How to Make Your Own Soft Catfish Bait

How to Make Your Own Soft Catfish Bait
Ask an angler what he uses for catching catfish and settle in for a lecture on how to manufacture homemade bait. You'll learn all of the ingredients except the "secret ingredient," and you still are not any closer to finding a good catfish bait recipe. For all you folks who have been left wanting more, there's a tried-and-true homemade doughball recipe for catfish that won't make you nauseous or result in divorce.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup powdered cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. anise oil
  • Tin of sardines
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • Stove
  • Old cook pot
Step 1
Pour 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered cheese into a mixing bowl and stir together with a spoon.
Step 2
Make an indentation in the center of the dry mixture with your hand. Pour in 1/4 tsp. anise oil and add one tin of sardines with the oil. Stir the wet ingredients with a spoon and break up the sardines into small pieces.
Step 3
Add enough water to the mixture to form a thick dough. If too much water is added and the dough is thin or runny, add more cornmeal and flour to thicken the mixture.
Step 4
Fill an old cook pot until it is about half full. Place the pot on a stove top over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Step 5
Pinch off a small amount of the dough bait and roll in the palm of your hand to form a small ball about the size of a quarter or slightly larger. Place the dough in the boiling water for three minutes. Remove the doughball with a spoon and place on a paper towel to cool.

Tips & Warnings

Store the dough balls in an airtight container in a cool location.
Avoid storing the bait in a refrigerator with food as the anise oil and sardines may be very potent and transfer odors to food.

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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