by Rich Faler

Sometimes you want to fish for carp, but it’s a quick trip. There’s no time for much planning, let alone bait preparation. Many doughballs, the go-to bait for carp, require boiling and other time-consuming steps. I always hate losing valuable fishing time because I have to prepare bait.

Back in the 1960s, my family often camped for two or so weeks a summer on Pymatuning Lake, which straddles the Ohio-Pennsylvania line. During those vacations, I’d usually use worms for whatever would hit. My usual catch would be yellow perch, bluegill, bullheads, channel catfish, and the occasional largemouth bass. It was on one of these trips that I ran into another fisherman my age which I remember only as Skip. Skip introduced me to a bait which got around all the smaller panfish and was almost exclusively hit by the larger carp. This bait was a bread-and-molasses doughball.

From my observations, this doughball works better than the other carp baits I’ve used. It outproduces corn and other such mainstays.

The neat thing about this doughball is it can be made with two items found in most every kitchen or grocery store – bread and molasses. It is easy to make, and can be made beforehand or even on the banks of the lake. To make this doughball, take two to four slices of bread. I prefer to use fresh, soft bread. Now pour on some molasses. Knead and mix the two together. You will probably have to work in more molasses as most don’t put in enough in the beginning. Keep working the ball of bread, adding molasses as needed. The goal is to end up with a mixture that can be worked like stiff clay and will form a ball around a hook. If the doughball is too dry it will break apart instead of forming a solid ball.

I’ve not compared this doughball to another on the same trip to give absolute input on its effectiveness. I can say it has saved many a trip. I’ve caught many carp with this quick and easy doughball. If you want to get experimental, it would be easy enough to add anise, strawberry, vanilla, or some other scent to give a change-up in your offereing.

In summary, making a bread-and molasses doughball is quick, easy and very effective. It may be the only bait you’ll ever need for carp! •

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