Dough balls are traditional bait used by carp anglers. Commercially prepared baits exist, but many anglers choose to make their own. In some cases, anglers have incorporated secret or traditional family ingredients. Many of the dough baits spoil after a few days even when refrigerated. Anglers commonly break up the left over pieces of dough bait and toss it into their favorite fishing hole. The hope is the bait will attract carp to the area improving the fishing opportunities in the future.
The dough balls need to maintain a sticky consistency that will hang on the hook even when soaked in cold lake water for hours. Mix two cups cornmeal and one cup flour with a pinch of salt and enough water to make a stiff paste. Roll the dough into a ball shape of the appropriate size for the fish hook. Drop the balls in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove the balls from the boiling water when they are partially cooked with a sticky center. Store in the refrigerator until use.
Jell-O Dough Ball
Mix a package of strawberry Jell-O with boiling water before adding two cups of cornmeal and one cup of flour. Cook until the mix forms a sticky paste. Store the paste in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until use. Form the dough into balls and place on the hook just before casting the bait into the lake. The Jell-O dough bait adds a little sweetness and fruit flavor to the bait. It also colors the dough bait, which may be useful.
The simplest dough ball recipe starts with a small piece of bread. Compress the bread and squeeze it into a ball shape before slipping a hook through it. The bread ball can be dipped in any juice, such as the juice in a can of corn or vanilla, before use.
There are about as many variations of the carp dough ball recipe as there are carp anglers. Some of the recipes use rather bizarre ingredients. One recipe mentioned by the Carp Anglers Group utilizes Wheaties cereal and strawberry pop. Other ingredients utilize dog food, spices and herbs, sugar and grains. Try whatever you can thing might work, it can become your own family recipe. In many cases, the special ingredients are added to the basic recipe listed above.