Right off the bat I want yall to know that, IMO, nothing beats live bait, period. But when sustaining a prolonged fishing operation like a couple of trotlines in the river mid-summer thru fall, live bait is not always feasible economically or practically for most of us, and in the stagnant low water river conditions of dog days a good scent bait can actually outperform live bait. That being said, Id like to share my homemade recipe that Ive used only as a slow release, long lasting bait for trotlining. But I can see no reason why this wouldnt also make a good fast release bait for rod & reel simply by omitting the cooking process. It is a dough bait and the finished raw dough is very tough and stretchy and should stay on the hook very well. Instead of forming into doughballs, I roll the finished dough out flat and slice the baits into small (¼ x ½ x ½) dumplings, poke a hole for the hook in each one, and drop into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This recipe will make approximately 300 of these dumplings. This is not an instant or quick recipe, so its not for everyone. It requires 2-4 weeks (depending on temperatures) to produce the best results. This is all the more reason to mass produce and freeze the surplus. It has proven to be a dependable staple for trotlining that consistantly catches channel cats, smallmouth buffalo suckers, and others. It is not a stink bait, but it does have a unique odor which is neither repulsive nor foul to most people. Also, this recipe doesnt seem to be overly attractive to carp (which, to me, is a desireable quality as a trotline bait). To target carp and buffalo omit the sardines, garlic & onion powders, and add ½ to 1 whole bottle real vanilla after combining the Brown Stuff with the Green Stuff (just dont make the vanilla overpowering). _______________________________________________________ Ingredients: BROWN STUFF (souring process) (1) 15.25 oz can corn 1 to 1.5 cups cottonseed meal, not hulls (approximate; and absolutely essential, imo) 1 cup molasses (approximate; I use stock grade deer molasses from the hunting store) GREEN STUFF (1) 13.5 oz can spinach (1) can sardines (in oil or water) 1.25 oz garlic powder (1/2 bottle) 1.25 oz onion powder [optional; 1-2 dozen catalpa worms (I added for the first time last batch w/outstanding results)] FLOUR 3 lbs plain white flour (approximate) _________________________________________________________ Preparation: BROWN STUFF; drop cottonseed meal in blender and chop into a powder, remove; puree corn in blender and add molasses and then the cottonseed powder, blend all together, add a little water if needed, looking for consistency of tomato sauce; put in jar and cover with cloth, set it outside to sour for 2-4 wks. The grainy essence derived from the soured corn/cottonseed/sorghum combo is the heart and soul of this recipe. The souring process is also why it takes so long to make; kinda like making good wine or beer except you dont add yeast, let the bacteria & wild yeasts in your locale do their thing. The cottonseed meal may not be readily available to some, but your local feed store should be able to order it for you. As stated previously, I consider the cottonseed meal essential to this recipe. Preparation: GREEN STUFF; when brown stuff is soured and youre ready to make the dough, puree the green stuff ingredients together in a blender; use fresh, DO NOT SOUR. Preparation: DOUGH; combine brown stuff with green stuff in large bowl and mix well, begin adding in flour and stir & stir and mix & mix and knead & knead (this is the most laborious part) until you have a dough the consistency like moms bread dough, it should not stick to your hands or the board when its ready, youll begin to think that youre never gonna get there, take a break if you have to; seal dough in plastic bag to prevent drying out and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days to allow the whole lump to leaven with the various scents of the ingredients. This can be frozen until youre ready to use it. If you choose to make boilies from it, just remember, dont over cook. Drop the dough balls (or dumplings) into boiling water a few at a time, when they float theyre about 30-60 seconds from done. Also, theyll stick to the bottom of the pan so youll need a spatula to gently scrape them loose so they can float. After cooking, spread them out on trays and allow the the outside to dry (the sun makes short work of this), just don't over dry. Dumplings will actually have a leathery quality when dryed right. I vacuum pack and freeze surplus baits.