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Although trout often are the preferred catch of fly fishermen, a fly is not the only bait that will attract the delicious fish. You can fish for trout using a light line and ultralight spinning tackle, and baiting your hook with natural bait--including dough bait you can make in your own kitchen.
Trout are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever happens their way. They are not particularly picky when it comes to the type of natural bait they will take, and baits as odd as corn kernels and marshmallows can catch trout. Trout also tend to use their sense of smell to locate food items, and they quickly respond to any scent they detect that indicates something edible is nearby.
To make an easy homemade bait for trout, use 1 cup each of flour and cornmeal, 1/2 cup of regular granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and 1/4 pound of processed cheese. These ingredients make a doughy bait that forms easily, holds on a hook and keeps well in the refrigerator until you are ready to go fishing.
Place the processed cheese in a bowl, and melt it in a microwave oven. Add the water, and mix thoroughly. Incorporate the dry ingredients, and mix completely until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too stiff, add more water. When the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl, remove the dough and knead it with your hands until smooth. To test your dough bait, remove a small piece and roll it into a ball. If the dough forms a smooth ball, it is ready. Continue to form the dough into balls. Drop a few balls of dough at a time into boiling water for around 2 minutes. Remove the dough balls, and place them on a plate to dry. Once dry, your trout bait is ready to use.
Baiting the Hook
Place a bait ball on the point of a single fishing hook, and slip it down to the hook bend. For larger trout, use more than one dough ball. To use a treble hook, work a larger dough ball around the shank of the hook, then down toward the hook points. Alternately, use smaller bait balls and place one on each hook. This method works well but tends to use up your bait more quickly.
To present your dough bait to hungry trout, attach the lightest possible split-shot sinker to your line, and cast the bait into the water. Allow the bait to drift along the bottom past areas where trout are likely to wait for passing prey. If trout are feeding higher in the water, suspend the baited hook under a bobber and allow it to drift with the current.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.