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How To Make Dough Balls For Fishing

Mark Armstrong
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Choosing the right bait can sometimes be pretty tough. But dough balls might just be be the catch-all bait to catch all fish.

Because we know you really want to try this trick out we’ve put together a little guide on how you can make your own dough balls for fishing.

How To Make Dough Balls For Fishing? - PinterestPin

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Dough Balls? To Catch Fish? Why?!

Will Fish Eat Dough Balls?

With enough experimentation you could find there are plenty of different fish that will eat dough balls. If you’ve ever been to the waterside where anyone is throwing bread in for ducks or fish, you’ll likely have seen schools of fish join the party and gather around to eat the bread.

Kayak fish finders guide

While simple bread can attract fish (and can be used as bait like a dough ball), dough balls are likely to attract species of fish that like to scavenge and can be particularly attractive to carp and catfish.

But depending on the flavors you experiment with, you could lure in bluegill and other types of sunfish.

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While you may think that fish are more likely to eat something that at least looks like it’s alive, dough balls can be an easy bait for some fish.

With the likes of carp and catfish, they will tend to eat anything that comes their way, as their diets are very varied and include plants, decaying matter, insects, as well as small fish.


You’ll probably find that different anglers will use a variation of flavors and may alternate between a few different recipes.

It may be a case of trying different flavors and ingredients to find out what works best either for the specific type of fish you’re trying to catch or for the area where you’re fishing.

Adding in some cheese or corn (including cornflakes) might help to attract catfish. Or you could try adding some peas to lure in carp.

Fishing kayak buyer’s guide

Dough Ball Ingredients

  • ½ Cup of water 
  • ½ Cup of flour
  • ½ Cup of cornmeal
  • ½ Cup of Jello (or 1 or 2 tbsp of flavoring of your choice)
  • Food coloring (optional)

How To Make Fishing Dough Balls

Step 1: Mix Together Your Flour, Cornmeal And Jello

In a mixing bowl, add in your flour, cornmeal and Jello powder. Mix together.

Step 2: Add Water

Once your flour, cornmeal and Jello are mixed together slowly add in your water and continue to mix.

If the mixture is a little runny, feel free to add in a little more flour until it reaches a sticky dough texture.

Video: Cool Carp Fishing Dough Ball Bait Recipe

If you’re using flavoring instead of Jello, you can add this to the mixture when you add the water, along with food coloring if you choose.

Step 3: Form Into Balls

Now that your mixture is the right consistency and all your ingredients have been added, form it into dough balls. Be careful not to make the balls too large or too small for your hook.

You can form the dough into balls at this point or you can leave the dough as a whole and form the balls when you reach your fishing hole.

Tip: If you’re forming your dough into balls before you head to the water, you can also boil them in a pot of water for around a minute. This can help the dough balls to retain their shape and stop them from disintegrating. Alternatively, you could microwave them for around 30 seconds.

2-person fishing kayaks

Step 4: Refrigerate The Dough

Place your dough into a freezer bag or airtight container and refrigerate your dough. This can be whether it’s all in one piece or already molded into balls. You can also freeze the dough for future use. Just remember to give it time to defrost before you head out fishing.

If you’ve boiled your dough balls first, remember to let them cool before you refrigerate or freeze them.

Step 5: Turn Your Dough Into Bait

When you’re ready to bait your hook, form your dough ball around your hook so that the hook is hidden within the dough ball. Your dough ball should reach up to the point where your hook meets your line.

Wrapping Up

Dough balls can be an ideal bait to use for a variety of different fish. It can be easy to make and you can easily amend the ingredients for fun experiments till you find the perfect bait.

Do you have a go-to dough ball recipe? Tell us about it. And share this guide to let your friends and followers in on the action and maybe they can find their perfect bait.

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19 thoughts on “How To Make Dough Balls For Fishing”

  1. My daddy used to make these dough balls and they worked every time he used them. I forgotten how to make them.Thank you so much for keeping the traditional fishing dough balls.
    Happy Fishing.

  2. my dough ball is the same as yours but i use molassis. i’ve caught many carp to say 5 kgs. also tilapia. also caught a 5.2 kg barber. i only fish with dough balls. i usually first put plain floaties on the hook to help prevent the ball from falling off. for cooking, i buy the salt mix used by fish and chips shops. you get this mix at spice shops. i usually make fish cakes. devine!

  3. I heard a lot of my fishing friends talk about using bread for dough bait! Now there is a recipe for homemade bait, I’m going to use that instead and catch more than they do! Gummy worms do just well!

  4. I have been doing alot of research on what brown bullhead cat fish like besides nightcrawlers.
    My mother used to make dough balls and i could not remember her recipe any how.. i read to take chicken liver chop them up in a blender ( i know gross) and add wheaties.. hmmm well now i know the dough ball recipe i am going to get some chicken livers and add to the dough ball. Thank you and ill let yea know how it works if i can find this page again lol .
    Thank you

  5. these are great love them there so good they have so much flavor !
    I have them for my daily snack and they are so gooey !!!!!

    PS add salt for flavor this is margeut by the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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