How do I Make a Bait Recipe for Bluegill in Ice Fishing?

How do I Make a Bait Recipe for Bluegill in Ice Fishing?
Once native to only the eastern parts of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, bluegill are now found throughout the U.S. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports, "Young fish feed on plankton, but as they grow the diet shifts to aquatic insects and their larvae." Despite their natural diet, these fish will also go for easy-to-catch foods such as bread and dough balls. As angler Van Michaels, publisher of the website The Outdoors Reader, states, "Southern bluegills, especially, seem to be extremely fond of bread." Therefore, bread makes a good base for homemade bluegill bait.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bread
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Liquid flavor
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Wax paper
Step 1
Rip four slices of bread into several pieces. Place these in a mixing bowl.
Step 2
Add 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Add a liquid flavor of your choice. Since bluegill naturally eat insects and fish, a smelly meat juice and blood mixture, such as chicken or beef organs, will tempt bluegill. Add as little or as much as you'd like to make the mixture smell.
Step 3
Mix and knead the "dough" thoroughly with your hands. Add water as needed to get the mixture to a doughy consistency. If you add too much water, you can add more bread, flour or cornstarch in small amounts until you reach the consistency you need.
Step 4
Roll the dough into individual balls, to the size you need to cover your hook. Roll the balls in flour.
Step 5
Place the dough balls on wax paper and pop into the microwave. Cook on medium power for 20 seconds to start. Once cooked, feel the consistency of the ball. You want it to be smooth and malleable without sticking or breaking apart. If necessary, continue to cook the dough balls on medium power for 10 seconds at a time until you are satisfied with the consistency.
Step 6
Place the balls in a plastic container with a lid. Store in the freezer until your next fishing trip.

Tips & Warnings

There's no right or wrong way to make this bluegill bait recipe. Because different breads will have different consistencies, and bluegills in different areas may have different food preferences, you may need to adjust this recipe as needed.

Article Written By Lynn Anders

Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.

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