Hot dogs are not my favorite bait but they do catch catfish.


They have the advantages of being cheap and readily available. With proper prep and storage they last a long time.


Hot dogs are soft and tend to break off during a cast. There are several ways to toughen them up.


Pickling. Add the dogs to a ziplock or other container and pour in enough plain old white vinegar to cover. Add some crushed garlic for added scent and flavor. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.


Another way to pickle. Add the dogs or chunks to liquid from a jar of pickles. Even easier, add them to an existing jar of pickles or peppers.


Bait cures such as those from ProCure also work well to toughen up hot dogs. I cure my own corn, and the corn cures, 'plain' or the one with dye, work very well with dogs.


Forget the coat hanger thing. They make too big a hole. They take time to make. The notch is as likely as not going to cut you line.


You can get baiting needles, usually 2 to 3 to a package, for a couple of dollars.


I use baiting needles intended for carp fishing. They have a hook or gate notch on the end so you do not have to 'thread' your line as you would with the baiting needle.

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I pre-tie hooks with a loop knot on the other end. Run the needle through the bait,hook the loop and pull the leader back through the bait.


ProCure makes a bait needle. I have never used one but they look promising. Probably a little easier to find.


Worm threaders are easily found. They make too big a hole in a dog or worm for that matter. The carp needles or other baiting needles work much better [on worms, too].


There is never a reason to place hot dogs or any other catfish bait in the sun to 'cure'/rot/putrefy.


Catfish are deeply offended by the notion that they only eat dead, rotted or putrefied stuff.


When I fish, I do not use baits with smells that are likely to make me vomit.