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Going out to catch fish is something that many people look forward to all week. You spend a long time at work, and then you finally get to go on your fishing trip over the weekend.

If you wish to catch the most fish possible, then it’s good to consider what type of bait you’re going to use. Many people have reported being successful when using chicken liver as bait, and you might be considering trying that out soon.

What kind of fish can you catch with chicken liver, though? Read on to learn a bit about the types of fish that you can expect to reel in when you bait your hook with chicken liver.

This should make it easier to decide whether chicken liver bait is appropriate for your next fishing expedition. Once you have all of the details, you’ll be ready to make an informed decision.


The most common fish that you can catch when using chicken liver as bait will be catfish. Catfish are very popular targets for fishermen who want to catch fish that can be grilled up and eaten.

If you’ve ever had a catfish dinner before, then you likely already know how scrumptious they can be. If you have chicken liver that you can use as bait, then you should be able to catch catfish.

The biggest reason why catfish like chicken liver is that it has a super strong odor. The catfish can smell the chicken liver, and it’s going to draw them in to make them want to nibble on your hook.

Many people say that chicken liver is one of the best types of bait to use for catfish. You can certainly use other types of bait to catch catfish, but chicken liver will be an easy one to use.

If you happen to go to a fishing supply store, then you’ll find that catfish bait often uses chicken liver as one of the ingredients. This means that chicken liver has the professional seal of approval, and it should increase your confidence levels that it’s going to work out just fine.

When you want to catch catfish using chicken liver, you just need to ensure that you’re going to a place where you can find catfish. If you’re lucky enough to have catfish in your area, then you might be in for a good dinner soon if you get lucky fishing.


Carp will be the second type of fish that you can commonly catch when using chicken liver bait. Much like catfish, carp are going to be drawn to the strong odor given off by the chicken liver.

You should be able to have good luck with catching carp when you’re using chicken liver as the bait. It keeps the carp interested, and many people have reported record hauls of carp when using chicken liver.

These oily freshwater fish are commonly found in Europe and Asia, but they aren’t actually native to North America. At some point in the 1800s, carp were introduced to North America, and they’re considered to be an invasive species of fish.

There are many carp eradication methods that try to keep the carp numbers down due to the harm that they cause local fish populations. However, you’re going to find common carp in most American states in the present day.

Fishing for carp isn’t a bad idea at all, and you’ll be doing your part to get them out of the North American waters. Many people like to eat carp, and you can make some pretty tasty dishes with them if you’re so inclined.

Overall, using chicken liver as a bait will be a good idea when you’re setting out to find some carp. The only issue will be keeping the chicken liver on your hook so that you can find success.

Other Fish Can Be Caught with Chicken Liver

Other fish can be caught with chicken liver as well, but catfish and carp are the two types of fish that people commonly use chicken liver bait for. You don’t have to shy away from this bait just because chicken liver isn’t the preferred type of bait for other fish, though.

People have used chicken liver to catch fish such as trout, bluegill, striper, and more. It’s just not as easy to use this bait as it is some other types of bait.

For the most part, if you’re going to be using chicken liver as fish bait, then you’ll want to try to catch carp and catfish. Otherwise, it might be better to use some other type of bait since it’ll be easier to work with.

If chicken liver is all that you have to use, then you can still find some success. You might even catch some fish that you didn’t expect while using chicken liver as the bait.

Just because a type of fish wasn’t named here doesn’t mean that it can’t be caught with chicken liver. It largely depends on the circumstances and how well you can keep chicken liver on your bait hook.

How to Fish Using Chicken Liver Bait

You might have surmised by now that chicken liver is somewhat slippery, and many people have problems getting it to stay on the hook. One of the biggest detriments to using this type of bait is that it might fall off the hook.

There are some tips that you can remember to make keeping it on the hook easier, but you should learn how the bait is used first. Thankfully, using chicken liver as bait doesn’t require any special technique or anything like that.

Once you bait the hook, it’s just going to be necessary to cast the line out and wait to see if you get a bite. You don’t need to try to twitch or wriggle the bait in any way to attract the fish.

People who find the most success using chicken liver as fish bait often using spinning reels. Some find spinning reels much better because they allow you to cast out pretty far.

You’ll also want to ensure that you have a good rod that can handle a bit of weight. If you’re going to be fishing for catfish, then your rod needs to be able to hold up during the fight.

A medium-heavy rod should be ideal, and if you have one of those, then you’re good to go. Carp won’t present as much of a problem so you might not need to worry about using a lighter rod if you’re just fishing for carp.

Using a good fishing line will make your life a bit easier, too. It’s recommended to use a braided fishing line since you can cast it far out and it’s pretty tough.

The hook might be the most important part of the equation when using chicken liver as bait. Having three hooks will be helpful, and this means that you should buy a treble hook.

Try to get the chicken liver to attach to all of your hooks so that you’ll have a better chance of hanging onto the bait. If all goes well, then the catfish won’t have an easy time stealing your bait without getting caught on the hook.

Advice for Keeping Chicken Liver on the Bait Hook

Now, it’s time to figure out how you can keep the chicken liver on the bait hook reliably. Admittedly, this will be a struggle sometimes, but if you do certain things, it’s going to be much easier.

Curing the chicken liver with salt is a way to make the bait tougher, and catfish will have a more difficult time getting it off of the hook. To do this, you just need to salt the chicken liver and then place it in the fridge for a while.

When it’s time for your fishing trip, your bait will be cured and ready to go. Sadly, this will eliminate some of the blood smell that attracts the fish, but it might still be a good idea due to the slippery nature of the chicken liver.

Another idea is to buy elastic bait thread that can help you to keep the bait secured to the hook. You just wrap this thread around the hook a bunch of times so that the bait won’t go anywhere.

It’s a pretty good idea that makes it more practical to use chicken liver as fishing bait. This won’t 100% guarantee that your chicken liver won’t slip off the hook, but it does help quite a lot.

You could try using a special type of knot when placing the bait on the hook, too. An egg loop knot works well for many people, and it might help you to get better results as well.

Consider what you can do to make keeping the bait on the hook simpler. If you can find methods that are easy for you to accomplish, then it’ll be more practical to use chicken liver as bait regularly.

At the very least, you should consider purchasing some elastic bait thread. It doesn’t take long to secure the bait with the thread and it really will make a difference.

Consider Using Fresh Chicken Livers

Using fresh chicken livers will give you much better results than using frozen ones. Freezing or drying chicken livers will take away some of the blood, and it’ll make it less attractive to the fish that you’re trying to catch.

If you want to catch more fish, then using fresh chicken livers will be for the best. Find chicken livers that are fresh and use them so that the catfish will keep biting all day.

Thankfully, it’s really easy to go out and get chicken livers before a fishing trip. You can find chicken livers at the grocery store or a butcher shop without it being an issue.

You can still get decent results when using frozen chicken livers, but it might not do as well. If you want the best possible experience, then fresh will be the way to go.

Keeping the Chicken Livers Cold Will Help

Keeping the chicken livers cold will actually help you to keep them on the hook better. When the chicken livers get warm, they’re going to slip off the hook a lot easier.

To make this simple, it’s wise to keep your chicken livers in a little cooler that you can take with you on your fishing trip. You can reach into your cooler to grab more bait as necessary, and the chicken livers should stay on the bait hook better.

If you’re using the elastic bait thread, then it might not be as important to keep the chicken livers cool. Even so, it’s a suggestion that can make a difference, and it isn’t hard to pull this off.

Anyone who has enough room to keep a cooler on their fishing boat shouldn’t hesitate to do it this way. Most people bring coolers anyway to hold drinks, but you might not want to keep your drinks in the same cooler as the chicken livers for obvious reasons.

Consider Using Catfish Scent

Do you want to make the chicken livers even more attractive to the local catfish population? You could buy some catfish scent from the local fish and tackle store that will help you out.

Spraying the chicken livers with the catfish scent will make the catfish even more likely to bite. Soak the livers in the scent and then cast them out on your hook to get good results.

It might be worth the money to buy some catfish scent if you want to bring in a big haul. Many people say that this makes a huge difference, and it’ll definitely attract more fish to the chicken livers on the hook.

Of course, this won’t do anything to make keeping the chicken livers in place simpler. But you can maximize the likelihood that you’ll get the catfish biting.

Final Thoughts

Now you know much more about chicken livers and what types of fish you can catch using this bait type. It’s easy to use this bait to catch catfish and carp, but it might be useful for some other fish, too.

You won’t always have an easy time keeping chicken livers on your bait hook, but you can do well with it once you have some practice. Do your best and you should be able to catch plenty of catfish and carp in the near future.


I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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