How to Make Your Own Soft Fish Bait

How to Make Your Own Soft Fish Bait
Did you enjoy chemistry in high school? Are you the kind of person who just loves to figure out how things work and try different ways of putting things together? If you answered yes, making soft bait for fishing should be right up your alley. All kinds of scents and textures may be used for making homemade soft baits. However, a few common ingredients may find their way into bait for a variety of fish and prove very effective on different fresh and saltwater species.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • Water
  • 1/4 cup powdered cheese
  • Anise oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Sardines
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Stove
  • Pot
Step 1
Combine 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of powdered cheese in a mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together and form a pocket in the middle of the mix.
Step 2
Add water to the pocket in the dry mix and begin to stir. Gradually add more water until a thick dough is formed. Make sure all of the ingredients are well-mixed.
Step 3
Add you flavorings and scents. This is where you will fine-tune your dough bait. You have the basic dough constructed, now you will add the scents and attractants. This is purely personal and based on what you think will be needed to attract fish. Consider using anise oil, which has a strong licorice scent, or a fish scent such as cod liver oil or sardine oil.
Step 4
Blend the scents and flavorings you choose into the doughball mixture. A tip is to add the scents in small increments so as to not overpower the dough completely. Make sure the scents are thoroughly mixed into the dough.
Step 5
Fill an older pot half full of water, place on a hot stove and bring to a boil. Pinch off the desired amount of dough and form into appropriately-sized balls. Make small doughballs for trout and larger, quarter-sized, dough balls for catfish and other large gamefish species.
Step 6
Boil the dough for two to three minutes and remove. Place the doughballs on a paper towel to dry. Keep in mind that the cooking time will need to be monitored and adjusted based on the size of the bait and the fish species. For example, small trout bites should be boiled less to make them easier for small trout to take. Doughballs for larger fish species, such as catfish, may need to be boiled longer for the bait to hold together in the water.

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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