Fishy Facts: Do Catfish Like Garlic?

As it turns out, some do, and some don’t. Using garlic as bait to catch catfish can be successful sometimes, but it’s not always the best idea. Garlic is often considered an attraction for catfish.

Still, some people have had problems attracting them when using this bait. It all depends on the individual fish and what they find appealing.

Do Catfish Crave Garlic

Do Catfish Like Garlic?

Another has anecdotal evidence that it either attracts fish or neutralizes scents that may deter fish. It is worth a go if you have garlic on your yacht. Finally, removing the scent of sunscreen or insect repellent from your hands may be a practical approach.

Can catfish be caught using garlic as bait?

Catfishers are learning how alluring the aroma of garlic is when added to baits; by adding garlic scent to baits, you may capture a great deal of channel catfish and even blue catfish.

Some people pierce a clove of garlic with a hook, but I don’t believe that’s a good idea, as I will explain later in this post.

Garlic and garlic aroma as bait for catfish must be investigated in more detail. Not all catfish species are attracted to garlic, and it may not be as successful in all seasons.

However, garlic is worth trying for yourself; capturing large channel cats may follow.

Garlic has a robust odor, and when added to hot dogs, chicken liver, and other baits, it may offer a potent aroma to attract catfish, as well as a taste that encourages catfish to bite and hold on longer than they would otherwise.

Garlic is firm and will make it difficult to insert a hook. When catfish bite it, the smooth, hard texture will make it less tasty. Garlic aroma will provide the most remarkable results, so coat your soft baits.

Catfish species are attracted to garlic-flavored bait

Flathead catfish, blue catfish, and channel catfish are North America’s three most common catfish species. European and Asian catfish are unfamiliar to me, so I cannot remark on them. Instead, I will solely concentrate on American catfish.

Garlic is the most effective flavor for channel catfish. They are the smallest American catfish species and seem most receptive to unique baits and flavors.

Blue catfish, particularly flatheads, prefer the natural odors and aromas of freshly caught shad, bluegills, and clams.

If you flavor your baits with garlic, you will have more luck catching channel catfish. In addition, you may have some success fishing for small- to medium-sized blue catfish.

I have never heard of someone using garlic as an attractant to get flathead catfish, but it is plausible.

Making Baits with Garlic Flavor

The most straightforward approach to including garlic in your bait is to sprinkle garlic salt or garlic powder over your preferred fishing bait. Next, choose a soft and meaty bait, such as chicken liver, hot dogs, raw meat, or even live worms.

Add a substantial quantity of garlic powder or salt to a plastic bag or container. I like using garlic salt, and I use it liberally.

In this respect, I’m rather authoritative. The longer garlic spice is left on the bait, the more excellent it will smell.

In conclusion, if you want to attract catfish to your pond or river, adding garlic to the water can be an effective way to do so.

Garlic is not only tasty to catfish but also a natural repellent. So if you want to add some garlic flavor to your fishing endeavors, give it a try and see if you start seeing more catfish in your vicinity.


  • Puneet, Kumar, et al. “Ascorbic acid, garlic extract and taurine alleviate cadmium-induced oxidative stress in freshwater catfish (Clarias batrachus).” Science of the Total Environment 407.18 (2009): 5024-5030.
  • Ladewig, Katheleen F., and Donna W. Logan. You can do catfish. Southern Regional Aquaculture Center, 1992.water catfish (Clarias batrachus).” Science of the Total Environment 407.18 (2009): 5024-5030.
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