very small bobber..and baited with a chunk of nightcrawler is old faithful...although it takes much longer to build up a good bait supply for a whole weekend. But if 3 or 4 dozen is all you seek...it can be attained within an hour or two if you're in the right spot. I use 4 collapsable net trap with a throat at each end...they're wonderful for packing them through brush and up and down hills....and are extremely effective if deployed correctly. (And not only for perch...but for wild shiners, chubs, bass, ect.) I have a 25 gallon aqarium with a Frabill 110 volt aereator I use to keep my bait alive in the garage...and a Frabill 12 Volt aereator I use with a 6 gallon insulated bucket for field use. I also love to use soft shelled crawfish for channel...as a great MANY of the channel I clean from our strip pits are typically gourged with softies. A seine is the most effective method IMO...but trapping works as well. A small piece of steel mesh with a handle on each side will produce ample amounts of soft shells in any roadside ditch or whistle. Just scrape it around in the weeds at the water level and you'll be simply amazed at how many crawdads you'll put in your bucket. A similar piece of mesh with handles on it will catch hellgramites in the rivers as one person flips rocks, and the other stands downstream with the net catching the biting little sobs. (They are DYNAMITE channel bait during the hatch...but they're hell on your fingers if you're wade fishing at nite time, and are keeping them in a bucket hanging from around your neck.) Spring peepers are similarly good stuff. We cruise around on the country roads at nighttime through marshy/swampy areas searching for them with the headlites of the truck...and then sending the kids out from the back of the truck to catch them with their nets as we laugh our a$$es off. And YES...this IS where rednecks come from. :wink: Catalpa worms are good bait at times...but even better is to find an area with Catalpa trees along the waters edge. The channel will cruise these areas looking for unfortunate worms that have fallen into the water...but they're not picky. That mesh net with handles works great for catching grasshoppers as well in high grass. During early spring runoff it's tough to beat a big ball of night crawlers or sod worms tossed weightless on a hook into current, or along the edges of weedlines in a pond or a lake. Digging is the obvious method...but good timing after a soaking rain will allow you to pick them up off the surface when they get flooded out of their holes. I am an avid bowfisherman as well...and using gar eggs is another great cat bait...as well as the spoonbill eggs that I get by the 5 gal bucketfulls during snagging season. Tough to beat a throw net for acquiring as many shad as a guy could ever hope to possibly use in one sitting. Live, cut, guts, sides...it's all good stuff. Are there any other methods I didn't cover...but should be trying? A guy can never have too many avenues for aquiring bait...what's your method?