How to Make Fishing Bait From Dough

••• Kneading yeast dough image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com

Dough bait is an old-time favorite among anglers. From trout to panfish, carp and catfish, dough can attract and entice a wide variety of game fish species. You typically first make the dough that provides the substance for the fish to bite. You can add attractants that give off a scent in the water to lure the fish and make them hang on during the hook set.

Place a mixing bowl on a sturdy work surface and add 1 cup of cornmeal and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Use a spoon to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly together in the bowl. Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 tbsp. of garlic powder to the bowl and continue mixing the ingredients.

Slowly add water to the bowl a little at a time. Use your hand to work the water into the dry ingredients. Continue to add a little water at a time and work it thoroughly as the dough begins to form. Watch the dough and test it periodically by pinching off a small amount and rolling it in your hands. If it rolls easily and is not tacky or sticky, then the dough is ready.

Put on a pair of rubber or surgical type gloves. Open a bottle of anise oil or cod liver oil and place several drops across the surface of the dough as attractants. Work the oil thoroughly into the dough in the bowl. Add more oil if necessary; a little oil typically goes a long way. Gauge the proper amount through personal preference and your sense of smell.

Pinch off small amounts of the dough and roll it into small balls. Place the balls in a plastic storage bag. Store the dough balls in a refrigerator until you're ready to use them for fishing.


  • Boil the dough balls to make them more solid and hold together better in the water. Don't add the anise oil or cod liver oil attractant to the mix at this point. Put the dough balls in a pot of boiling water for two minutes, remove them with a spoon, and let them cool on a paper towel. Place the boiled dough balls, or boilies, in a plastic bag and then add the oil inside the bag.


About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Photo Credits

  • Kneading yeast dough image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com