The Easiest Way of Making Dough Balls For Fishing

How To Make Bait Balls

It can be really tough to go for the right type of bait if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you want to go for an almost catch-all bait for all types of fish, then you won’t go wrong with the dough balls.

This easy-to-follow guide was meant to come as a help for starters that really want to know how to make their own dough balls.

Why would you use dough balls to catch fish?

Are they even going to like them?

In time and with experience, you will learn that there are quite a few species of fish that are crazy about dough balls. You’ve surely noticed how fish gather around to eat bread near watersides where people are throwing it for ducks.

So yes, you can attract fish even with simple bread, which can be used with no issues as bait, but if you want to attract catfish, carp, or any other scavenger species of fish, then dough balls are your best bet.

You might even be able to catch some sunfish or bluegill, but all of this depends on the flavors you’re working with, so experimentation is key.

Why use dough balls?

As you might know, most fish will only eat things that seem to be alive. Although this is true for the most part, some fish will be drawn dough balls instead.

In the case of catfish or carp, for example, the things are pretty straightforward: They will eat anything that is around them, including small fish, insects, decaying matter, or even some types of plants.

The Flavors

Different anglers, as you might notice, will use different flavors and they would alternate between a few different recipes for the best results.

They might change the ingredients based on what works in a specific waterside area, they might experiment with recipes based on different types of fish, or simply test out different things to see what works for them best.

If you want to attract catfish, for example, it won’t hurt to add some cornflakes (or simply corn) or cheese to your dough recipe. To make it more desirable for carp, you could add peas instead.
Dough Ball Ingredients

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

How To Make Fishing Dough Balls

Step 1: Mix Together Your Cornmeal Flour, And Jello

The first step is to get a mixing bowl and place in it Jello powder, cornmeal, and some flour. Mix all of these ingredients together.

Step 2: Add Water

As soon as you notice that those ingredients are properly blended together, you can slowly start to add water and continue to mix.

Don’t let it get too runny. If you notice you lose the sticky texture, add some more flour until you get the perfect dough.

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

Boiling Dough BallsAs soon as you get the right consistency for your mixture and you added all of the ingredients, you can slowly start to make the dough balls. You should try to make them the right size so they aren’t either too small or too big for the hook.

You don’t have to form the balls right away. You can leave the dough in full and start to form as many balls as you need when you get to your waterside.

Keep in mind: If you want to make the balls before you go to your fishing place, then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to also boil them in a pot of water for close to a minute. In this way, you will make sure the balls keep the shape and they won’t disintegrate as fast. You could also microwave them for half a minute to get a similar result.

Step 4: Refrigerate The Dough

It is always a good idea to refrigerate your dough by placing it either in an airtight container or in a freezer bag. You can do this either after you’ve turned the dough into balls or while it is still in one piece. The dough can also be frozen, split into multiple parts, and used on different fishing days. All you have to remember is to give it enough defrosting time before you actually use it.

If you use our tip and boil the balls but would still like to refrigerate them and use them on multiple fishing experiences, then you should let them cool before you put them in the freezer.

Step 5: Turn The Dough Into Bait

When you’re ready to start fishing, all you have to do is to form the dough around the hook so that the hook has no visible parts. You should make the ball in such a way that it reaches the point where the line meets your hook.

Video tutorial


You can use these dough balls to fish for a bunch of different fish species. Not only are these balls easy to make, but you will be able to switch between ingredients until you find what works best for you.

This is what works for me, but if you have a different ball recipe you would like to share, then you can surely tell me about it, either in a comment or in a contact form message. If all this is new information for you, make sure to share it with your fishing buddies so they can build their perfect bait as well.

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