How to Make Catfish Dough Ball Bait

How to Make Catfish Dough Ball Bait
Here kitty, kitty. When you are trying to call big channel or blue catfish to the dinner table, it will take more than gentle coaxing. Catfish are the science fiction aliens of the game fish world. Their ability to sense vibration, see objects in murky water and an extraordinary sense of smell make them a fish to be reckoned with. To catch big cats you need to play on their senses, especially smell. The rules are simple: Make your bait as smelly as possible and ring the dinner bell.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise oil
  • 1/8 cup cheddar cheese powder
  • 1 tin sardines with oil
  • Fork
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Stove top
  • Cooking pot
  • Paper towel
Step 1
Combine the dry ingredients for your catfish dough ball bait in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/8 cup powdered cheddar cheese to the bowl and stir to mix.
Step 2
Add the wet ingredients to the mix. Form a pocket in the middle of the dry ingredients and add 1/4 teaspoon anise oil and 1 tin of sardines and packed oil. Use a fork or knife to break the sardines apart into small 1/2 inch or so pieces.
Step 3
Combine the ingredients together with a mixing spoon. Slowly add water to the mixture until a thick dough is formed. If your mixture becomes too thin, simply add a little cornmeal or flour to gradually thicken the mixture.
Step 4
Fill a cooking pot halfway with water and place on a stove top over medium heat. Allow the water to come to a low boil. Form the catfish dough into balls about the size of a quarter. Place the dough balls into the boiling water for three minutes.
Step 5
Remove the dough ball bait from the boil and place on a paper towel to thoroughly drain. When cool, place the bait in an air tight storage container and store in a cool place.

Tips & Warnings

You may want to wear a pair of surgical type gloves when forming the dough balls to prevent the strong smell of anise oil and sardine from getting on your hands.
Avoid storing the bait in a refrigerator with food. Even in an enclosed container, the smell could permeate into food.
Carefully place the dough balls in the boiling water. Do not drop them in; use a spoon to place them into the water. Allowing the boiling water to splash could result in a burn.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

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.

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