Is Powerbait Good For Catfish?

Berkley’s Powerbait is undeniably handy for catching many different fish species, but is it worth your while as a steadfast catfish attractant?  Yes, however its efficacy depends on your specific fishing needs.

To determine this we are going to take a closer look at the behavior of these fish as well as some of Berkley’s best types of Powerbait.

How Do Catfish Locate Your Bait?

Is Powerbait Good For Catfish?

These omnivorous fish utilize the wide array of senses at their disposal, including smell, taste, and sight.


Catfish’s sense of smell is arguably the most powerful weapon in its arsenal of built in programming when it comes to feeding.

They blow most other species of fish out of the water in this regard.  To put this in perspective, they have 140 specialized scent-detecting folds within their nares while trout have 18 and largemouth bass have only 8-13.

This is why catfish baits are commonly equated with being so smelly, and sometimes downright putrid.  Powerbait is able to efficiently disperse scent, which gives it a better chance of being located.


Catfish not only have taste receptors located around their mouth and whiskers, but all over their entire body.  Some anglers refer to them as “swimming tongues”, and rightfully so.

As soon as a fish bites your bait it has a split second to decide whether it wants to devour this meal before you can set the hook. 

Powerbait is packed with flavor which will keep the fish on for longer, giving you time to set the hook and start reeling.


Contrary to popular belief, catfish have remarkable vision.  Powerbait’s wide selection of colors will make your bait easier to find, regardless of the time of day or how clear the water is.

Different Types Of Powerbait For Catfish

Now it’s time to focus on the different types of Powerbait, some of which are specifically formulated to catch monster cats, to find out which situations they work best in. 

Dough Baits 

Powerbait Catfish Bait Chunks come in the form of convenient pre-molded nuggets that can be quickly and easily slipped onto any hook.

They are made using combinations of various scents like liver, blood, and cheese, all of which are known to be favorites of catfish.

They lack the variety in colors that traditional Powerbait is known for, so they can be less eye-catching when fishing at night or in murky water.  

Though not initially designed to catch catfish, Powerbait’s Natural Scent Trout Bait can be great for catching the attention of cats. 

This bait comes in similar scents to the Catfish Chunks with the added bonus of extra color options including glitter.

These added colors will give you an edge by making your bait easier to see, no matter the time of day or water visibility.

If you are looking for simplicity and versatility, then both of these are definitely for you. 

Dip Baits

Berkley’s Catfish PowerDip and Dip Bait Worm are a very reliable combination.  The Dip Bait Worm has a treble hook attached to a soft plastic body covered in grooves to preserve the dip longer.  Just apply and let it fly!

Dip baits are a little messier than dough baits, with a consistency that is closer to paste. 

They tend to dissolve faster than their doughy counterparts, meaning they will disperse scent more rapidly but you will have to reel in to reapply more often than a dough bait.

Pros and Cons


  • Non-perishable
  • Versatile, tons of colors and scents
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Widely available
  • Adds scent or color to other bait


  • Artificial, doesn’t move around like live bait
  • It floats, you will need to add weight to get it on the bottom
  • Dip baits can be messy for beginners and require extra tackle

It’s pretty easy to see that the reasons to use Powerbait definitely outweigh its shortcomings.

Easiest Ways To Catch Catfish With Powerbait

Anglers generally don’t regard catfishing as very technical, but there are a few tried and true methods that work better than others, especially with Powerbait. 

Carolina Rig

The Carolina Rig is the simplest way to fish for those cats that are cruising near the bottom as it doesn’t require any specialized tackle.  

It consists of a slip weight on your main line which is then tied to a swivel.  Attach a 6”-36” leader to the other end of the swivel with a lure (like the DipWorm) or circle hook covered in Powerbait, and voila!

The slip weight will sit on the bottom while your Powerbait will float, suspended just above any pesky vegetation or snags. 

Utilizing a slip weight vs. a split-shot will allow the fish to swim away with the bait without sensing any resistance, so you have ample time to set the hook.

Slip Bobber Rig

Is Powerbait Good For Catfish

This type of drift rig employs a bobber to keep your bait just off the bottom so that it can, you guessed it, drift!

Tying an adjustable stop knot above the bobber allows you to adjust how deep your bait drifts, depending on the current and depth of your fishing hole.

Adding a split-shot about 12” above your hook will ensure that you are clear of snags while still close enough to the bottom to catch the cat’s attention.

Try out either of these rigs with the Catfish Bait Chunks, Natural Scent Dough, or Dip Worm for an easy yet effective approach to catching cats.

Which Catfish Love Powerbait The Most?

There are a multitude of different catfish species out there and each has its own unique behavior. 

The 3 most popular species in the US include channel, blue, and flatheads. Powerbait works great for some but is ineffective for others.

Channel Catfish

Channels are the most abundant species in the US.  Inhabiting many different bodies of water including lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, they are referred to as scavengers or opportunistic feeders.

Powerbait Natural Scent and Catfish Chunks are both solid choices for channel cats.  The endless combinations of color, scent, and flavor will ensure that you are able to draw them in no matter the conditions.

Blue Catfish

Blues tend to be significantly larger than their channel and flatheaded cousins.  These opportunistic predators prefer deeper waters with higher currents compared to channel cats.

Powerbait PowerDip is a great option for blues.  Using a Dip Bait Worm will enable you to cast further, without losing your bait, to target those deeper and more swiftly flowing areas.  The swifter current will also help disperse scent downstream faster.


Unlike blues and channels, flatheads are solitary creatures.  They prefer to hang out alone in murky bodies of water with slower currents.

Powerbait is not a good choice for flatheads as they generally only feed on live bait or cut baits. 

Using Powerbait in a lake or river with slow or no current won’t provide enough movement to entice the fish to strike, no matter how pungent it may be.


When keeping live bait from dying or predicting accurate weather and water conditions isn’t an option, Powerbait’s vast array of long-lasting artificial formulations can be a great choice when fishing for channel or blue catfish.

If flatheads are your target species, then it’s better to stick to a live bait, which will move around on its own, or a cut bait if you have sufficient current to help spread the scent.

Ultimately, you as the angler will have to assess what your needs will be during your next outing to decide whether or not Powerbait is worth bringing along.

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