Try These Unusual Fish Baits for a Successful Catch

Try These Unusual Fish Baits for a Successful CatchEvery fisherman knows that fishing success depends on finding the perfect spot and using the proper fish baits. Most of them prefer to use worms, maggots or homemade bait to bring back home a basket full of fish. However, when you lack the proper bait, you can still enjoy a good catch with these unusual fish baits.

I said it before and I will say it until the day I die: in a survival situation, “improvisation is the mother of necessity”. You don’t have to be an expert fisherman and you don’t need a $1000 fishing rod to secure a meal in the wilderness. All you need to do is use your head and outsmart the fish you plan on catching and eating.

To survive you need to use your brain and gain knowledge on the field. Even more, these unusual fish baits are especially fun when you go fishing with the kids. Pair these baits with your fishing rod and reel setup and you’ll be in for a lot of experimental fun. Also, make sure you learn from those more experienced and steal their secrets.

When discussing with a few of my friends about their fishing trips, the bait topic ended up being the most captivating one. They all ended up recommending all sorts of unusual fish baits and they all swear by them. Although I do not consider myself an experienced fisherman, I did know about some of these unusual fish baits. Even so, most of them took me by surprise and I promised I will give them a try next time I go fishing.

These are not traditional lures you can find in tackle boxes and you might be surprised by what people are using to catch fish. Even more, these unusual fish baits are especially fun when you go fishing with the kids.

Unusual fish baits you can use when nothing else is available:

Bubble gum

Once you are done chewing your bubble gum, make sure you put it away. It seems that catfish love already chewed bubble gum. Even more, they aren’t picky about the taste and just about any flavor will work. As for color, it seems that pink works best.

Dog food

It seems that your dog’s chow of choice is also popular with fish. I was aware about dog food being on the unusual fish baits list, but I didn’t know which one works best. Should I try wet or dry dog food? It seems that both will work and experienced fishermen recommend mixing it with corn starch, water, and flour. You should end up with a doughy consistency that is irresistible to carp, catfish and certain species of panfish.


Wild fruits have been used as bait for centuries and they weren’t considered unusual fish baits by our ancestors. Persimmons and mulberries are ideal for catching carp. Apples and blackberries work great for catfish and carp. Even more, I have one friend that swears by golden rains as bait. According to him, they swell on the hooks and ferment. The smell combined with the bright color makes them irresistible to fish.

Related reading: Improvised Fishing Techniques for tough times


If you like to spend time in the great outdoors, you’re probably bringing some bacon along. Nothing beats an egg and bacon breakfast cooked in a cast iron pan. Before you cook all the bacon make sure you save some for the fish. You’ll be surprised to know that bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie love raw bacon.


When it comes to unusual fish baits it seems that canned corn is known by many fishermen. Since this bait is used to feed fish in hatcheries, they learned to use it out in the wilderness as well. According to most fishermen bluegill, perch, carp, and trout will not hesitate to take a bite if you have corn onto your hook.


These tasty treats you enjoy over the campfire seem to be a favorite of bluegill and most types of sunfish. Pack miniature marshmallow for your next fishing trip and enjoy both a cup of hot cocoa and a fish dish.

Chicken Livers

Uncooked chicken liver should find a place in your tackle box. Due to their smell, chicken livers have been used for years to catch fish. Few unusual fish baits are so alluring to catfish and striped bass such as livers.


Most of my fishermen friends have reported success with almost everything found in the candy drawers of their home. Gummy worms are preferred by bass and crappie while black licorice will help you catch walleye. Your kids might not like the idea of sharing their candy, but they will soon light up when they catch their first fish.

Cigarette butts and tobacco

Since I don’t smoke, I cannot guarantee for this one. However, I’ve added it on the unusual fish baits list since people I know claim to have caught fish either by using cigarette butts or by mixing tobacco with their homemade fish bait recipes.

Suggested article: Preserving Fish for Long-term Survival


I’ve actually used cereal with mini marshmallows rolled into a ball a couple of times. One of my inventions, which proved to work quite well with carp and catfish, was to mix cereal with crushed berries and flour.

Ivory soap

This certainly is one of the most unusual fish baits you can use and I was quite skeptical about this one. Apparently, this is one trick used by the old-timers to catch channel catfish. They cut up a bar of ivory soap into half-inch cubes and use them during the winter season.

Other unusual fish baits

The list of unusual fish baits can go on and every fisherman out there has one secret or two. Garlic, hot dogs, cheese, noodles, and even yarns have been successfully used to catch fish. The best part is that you can eat most of these baits if the fish aren’t biting.

The true reward of fishing is tasting the delicate flaky texture of the day’s catch. If you happen to forget at home your fish baits, make sure you put onto your hook a few of these unusual fish baits. You will surely enjoy your freshly caught fish if you have some faith and patience.

Other Useful Resources:

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1 thought on “Try These Unusual Fish Baits for a Successful Catch”

  1. a friend and I spent about 16 hours ice fishing on island Lake in southwestern Alberta,

    …nothing went through every bait n jig combo we had. around the 10 hour mark and I think a conservative guess would be 40–45 holes later he ran back into town and came back with every bait he could find that we hadn’t tried. smelts, meal worms, earthworms and..

    Crickets!! (?) he even hit a pet shop

    …. nothing. just when he was broken hearted enough to start packing it up, I looked at my half frozen snack leftovers and thought “what the hell?” Boom! 2 minutes after that Bang and so on for a few hours. and what saved that day? half frozen KFC Fries


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