Homemade Bluegill Bait Recipe

Bluegill and other panfish can be caught on just about anything from crickets, worms, and corn to artificials. But for many anglers, the best bluegill bait is homemade dough balls. There is something deeply satisfying about creating a special fish-catching formula in your own kitchen, especially when it proves to be very effective at catching bream.

Here we will show you how to make the perfect homemade bluegill bait.

What you will need for the recipe:

  • A Bowl
  • ½ cup Flour
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp onion or garlic powder
  • Water
  • Vanilla extract (optional)

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Mix about ½ cup of flour, tsp of onion or garlic powder, and a few pinches of salt in a bowl
  2. Add warm water and a few drops of vanilla extract (if desired) while stirring
  3. Place the dough into a big lumpy ball
  4. Place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, you can also take the dough out and place on wax paper to microwave
  5. Flip the dough over and microwave on the other side for 15 seconds.

You will know that the dough balls are done when you can form small balls with the dough without it smearing. Often it will turn a yellowish color. If it still smears when you touch it, place it in the microwave for another 10-15 seconds.

Fishing with Dough Balls

Some anglers will roll a bunch of small dough balls and place them into a bag to bring with them, others will just bring the giant ball of dough in the bag and roll them into tiny balls as they are fishing. It’s up to you which m method you prefer. Just make sure your dough balls are rolled tightly so they are firm. You can freeze any unused dough balls and use them again on your next outing.

To fish the dough balls:

  1. Use a size 6 to 12 hook
  2. Place your dough balls on your hook so that they cover the barb
  3. Use a bobber setup and cast just past where the fish are
  4. Gently reel your presentation through the strike zone

Bonus Tip

You can also chum the water by throwing a few dough balls in. This should get the fish’s attention and let you know where you need to place your bait. If you’re new to chumming, the key is to put just enough in without overfeeding them, or they won’t bite your bait.


That’s all there is to it. Dough balls are extremely easy to make and easy to fish with, but they seriously work for bluegill and other panfish. It’s an especially fun project for children to create and fish with their own homemade bait.

Learn more about fishing for bluegill.