Roger, There are lots of prepared baits that will work for channel cats. I like the fiber type punch baits like Danny King’s Blood Bait. With the fiber baits, using a pair of needle nose pliers, just push a treble hook in it, twist and pull out a baited hook. I don’t generally target channel cats but we still catch some when fishing for the blues. Bait of choice for the blues is fresh cut shad. Good Luck and I hope you do get the chance to fish Texas.
Capt. Larry's Guide Service