Homemade Dough Fish Bait

Homemade Dough Fish Bait

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Dough baits can be an effective weapon in a freshwater angler's arsenal, especially when the quarry is catfish or trout. Catfish especially respond to dough baits -- the smellier the better. These bottom feeders rely on their olfactory senses to sniff out food, so a stinky dough bait draws big cats to the hook for a fierce battle. Recipes for dough bait are as varied as the anglers who use them, but the basic ingredients and technique for preparation are essentially the same.

Items you will need

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup old cheese, grated

  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

  • Fish oil

  • Mixing bowl

  • Stock pot

  • Slotted spoon

  • Paper towels

  • Resealable plastic bags

  • Food processor or blender

  • Chicken livers or salmon roe (eggs)

Mix the water, flour, cornmeal, sugar, cheese, garlic powder and three-four drops of fish oil in a bowl until a smooth dough forms.

Grind the chicken livers in a blender or food processor for catfish dough bait, or mince salmon eggs for trout bait as an alternative to the basic recipe. Add the livers or salmon eggs to the mix and blend.

Form the dough into balls about the size of the intended hook that will be used for fishing, or about the size of marbles for river fishing. A smaller size will help keep the bait on the hook longer when fishing in fast-moving water.

Drop the dough balls into a stock pot of boiling water and allow to boil for two minutes.

Remove the dough balls from the stock pot with a slotted spoon and blot dry on paper towels.

Store the dough baits in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready for fishing. Bait will keep refrigerated for about two weeks.


  • Don't eat this stuff, and keep it away from children. Dough baits may not be lethal, but they are foul-smelling and messy.
Gone Outdoors