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I have heard that that there are a ton of catfish in a nearby pond but nobody has fished for them in a couple of years. So recently i have decided that i would try to catch one. So I go out to the pond early in the morning and put a hook on with a couple of weights and then put a 1 inch piece of slim Jim on and just sit there around an hour just waiting and nothing. I have been doing this for around a week and nothing. About 10 years ago I remember catching them with slim Jim. But so far nothing. And as far as I'm aware nobody has seen any catfish on top of the water. So my question is. Did one spawning season did all of their eggs get eaten by bass or bream or could they have died out without anybody seeing? Please help me figure out if I'm jsut wasting my time.

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Catfish will eat about anything if left in the water long enough, never heard of using Slim Jims though. This time of year if you can catch some good sized grasshoppers, some crawdads, or nightcrawlers those are going to be about your best options for catfish in a pond. If you want to use something easier to get though, cheap hotdogs are a proven channel cat catcher. 

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Anything short of electroshocking won't give you any definitive answers. I suppose it's possible that they died out.  I'd imagine all it would take would be a few years of bad spawning or a few virus outbreaks to severely reduce their numbers. Maybe they're more partial to beef jerky instead? 

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Try fishing at dusk into dark. Try using a strip of raw bacon all balled up on a long shank hook. Try both bottom and suspended with a bobber. Those lighted bobbers make night fishing easier.

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Buy the cheapest hot dogs you can and fish off the bottom shallow after 8pm.. Always worked for me at one of my ponds years ago when I lived in kansas..

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They changed the formula of Slim Jims to be more vegan-friendly about 3 years ago...more spice and soy, less meat and fat, so they're less effective as catfish bait. Night crawlers or chicken livers would be your best shot, in that order, to see if anything's around. Fish where a stream or culvert enters the pond.

PS: I made that up about Slim Jims. Why would you waste a perfectly good processed meat-like product?

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Chicken livers are probably the best for catfish. Well bluegill are actually better if you can catch a couple small ones and don't mind using them. Salt the chicken livers and let them sit in the sun a bit. It will keep them from flying off your hook and make them more appealing to the cats.

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