Make Your Own Bluegill Fishing Baits at Home
Make Your Own Bluegill Fishing Baits at Home

Make Your Own Bluegill Fishing Baits at Home

Bluegill Fishing Baits: Make Your Own at Home

Make Your Own Bluegill Fishing Baits at Home (Bread For Bluegill Bait)- Bluegill can be caught on many different baits.I have used everything, from wigglers worms and crickets to small running crankbaits to tiny gold-plated and dropped through holes in the ice.Dough balls are my favorite bait for bluegills, at least in warm regions.

Not just any dough balls. My best bream bait was something I invented in my youth. It was a simple solution to a frustrating problem. I used it to catch fish and still use it to this day.

Take a walk down memory lane with me, if possible. I promise that we’ll stop at Preparation Parkway and swing by Delivery Drive before reaching Bent Rod Boulevard.

The Back Story

A warm summer morning saw me spot a group of bluegills darting around a floating dock. I was utterly unprepared, but I was always up for a challenge. I ran home to retrieve my Zebco 200 and the small bag of split shots and loose hooks that comprised my first tackle box.

My enthusiasm was shattered by the economic realities of the day. My monthly allowance day was still a week away and my lawn-mowing business was suffering from the savings of several neighbors for vacation.

My normal option of collecting dime deposits from soft drink bottles was not an option. It would have taken too much fishing time.

There was no way around it: I didn’t have any bait money, and it wasn’t until a while later that crankbaits or gold-plated Jigs were available.

Unfazed, I remembered a solution – bread balls. It was easy to make bread balls by taking a small piece of white bread and rolling it into a ball. Mom advised me to save the remaining slices in the bag for dinner.

We’ll stick with Plan B, the homemade dough bait that my uncle showed me about a year ago. I was able to make a portion of bluegill bait with half a cup flour, some tap water, and some careful spoon action.

In a bid to get wet, I wrapped my freshly made dough in a plastic sandwich and stuffed it into my Darth Vader tee shirt pocket. Then, I balanced my 202 on the handlebars a green and dark Huffy dirtbike and raced back towards the bluegill dock.

The good news is that the fish loved the soft, gooey dough. Bad news: Too often the soft bait was discarded by the fish and I had to reel in a hook.

I was disappointed, but not discouraged, so I went back to the kitchen to tinker around until I found something that would forever change my panfish pursuits.

New And Improved

Raw dough, like store-bought bread, becomes loose when it is submerged. Undersized fish can be picked up by careful keepers.

After pondering the idea, I decided to try cooking the dough in the microwave. To my surprise, the dough was able to be zapped quickly and formed a firm consistency that I knew would outlast the fish.

The basic recipe is to combine half a cup flour with enough water to make a dough. Sprinkle flour on the dough’s surface. Flatten the dough into 1/2-inch thick pats. Place the patty on a doubled piece of waxed parchment and microwave for 30 seconds at medium power. You can test the results by pinching the dough’s edge after it has been nuked and rolling it on your fingers. Cook the bait for another 10-15 seconds if it sticks or smears.

Microwaving is faster than traditional baking. It also doesn’t dry out the dough and makes it crispy. Baked dough bait’s flakiness is similar to store-bought bread’s water-wear limitations. Both can easily fall apart.

The finished product should have a rubbery texture, which molds tightly to the hook. This allows fish to grab the bait and hook simultaneously, without having to eat the barb. This bait is so strong that you can catch multiple fish with one piece. After each catch, simply remold the bait on the hook and drop it again.

Both white and wheat flour work equally well. However, for the best firmness and minimal air pockets, you should use all-purpose flour, not self-rising flour. Add some vanilla extract, onion powder, or anise oil before baking to enhance the scent appeal.

User-Friendly

Dough balls make a great match for cane poles. A 12 wire hook with just enough weight to keep a vertical drop. Cane poles are a superior tool for probing around plants, but it can be difficult to get a 12-foot-long twig to cooperate when you try to reach under a dock or overhanging brush. For tight spaces, a light spinning or spincast outfit would be a better choice.

A tight dough ball is essential, regardless of the microwave’s jelling effect. The best option is the diamond-shaped arrangement, which can be created by simultaneously pressing the bait between your thumb and forefinger. To form matching hemispheres, squeeze the bait high and low. This creates two small hook entries that blend into a large midsection, which can be used to hide a hook point. The barb will slide through the dough into the fish’s mouth when you are tight on a taker.

Pre-making several dough balls, and then skewering them with toothpicks, will maximize your fishing time. It’s like a speed loader for dough balls – you can capitalize on the action with multiple rods by having an easy supply of ammunition.

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The dough’s high recycling potential and long-lasting value adds to the bait’s cost-effectiveness. After you finish fishing, wrap your leftover dough bait tightly and keep it in the refrigerator. Once you are ready to use it again just add a few drops water to it and zap for about 10 seconds until it softens enough that it can be attached to a hook.

Awareness Of Appetizers

You’ve probably seen the rolling, splashing and popping sound of stale bread in a lake filled with bluegills. Chumming with dough bait is no different.

You can help locate bluegill by dropping a few extras in the target zone. You should not overfeed the fish as this can lead to a decrease in their appetite.

Try to place half a dozen of the dough pieces in the area. Flatten your chum pieces so that they sink slowly or float on top of low-visibility areas. To grab the attention of your quarry, throw a few sinking bits on top.

If they take longer than a minute to reach the chum bits, it’s either spooky (or sitting deep). A high bobber, or no bobber, is best. If the fish eat the freebies right away, you can expect to be busy for as long you can.

Toss some more chum bits to the fish once they start boiling. Then, sneak your baited line among the chum. If your bait is left unattended for too long, you can drop some chum bits near the hook. A sudden increase in food can often convince fish that it is worth the effort and encourages them to rally.

Bluegill Bait 7 Best Baits for Bream and Sunfish

It’s not possible to have every bluegill lure at all times. So it’s useful to be aware of all options. This will help you, regardless of where you live or what your situation is, to find a solid bluegill bait that you can use for your fishing trip.

I will discuss the top options I have tried and explain why you might want to use them all.

My favorite bluegill bait is the crickets

Bluegills love crickets and they are the best bait. Bluegills love crickets, but I also like them because they are cheaper, easier to find, and less messy than worms.

If you intend to fish with crickets, you will need to invest $8 in a cricket cage. Below is my red cricket bucket. This container is far better than any temporary containers that you might find at a bait shop.

You can find crickets almost everywhere in any bait shop . You can also purchase them at pet shops and gas stations.

You don’t have to supervise crickets while they are fishing. Keep them out of direct sunlight when possible. Even leftover crickets can be kept for another day of fishing. They can also be annoying due to their constant chirping during fishing trips.

There are many ways to hook a cricket. I prefer to use a 6 or 8 long shank cricket shackle hook,, and thread it through the body, showing the hook point. Others prefer to hook them in a hard collar right behind their heads. It seems that I get more crickets off the hook when I use the collar. This is why I don’t prefer it.

Even though crickets can’t survive long after being hooked up, it’s not a good idea to keep them alive. My experience is that the bluegills will be there, but the cricket won’t last very long. You may feel the need to re-bait a dead cricket. Crickets are inexpensive.

Any of the listed bait options, I prefer to fish them with a small bobber and a split shot. Sometimes I will use line baits but it is nostalgic to see a bobber shooting under the water. A bobber is what I consider the essence of bream fishing.

Worms: Nightcrawlers, redworms, and other species

They are, without question, the best bluegill bait. You can catch all kinds of sunfish (i.e. Worms may be better than crickets for catching all kinds of sunfish (i.e. redear). It seems that worms are more popular than crickets.

Two of the best things about worms is that they can almost guarantee you a bite from some fish and they are readily available. They can be purchased at bait shops, Walmart and Academy Sports as well as gas stations. They can be collected from your backyard or taken from a nearby park. There is no better bait available in America.

You should only use small pieces of worms. Even large bluegills have small mouths. You will need to reduce the size of your bait.

I will cut a nightcrawler into three to ten different baits depending on the size of fish I am after. You should not leave any worm hanging off the hook. Fish will grab it and pull the bait off.

Bluegills can’t beat a small piece of worm under a Cork.

Waxworms, also known as “waxies”, are a type of waxworm.

The larvae of wax moths (or “waxies”) are called wax worms or “waxies”. These tiny caterpillars are great bluegill bait.

The waxworm is located in the middle of the above image. It’s about 3/4 inch in size, which is less than a cricket’s body. They are a good size for bluegill bait. They are usually only one per hook, so you don’t need to separate them.

They are readily available in pet shops because waxies are a common food for pets reptiles and birds. Even if there isn’t a local bait shop that sells them they can be purchased online or at a pet store . A 50-count plastic cup was available at my local Petco (shown above).

Waxworms are relatively inexpensive and can survive for several weeks without much care. Keep them dry and at 50 degrees. You can keep them at room temperature for some time, as most fridges are too cold. Keep them dry in a container with a lid and sawdust.

Wax worms are much easier to deal with than earthwormsOne waxworm is equal to one bait, just like a cricket.

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To prevent bluegills stealing your hooks, you will need to thread them on the hook.

Interesting side note: These things can eat through most types of plastic, even shopping bags. If you place them in a container made of plastic, ensure that it is not too thin or they might escape.

Mealworms – aka “mealies”

Another good larvae bait is the mealworm (darkling) beetle. These larvae are part of the darkling mealworm beetle. Above is a picture of a live mealworm at the bottom left. It is noticeably smaller than the middle-sized wax worm.

Mealworms, which are supposed to be edible by humans, are great sources of protein. They are also used to feed birds and reptiles. They are often found at pet shops. That is where I purchase mine. They are also readily available online.

Although I am sure that there are many places that stock fish bait mealies, I was unable to find one in my local area. It’s not a big deal. They were found in the reptile area of my local Petco.

For a cheaper bait, you can grow your own mealworms. You can find tons of information online about how to do this.

Grasshoppers

Although I don’t often use grasshoppers for bluegill bait, they are a great choice. They are probably even better than crickets. If other baits are unavailable or you are short on bait, grasshoppers can be used as an alternative.

I can remember collecting them as a child because, like the worms, they were free! But, there is no doubt that grasshoppers are very efficient. A quality bait will not be found at a lower price. Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or inclination to catch grasshoppers. You can just buy some crickets.

Canned Sweet Corn is a great bluegill bait

If you don’t have the time or desire to fish for bream, corn is an excellent choice. Simply grab a can of corn from your kitchen cabinet and put a few spoonfuls in a ziplock bag. If you are a professional angler, you won’t need all of the contents. You can either save the rest or use it as a recipe for your next meal.

Corn is a tough bait and can sometimes withstand multiple fish. Place 1 to 2 kernels on a small hook and then fish it under a Bobber.

Corn is not only easy to find, but it’s also very low in smell and gross. It’s great for fishing with children because they aren’t afraid of it and don’t get any nastiness everywhere. It’s also very affordable!

Slim Jim – Yes, meat sticks are good bluegill bait

Another convenience bait is meat sticks. They can be purchased at almost any gas station . You can also get Slim Jim’s if the bait shop is closed. Even worse, you can snack while you watch your bobber.

In all seriousness, bluegills do like Slim Jim’s. They are extremely oily and greasy in the water. Their effectiveness is likely due to the scent that they release. You may be able to catch more fish with one small piece, but it is best not to leave it on for too long. After a while, it seems like the bait is washed away. Keep your bait hydrated.

Slim Jim’s are especially useful if you need small gills to catch catfish or bass bait. This is what I use them for most. If I am preparing for a bluegill-only outing, I will use one of the listed bait options.

Bread For Bluegill Bait

Bread For Bluegill Bait – Bluegills love bread as bait, but the problem is that bread is very easy to dissolve in the water. If you’re fishing in hot areas, this is not a problem. Your bait will only be in the water for a few seconds when the fishing is good

Another option is to use this bait, but it shouldn’t be your first choice when planning a trip. In a pinch, you might grab some bread and go for a swim.

Take a piece of sandwich bread or bun and wrap it around the hook as best you can. If bluegills are present, you can expect it will be hit quickly.

My favorite bluegill bait is the crickets

Bluegills love crickets and they are the best bait. Bluegills love crickets, but I also like them because they are cheaper, easier to find, and less messy than worms.

If you intend to fish with crickets, you will need to invest $8 in a cricket cage. Below is my red cricket bucket. This container is far better than any temporary container you might find at a bait shop.

You can find crickets almost everywhere in any bait shop . You can also purchase them at pet shops and gas stations.

You don’t have to supervise crickets while they are fishing. Keep them out of direct sunlight when possible. Even leftover crickets can be kept for another day of fishing. They can also be annoying due to their constant chirping during fishing trips.

There are many ways to hook a cricket. I prefer to use a 6 or 8 long shank cricket shackle hook,, and thread it through the body, showing the hook point. Others prefer to hook them in a hard collar right behind their heads. I feel like there are more crickets being ripped off my hook when I use the collar. This is why I don’t prefer it.

Even though crickets can’t survive long after being hooked up, it’s not a good idea to keep them alive. My experience is that the bluegills will be there, but the cricket won’t last very long. You may feel the need to re-bait a dead cricket. Crickets are inexpensive.

Any of the baits listed here, I prefer to fish them with a small bobber and a split shot. Sometimes I will use line baits but it is nostalgic to see a bobber shooting under the water. A bobber is what I consider the essence of bream fishing.

Worms: Nightcrawlers, redworms, and other species

They are, without question, the best bluegill bait. You can catch all kinds of sunfish (i.e. Worms may be better than crickets for catching all kinds of sunfish (i.e. redear). It seems that worms are more popular than crickets.

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Two of the best things about worms is that they can almost guarantee you a bite from some fish and that they are readily available. They can be purchased at bait shops, Walmart and Academy Sports as well as gas stations. They can be collected from your backyard or taken from a nearby park. There is no better bait available in America.

You should only use small pieces of worms. Even large bluegills have small mouths. You will need to reduce the size of your bait.

I will cut a nightcrawler into three to ten different baits depending on the size of fish I am after. You should not leave any worm hanging off the hook. Fish will grab it and pull the bait off.

Bluegills can’t beat a small piece of worm under a Cork.

Waxworms, also known as “waxies”, are a type of waxworm.

The larvae of wax moths (or “waxies”) are called wax worms or “waxies”. These tiny caterpillars are great bluegill bait.

The waxworm is located in the middle of the above image. It’s about 3/4 inch in size, which is less than a cricket’s body. They are a good size for bluegill bait. They are usually only one per hook, so you don’t need to separate them.

They are readily available in pet shops because waxies are a common food for pets reptiles and birds. Even if there isn’t a local bait shop that sells them they can be purchased online or at a pet store . A 50-count plastic cup was available at my local Petco (shown above).

Waxworms are relatively inexpensive and can survive forseveral weeks without much care. Keep them dry and at 50 degrees. You can keep them at room temperature for some time, as most fridges are too cold. Keep them dry in a container with a lid and sawdust.

Wax worms are much easier to deal with than earthwormsOne waxworm is equal to one bait, just like a cricket.

To prevent bluegills stealing your hooks, you will need to thread them on the hook.

Interesting side note: These things can eat through most types of plastic, even shopping bags. If you place them in a container made of plastic, ensure that it is not too thin or they might escape.

Here’s a good article on how to breed waxworms.

Mealworms – aka “mealies”

Another good larvae bait is the mealworm (darkling) beetle. These larvae are part of the darkling mealworm beetle. Above is a picture of a live mealworm at the bottom left. It is noticeably smaller than the waxworm in the middle.

Mealworms, which are supposed to be edible by humans, are great sources of protein. They are also used to feed birds and reptiles. They are often found at pet shops. That is where I purchase mine. They are also readily available online.

Although I am sure that there are many places that stock fish bait mealies, I was unable to find one in my local area. It’s not a big deal. They were found in the reptile area of my local Petco.

For a cheaper bait, you can grow your own mealworms. You can find tons of information online about how to do this.

Grasshoppers

Although I don’t often use grasshoppers for bluegill bait, they are a great choice. They are probably even better than crickets. If other baits are unavailable or you are short on bait, grasshoppers can be used as an alternative.

I can remember collecting them as a child because, like the worms, they were free! But, there is no doubt that grasshoppers are very efficient. A quality bait will not be found at a lower price. Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or inclination to catch grasshoppers. You can just buy some crickets.

Canned Sweet Corn is a great bluegill bait

If you don’t have the time or desire to fish for bream, corn is an excellent choice. Simply grab a can of corn from your kitchen cabinet and put a few spoonfuls in a ziplock bag. If you are a professional angler, you won’t need all of the contents. You can either save the rest or use it as a recipe for your next meal.

Corn is a tough bait and can sometimes withstand multiple fish. Place 1 to 2 kernels on a small hook and then fish it under a Bobber.

Corn is not only easy to find, but it’s also very low in smell and gross. It’s great for fishing with children because they don’t feel intimidated and there’s no nastiness everywhere. It’s also very affordable!

Slim Jim – Yes, meat sticks are good bluegill bait

Another convenience bait is meat sticks. They can be purchased at almost any gas station . You can also get Slim Jim’s if the bait shop is closed. Even worse, you can snack while watching your bobber.

In all seriousness, bluegills do like Slim Jim’s. They are extremely oily and greasy in the water. Their effectiveness is likely due to the scent that they release. You may be able to catch more fish with one small piece, but it is best not to leave it on for too long. After a while, it seems like the bait is washed away. Keep your bait hydrated.

Slim Jim’s are especially useful if you need small gills to catch catfish or bass bait. This is what I use them for most. If I am preparing for a bluegill-only outing, I will use one of the listed bait options.

Bread For Bluegill Bait

Bluegills love bread as bait, but the problem is that bread is very easy to dissolve in the water. If you’re fishing in hot areas, this is not a problem. Your bait will only be in the water for a few seconds when the fishing is good

Conclusion

Bluegill bait can be made from any of the options listed. There are many more options, and this list could go on forever. The baits I have listed are well-tested. Perhaps I will come across a better option. If so, I’ll update this list.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.