Bacon has a lot of uses. We’ve already discussed a few on this site, and we are always looking for more. One of the most intriguing is its use as fish bait.

When and where people started using bacon as a fish bait has been lost to the mists of time. But somehow, some brilliant person got the idea, and sport fishing has, as a result, never been more awesome.

Bacon is a particularly good lure if you are going after the always difficult to catch catfish. A world-renowned catfish fisherman named Roger Aziz swears by it. “Hickory smoked bacon works best,” he says. Apparently the salt and grease from the bacon attracts the fish. Who knew that catfish had such good taste?

The other benefit to using bacon is that it can be reused after you’ve finished fishing. Now, I wouldn’t recommend eating the bacon after it’s been sitting in the water and been in various fishes’ mouths,  especially uncooked. A better idea is probably just to reuse that piece for your fishing and to bring a few extra strips so that you can cook those pieces with the fish you catch.

If you want to catch a world-record-beating catfish, here’s how to go about doing it:

1. Don’t cook your bacon. This will stop you from eating the bacon before you use it as bait. It will also have the wonderful side effect of stopping the bacon from crumbling on the line.

2. Cut a square of bacon about a half inch on each side. Try to get a bit of lean meat and a bit of fat. Catfish are like us: they like variety.

3. Fold the square of bacon over and slide it on your hook just past the barb.

4. You’ll need to sink the hook. Attach a ½ ounce sinker if you are going after a catfish.

5. Go fishing!

6. Catch an enormous catfish. Impress your friends, prove your enemies wrong, and get the cutie who works in that coffee shop but who has always been a bit standoffish.*

Once you have caught your wily catfish, there are plenty of recipes to try out with it. Southern cooking is full of them. Add some potatoes and tomatoes, cook it in a big pot with your catfish and bacon, and you can have some Pine Bark Stew. If you are feeling more adventurous, go for a Fried Catfish Sandwich with Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato – think of it as a catfish BLT. Or meld the catfish and bacon in the loving match they were meant to be in by baking a bacon-wrapped catfish. Mmmmmm.

Have you guys tried fishing with catfish? Any spectacular results you want to share with the rest of the Republic of Bacon?

*Not guaranteed to happen. Bacon is good, but it doesn’t have super powers. Yet.