Sitting beside a babbling stream dangling a hook in the water for trout can be a relaxing way to while away an afternoon, and you don't need to invest in expensive commercial baits to have success. Make your own homemade dough-style bait designed to attract trout through visual appeal and fragrant scents.
Cheesy Does It
Processed brick cheese makes an ideal base for basic trout bait. Soften 2 parts cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Combine 1 part bread crumbs and 1 part cornmeal and sprinkle the crumb mixture with garlic powder. Blend into the softened cheese and mix until it forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can make the dough more appealing to trout by mixing in a little silver glitter and green food coloring. Mix them in just enough to create a swirled pattern for a visually interesting bait. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer for up to three months.
The Main Course
Make your own bait designed to appeal to a trout's sense of smell. In a food processor, grind 1 clove garlic. Add 1 cup nightcrawlers and 1 cup of raw chicken livers. Stir in 4 cups of cornmeal, 4 cups flour and 1/2 cup vinegar and mix well. After you're done fishing, freeze the leftovers and you're good to go the next time. Don't worry about it going bad -- the riper it gets, the more trout eat it up. When you run low, add your new batch to the old for extra ripeness.
Their Just Desserts
Appeal to a trout's sweet tooth with a bait he'll eat up like candy. Bring 3.5 cups of water to a boil and dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of strawberry-flavored gelatin into it. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal. Refrigerate until dough is set and roll into small balls to use on a treble hook.
Use Your Imagination
Create your own bait concoctions using whatever you have on hand. You'll want your bait to have a strong scent, visual appeal and a consistency that will not get soggy and fall off in the water. Start with a strong-smelling base ingredient, such as pureed hot dogs, peanut butter or raw fish. Add extra scent with garlic or anise oil. Add something to hold it together on your hook. Cornmeal, oatmeal, bread crumbs and flour will help hold your bait together. If your bait wants to fall apart, add some melted American cheese and refrigerate until firm. Add color with food coloring or glitter if desired.
Indulging her passion for wide open spaces and outdoor fitness through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, author Jodi Thornton-O'Connell takes the mystery out of outdoor skills and guides readers to discover fun ways to physically connect to natural surroundings.