Homemade Trout Baits: What You Need to Know

There’s no doubt that bait plays the most vital role when it comes to catching trout. Trout generally tend to be very wary, so your bait needs to be so attractive that even they would be allured by it.

Live or store-bought artificial lures are definitely more convenient options. But frankly speaking, you’re much better off with making your own. That way, you’ll be able to make sure the quality of the bait is nothing but top-notch. And they’re not even that hard to make.

Take my word for it, once you’ve tried the DIY route, you won’t ever want to go back to the store-bought ones.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at the benefits of homemade trout bait along with several bait recipes. And to clear up any confusion you may have, I’ll also be answering some commonly asked questions in the FAQ section.

Without further ado, let’s get right down to it!

Benefits of Homemade Trout Baits

When it comes to baits, most of them are easily available. So, you might wonder if making your own trout bait is actually worth it. 

The answer is yes. Making your own bait has its own benefits. The benefits of homemade bait are-

Endless Varieties

The best advantage of making your own bait is the versatility. You can make different styles of baits that can be used in different situations. 

Trouts aren’t fussy eaters, they will eat pretty much whatever they can find. So, if you make your own bait, your choices are endless. You can make small tweaks based on seasons and availability to ensure the best catch trout. 

You can also make changes based on seasons for the best experience. Along with that, using bait makes the use of lures easier as well.

Size Preference

When it comes to store-bought bait, you won’t get an option for customized sizes. Most baits such as salmon eggs, corn, or worms are available in fixed sizes that can’t be changed. But when you’re working with your homemade bait, you decide the size. 

Whether it’s a powder or a mix, a good homemade bait can be modified. You can plan it based on your hook to conceal your small hook carefully.  

For example, if you’re using a treble hook, finding the right bait can be hard. Making your own bait can save you from that hassle.


One major benefit of making your own bait is that it’s affordable. You decide the materials, the size, and the quantity. So, you can make exactly the amount you need without worrying about wastage.

You can also mix a number of cheaper ingredients to get the bait you need. Even with cheaper products, you’d get an outcome as good as the real one. If you’re planning to save up, homemade bait is the best option you have. 

How to Make Your Own Trout Bait at Home?

How to Make Your Own Trout Bait at Home

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of making homemade bait, let’s discuss the steps of Making it. There are a number of ways you can make your own bait. You have to follow the bait recipe thoroughly and preserve them accordingly. 

Some of the bait recipes are- 

Simple Dough Bait

The easiest and one of the most effective bait is the simple dough bait. There’s very little stuff involved and it works for most trout. So, if you’re looking for a perfect bait that’s easy to make, trout dough balls are the way to go! 

Things You Need

  • ½ cup of flour 
  • ½ cup of sugar 
  • ½ cup of processed shredded cheese 
  • ½ cup of cornmeal (optional) 

Preparation Process

The steps for making dough bait are-

  • STEP-1: The first step is to melt the cheese. Put it in a microwave for a few minutes and get it melted. You can also melt it in a pan with some hot water.
  • STEP-2: Now, add some water to make a thick paste with the cheese. It’s the base for your bait. Keep mixing until the melted cheese and water have emulsified.
  • STEP-3: Once the paste is ready, add all the dry ingredients. Continue mixing to prevent any lumps. If the mix seems too dry, add water. If it’s too thin, add flour. 
  • STEP-4: Turn the dough into small balls the size of your thumb. Take them into your hand and roll the dough balls. Keep the trout dough balls in their place to set.
  • STEP-5: Once all the dough balls are rolled, put them into boiling water. Let them boil for 2-3 minutes to set up completely. 
  • STEP-6: Take them out of the hot water and let them dry afterward. 
  • FINAL STEP: Store the dough balls in a sealed container or a Ziploc bag and let them freeze. Once they’re frozen, they’re ready for use. 

Dough balls can give you great success if you’re learning how to make trout bait at home. By the way, if you’ve recently started fishing, this is the best bait to make on your own. 

However, if you’re looking for something specialized for catching trout, we’ve got you covered as well! Just keep reading!

Sardine Balls

Trouts love sardines. So, it’s an easy way to attract fish. If you want a homemade, affordable option that will attract trout, sardines are the way to go for trout fishing!

A sardine bait is easy to make and manage. There are only two ingredients involved in making this bait. 

Things You Need

  • 1 pack of water-packed sardines
  • Flour as per requirement 

Preparation Process

When it comes to sardine balls, the choice of sardines is crucial. You need sardines packed in water. There are also sardines packed in anise oil. But they aren’t good for sardine dough balls

We also don’t recommend the use of flavored sardines. Because flavored sardines can be a bit hard to deal with. Most fishes don’t like the smell. As a result, you’ll come home with no trout. 

The steps for preparing sardine dough balls are-

  • STEP-1: Take the sardines out of the can and place them into a bowl. 
  • STEP-2: With a fork, break the sardines down so they turn mushy. The mushier it gets, the better. 
  • STEP-3: Now, add flour to bind it together. Add as much as necessary to make sure it’s doughy and thick. 
  • FINAL STEP: If the mixture gets too dry, add some water. 

That’s how you make sardine balls. Making this bait is pretty beneficial. Because sardine dough balls are an easy alternative to expensive bait like salmon dough balls. So, you’re saving money without risking anything.

Sweet Jello Bait

Trout have a sweet tooth. They love everything that’s sweet. So, if you give them a sweet bait, they’ll definitely munch on it. 

However, it must have some color to attract trout as well. If you’re looking for an easy option, our jello bait is exactly what you need! 

We’ve mentioned the most basic recipe for our sweet jello bait below-

Things You Need

  • 1 and ½ cups of flour 
  • 2 cups of uncooked oatmeal 
  • ½ cups of sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons of maple syrup 
  • 6 tablespoons of strawberry jello mix 
  • 3 and ½ cups of water

Preparation Process

Once you have the ingredients, the preparation process is-

  • STEP-1: Take all the dry ingredients and mix them well. Make sure to prevent the formation of lumps or creases with flour and sugar.
  • STEP-2: Add maple syrup to bind everything together. Add them slowly and keep mixing. Make sure the syrup goes all the way through. 
  • STEP-3: Add half of the water to the mixture and keep mixing. You can add some peanut butter for additional sweetness. 
  • FINAL STEP: Add the jello powder into the mix and slowly add water. Keep mixing until it’s thick. You can also add some food coloring for extra color.

Managing the jello here is important. It gives your bait the desired color. So, keep this in mind. 

By the way, be careful while carrying the jello bait. The sweet and strong scent attracts ants as well. That’s why make sure they’re sealed properly. You can keep them in a tackle box for safety.

Pellet Bait

If you’re planning to put in the effort, making pellet bait is a good idea. Most pellets are made from fish flakes. So, they’re liked by most carnivorous fishes. If you haven’t seen pellets, they’re small and look like dog food.

Trout in farms are raised on pellets, so the strong scent and taste are pretty familiar to most of them as fish food. You can find pellets in most fish supply stores as well. 

However, make sure you’re getting the right pellets. The right kind of trout pellets should be small and fragrant. To prepare pellet baits you need-

Things You Need

  • One cup of trout feed pellets 
  • Boiling water as per requirement 

Preparation Process

  • STEP-1: Put the pellets on a pan over boiling water. Let them stay there until they’re soft. They need to have a play dough consistency.
  • STEP-2: Take them out of the water and break them down with a fork. Keep mixing until you can make a dough. 
  • FINAL STEP: Make dough balls from the dough now and store them in a plastic container. 

Pellet baits are a bit complicated since not everyone is accustomed to trout pellets. But if done right, they can be pretty beneficial. Want another motive to try this bait out?

Well, since pellets are made specifically for trouts, they love pellets just like dogs love dog food.

Corn Bait

Corn is an amazing bait for trout fishing. However, canned corn with the right mix of spices is a game-changer! It follows a simple recipe, but it works exceptionally well. 

Things You Need

  • Can of Corn 
  • Garlic Powder

Preparation Process

The steps to turn your canned corn into a delicious bait are-

  • STEP-1: Take the can of corn and drain it out. Make sure there’s no residual water left in the can. 
  • STEP-2: Put the corn in a bowl and sprinkle a generous mix of garlic powder. 
  • FINAL STEP: Use a spoon to make sure it’s sprinkled all the way.

With that, we’re done with our bait! It’s very simple but very effective. This also works as a makeshift bait when you’ve run out of all options!

Corn Dough Bait

If you’re from a place where corn isn’t allowed for fly fishing, this is a good idea. The corn dough works just like corn without restrictions. Moreover, if you plan on reducing waste, this is a great way to use corn water.  

Things You Need

  • The juice from the can of corn 
  • One cup of flour 
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Flour 

Preparation Process

The steps to make your corn dough bait are- 

  • STEP-1: Take enough flour into a bowl and put the salt and garlic salt in. 
  • STEP-2: Mix them thoroughly and make sure the powder is all the way through. You can add more flour when needed.
  • STEP-3: Pour the juice from the can. Add the juice slowly as you keep mixing it. 
  • STEP-4: Make sure there are no lumps in the mix. Add water to remove any lumps.
  • STEP-5: Keep mixing until you have a doughy consistency. 
  • FINAL STEP: Afterward, turn them into easy dough balls and store them carefully in an airtight container. 

While these are a bit troublesome, they’re really useful to fish trout. They can take a bit of time to make. But they are super cost-effective. Furthermore, most trout love them due to the flavor of the corn. 

With that, we’ve discussed some of the most common homemade fishing baits for trout fishing. Follow them properly and you’re good to go! 

frequently asked questions

Answer: The best homemade bait for trouts is sardine balls. They’re easy to make and trouts love them. They’re also ideal for a number of other fishes.

Answer: Making your own Power bait at home can be a bit challenging. You need to use three categories for ingredients. You need something smelly like cream cheese or garlic powder. Then add flour, bread crumbs, sugar, mini marshmallows, or oatmeal to bind it together. Add some food coloring as well.

Answer: Just like any other fish species, trout love biting on chewy stuff. So, doughy baits such as bread dough work the best for trout! 

Final Word

Catching a good trout is a trout fisherman’s dream. But to fulfill this dream of catching trout, one should use the right bait. While natural baits are a great option, making your own bait floats can be better if you plan on saving up.

In this article, we’ve discussed some of the most popular homemade trout baits to help you out. We hope you find the info helpful! Good luck fishing trout!

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