Three recipes to make dough bait

Roll out half a dozen sausages at a time to really crank up the bait making factory. If the dough is sticking to your fingers as you work, rub a small amount of vegetable oil on your hands. Peanut oil works better than olive oil, though canola oil will do as well.

Drop the bait balls (or discs) in a large pan half full of boiling water. Allow to boil for several minutes before removing the balls with a slotted spoon and setting aside to cool. The boiling creates a very thin, protective outer layer on the dough. This protective skin will help preserve the integrity of the bait in the water. It can also seal in some of the flavor of the dough, but there are ways around this: The boil water can be flavored, for instance, to increase the attractiveness of the bait. Consider adding honey or molasses, condensed milk or sugar, yeast extract or salt can all help create bait balls that will attract different types of fish. Whatever you add, make a note of it and then see how well this batch of bait performs for you.

Try these recipes and experiment with your own mixtures to find what works best for you. Look around the house to see what food stuffs you’ve got on hand that might add to the general mix. Keep a journal of what you used and how well it worked. Before too long you’ll be a local legend as the fish start jumping the moment you show up with your home cooked bait.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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