Only anglers devoted to the science of bass fishing would attempt the ambitious and somewhat crude practice of home made baits. If you are one of the not so faint-of-heart, step right up and take a look at the recipes listed below. Many of these ‘DIY’ baits compare, and even outperform store-bought scent baits, while offering significant savings over those more pricey commercial offerings.

1. Dough Bait

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This recipe works on any predatory fish such as bass or walleye, but is particularly good on bass in south Florida, including largemouth and Peacock bass. Dough baits come in many forms but this basic recipe has been tried and tested among anglers.


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 cup of molasses


  1. Mix well to a dough-like consistency.
  2. Roll the dough into little balls, roughly the size of the hooks you intend to use.

2. Sardine Bait Ball

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Generally anything with oil in it, especially seafood or fish oil will attract bass, but sardines work especially well and are inexpensive to purchase.

  • 1 can of sardines
  • 2 cups of instant mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, add mashed potatoes until you get a consistency that allows you to form into balls, which will stay on a hook. Add small amounts of potatoes at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

3. Gelatin Fish bait

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This one sounds a bit strange, but it works well in areas with high fish density and competition for food. Plus they are fun to make and serve as a wonderful alternative to store-bought lures and baits.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mashed fish or sardines
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 Jell-O/Gelatin pouch, any flavour

Prepare Jell-O by following package instructions and then add dry ingredients until it firms up enough of a cohesive ball to function as bait.

4. Bacon Grease Balls

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Bacon grease can be used in a ton of great cooking tasks, but can also be made into bait with this basic dough recipe. The strong odour attracts humans and fish alike, especially bass!

  • 1 cup cornmeal or fine bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup bacon grease

Mix well and get a good pasty consistency. Just like anything with bacon grease in it, this bait recipe tastes good to anglers and fish alike. Give this one a try and you will see it catches bass!

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5. Ham and Cheese Kabobs

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For the more refined bass out there, this ham and cheese concoction may sound like ‘people food’ but, take it from me, bass go crazy for it as well.

  • 1″ diced ham pieces
  • 1 ” diced chees chunks
  • 1 ” bread chunks

Thread each of the ingredients onto a simple hook, one by one, and toss it in the water. For whatever reason, the combination of ham, cheese & bread does the trick! Bass may very well be the food connoisseurs of the freshwater world!

Final Thoughts

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As you can see from these DIY recipes, making your own homemade bass baits is not that complicated. All you require are basic ingredients usually lying around the house. Catch more fish and save money along the way, what more can you ask for!

Read more bass angling tips and tricks right here, with one of our many bass fishing features on If you love fishing bass especially in Florida as I do, read this feature on Florida Bass hotspots and be sure to bring your homemade baits along.