Can You Use A Hot Dog As Fish Bait?

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There are plenty of weird fishing baits out there, with some people going so far as using marshmallows, and yeah, on a side note, marshmallows do actually work as fishing bait. Something else that people often use as fishing bait are hot dogs. So, can you actually use a hot dog as fishing bait, and do they work well?

Yes, you can use hot dogs as fishing bait. Hot dogs have a very strong scent and are greasy so they are perfect for attracting fish. They are popularly used for Catfish, but most fish will not resist a hot dog, so it’s certainly a good bait to try. 

fishing with hot fogs


What Fish Eat Hot Dogs?

One of the most common types of fish that people will use hot dogs as bait for is catfish.

For one reason or another, catfish seem to really love hot dogs, almost more so than any other bait. Sure, they love worms and other baits, but they’ll also eat hot dogs just fine.

We will even go so far as to say that there are many anglers out there who prefer using hot dogs as bait when compared to things like minnows, red worms, nightcrawlers, and crickets.

The reality is that mostly all fish will go for a hot dog on a hook, with one reason being that hot dogs have a very strong scent in the water.

They smell and they’re greasy, and that’s perfect for attracting fish. When it comes down to it, there are very few fish that will resist a hot dog, and this is no more true than when they are hungry. A hungry fish is going to eat.

How Do You Fish With A Hot Dog?

You might think that you need to create some super special setup to fish with the hot dog, but this really isn’t the case at all.

For one, although this might seem a little odd to mention, your choice of wiener does matter. Fish can in fact be a little picky, so we would avoid going for anything exotic or out of the ordinary.

This means avoiding anything with strong spices, anything filled with cheese, and anything vegan. Sorry vegans, but fish don’t want your plant-based wieners.

While super unhealthy fake meat might be fine for some of us humans to eat, it won’t do you any favors in terms of attracting fish. Just go for a normal beef or pork hot dog.

Now, there are two great ways to set up your fishing rig when using a wiener as bait, and this includes using a hook and bobber, and a bottom rig.

Let’s take a quick look at both of them, just so you know what you are getting into. 

Hook & Bobber

Perhaps the best way to fish with the hot dog is to do a simple hook and bobber setup.

All you have to do is attach a bobber well above the hook so that the hot dog hangs in the water and that’s about it.

Now, as is the case with hook and bobber fishing, you do need to figure out at what water depth the fish are currently at.

In other words, if your hot dog is floating in the water 10 feet above their heads, they’re not going to go for it.

To provide you with a little advice on this. If you were fishing early in the morning, you want to keep the bait about a foot below the bobber, as fish will be in fairly shallow waters at this time.

As the day goes on, the sun comes out and the water gets warmer and warmer, fish venture to deeper waters, so you will want to adjust your bobber height for this.

Yeah, you guessed it. You will need some patience for this.

A Bottom Rig

Another very good way to use a hot dog as bait is by using a bottom ring. So instead of attaching a Barber to your line, you want to attach a small sinker. 

Just attach a split shot weight between 18 and 24 inches above the hotdog.

This is ideal for deep water, especially in the middle of the day when the fish are in those deep waters.

All you have to do is get the hot dog to sink to the bottom and then it’s nothing more than a waiting game.

Make sure that you keep your line very tight, so you feel a nibble when it occurs.

A Jig

Although this is much less common, if you plan on engaging in vertical fishing, then you may attach your hot dog to a jig.

That jerky and vertical motion may very well attract fish that are looking for worms and other such insects that have fallen into the water.

How To Keep Hot Dog On Hook

Now, as you are probably well aware, hot dogs are very soft and not very strong, so keeping them from breaking and staying on a fishing hug is easier said than done.

However, if you hook up your hot dog to the hook the right way, it should be fine. Follow the steps below to keep your hot dog from falling off your hook;

  1. Cut the hotdog in half right down the middle.
  2. You will now need to use a bait needle and run it right through the middle of the hotdog from one end to the other. Or in other words, lengthwise.
  3. Now you need to take a snelled hook and attach it to the bait needle and then pass the line up the snelled hook through the hot dog.
  4. You can now take your fishing hook and push it all the way up through the hot dog until you reach the bend of the hook.

In case this does not make sense to you, below is a helpful tutorial video; 

Catfish Hot Dog Bait Recipe

Now what is funny to note here is that while plain old hot dogs were just fine as fish bait, you can actually combine them with other ingredients to increase their effectiveness and their ability to attract catfish from far and wide.

Let’s go through a quick catfish hot dog bait recipe that seems to work very well;

  1. Take your hot dogs and cut them in half. Throw them in a Ziploc Bag.
  2. Take one packet of grape and one packet of strawberry Jell-O powder, throw it in with the wieners, and mix well.
  3. Now, add a bunch of garlic powder into the mix. Catfish seem to love the smell of garlic powder. There you have it, a simple yet proven and effective catfish hot dog bait recipe. 


Can You Use Hot Dogs For Catfish Bait?

Yes, as noted above, you can absolutely use hot dogs as catfish bait, and in fact it is one of the best baits to use for this type of fish. For one reason or another, catfish just seem to love wieners.

Will Trout Eat Hot Dogs?

In most cases, trout will eat hot dogs and will respond to them as bait.

With that being said, if it is very early in the season then trout are much more likely to go for live baits such as live worms, crickets, and minnows.

Trout usually prefer live bait but if they are hungry enough they will go for a hot dog just like any other fish will. 

Can You Use Hot Dogs for Saltwater Fishing?

While you can use hot dogs for saltwater fishing, this is best done in little inlets and coves.

You definitely don’t want to use hot dogs when surf fishing or fishing from the shoreline when there is a very strong current.

Moreover, you definitely don’t want to use a hot dog for deep sea fishing either.

If you plan on saltwater fishing with hot dogs as bait, keep it close to the shore, particularly in places such as inlets where freshwater meets saltwater.

Can You Go Ice Fishing With Hot Dogs As Bait?

Yes, you can go ice fishing with hotdogs as bait. Hotdogs have good contrast with the water, so they are fairly easy to see in terms of color.

Hotdogs are also fairly oily and have a strong scent that can be easily smelled from fairly great distances. Most people will use hot dogs as well as tip ups or tip downs, as well as with jaw jackers.

They are generally used in North America along with some kind of bobber or jigging rig that allows the hotdog to move up and down and back and forth in the water current.

Do Bass Like Hot Dogs?

If the fish are hungry enough, then a bass may eat hotdogs. That being said, it is certainly not their favorite food.

Yes, hotdogs are easy to smell in the water, so bass will be able to smell them from quite some distance.

That being said, bass do usually prefer live bait that is still moving over everything else. Bass have quite a strong hunting instinct, so live bait always tends to work best.


Conclusion: Do Fish Like Hot Dogs?

Yes, overall we would say that hot dogs do indeed make for good fishing bait, particularly if you are going after Catfish. 

There you have it folks, everything that you need to know about using hot dogs as fishing bait. Yeah, it might seem odd, but it actually works very well and is certainly worth trying. 

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.