Swamp Fishing: How to Use Giant Live Bait to Catch Monster Fish

The swamp is home to a lot of monsters, but one of the favorites is some giant catfish. These hungry fish live to eat, so it only makes sense that one of the best ways to catch them is to use big live bait. But how do you do this? Let’s talk about it!

Live Bait

Catfish are not very picky when it comes to what they eat, so it really doesn’t matter what type of live bait that you want to use. A favorite among many fishermen, whether they are after catfish or not, is worms. But in order to catch the monsters, you are going to need something a lot bigger than a nightcrawler!

If you are out to break records you are going to need much bigger bait such as shad, minnows, and panfish. Here you have more of a selection when it comes to size, as these baitfish are available in a variety of different sizes. 

Lastly, some anglers will use things like frogs or waterdogs (salamanders). These little critters are great for changing things up and usually provide plenty of motion and action when in the water which can attract nearby fish. Of course, you must first check what is legal in your area before using any live bait, as some places regulate what you can and cannot use. 

Hooking Up

Actually putting your hook into a live bait is what most anglers struggle with. Luckily there are a few ways of doing it that will help keep them alive longer and stay on the hook. The first is to hook the baitfish through the nostrils. This method keeps the fish alive for a long time and allows them to move around quite a bit.

Another method is hooking baitfish through the dorsal fin. Sometimes fish will strike at your bait and not get hooked, but this type of hook setup can change that. This method also helps the bait to swim in a downward direction and look lifelike. The last method that is often recommended is hooking through the tail. This method will keep your bait alive longer than the other two, but it restricts the baitfish’s movement the most as well. Any of these three hooking methods will work to catch monster fish!

Be Patient

When using live bait and catching monster fish, the most important thing that you can do is be patient. Catfish are very slow-moving predators, it may take them a while to find and take your bait. Bring a comfortable chair, a book to read, and take your time. The biggest fish are often caught after hours on the water, and you never know what you might be missing if you don’t exercise a little patience and take your time.

Final Thoughts

Catching monsters in the swamp is no easy task, but if you come prepared and use the right tactics, you can catch some giants. For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.