The humble hot dog. An American summer time staple. Often donned with mustard, ketchup, and if you’re feeling frisky, relish. This 4th of July food can be used for something else besides munching on during a warm summer afternoon, and that’s catching fish. But can you really go fishing with hot dogs?
Yes, you can absolutely use hot dogs as bait for fishing! In fact, I know some people who who would rather use them over crickets, nightcrawlers, red worms, and even minnows, especially when fishing for catfish.
Hot dogs have been a staple as bait (especially for kids) in the fishing world for a long time. The best thing about fishing with a frank though is if you wind up getting skunked then you’ve already purchased your dinner.
How would you even fish with hotdogs though? Are there any techniques that you could implore? Also, would fish even eat one? All of these questions and more will be answered below when we find if out if hot dogs make bait.
Do Fish Really Like Hot Dogs
Yes, fish will actually eat hot dogs, and you can have a successful day while fishing with them. People tend to over complicate fishing. It really boils down to this. Fish are hungry, give them something to eat. Yes, you can be more successful using lures and live bait because they closely resemble what a fish’s diet is. That doesn’t mean they wont slurp down a ballpark frank when given the opportunity though.
Leave off the condiments, unless you find the fish are keying in on chartreuse, which in that case go ahead and squirt on some yellow mustard and report back to us on how you actually got it to stick to dog.
Best Hot Dogs for Fishing
You may find yourself wondering exactly what type of hot dog would work best. After all, you head to the store and there are so many different types. You’ll see your normal ole’ hot dog, but then there is also, cheese filled, chicken dogs, turkey dogs, and even vegan dogs.
In order to figure out which one works the best you’ll have to some experimenting on your own. In terms of which one fish like better, there is probably little to no difference. However, you should also be thinking about how durable the bait is. Maybe a cheese filled or a vegan dog will fall apart quicker in the water. Wile a turkey dog, or beef dog will be able to hold up to be skewered on a hook and dunked in water continuously.
When it comes down to it though, you should be able to catch fish on just about any hot dog that you can find on the market. With that being said, I have personally had better luck using plain ole chicken hot dogs.
How to Rig and Fish With a Hot Dog
There are a couple different ways to rig your dog, but really, you can fish it exactly how you would any other type of bait. You can use as simple hook and bobber rig with a split shot if you prefer. Or you can allow it to sink to the bottom in order to target the cooler waters during summer or bottom feeders such as catfish.
For the hook and bobber rig you’ll have to do a little experimenting to figure exactly where the fish are in the water column. If you’re starting early in the morning then keep your bait about a foot beneath the bobber.
As the day gets hotter and the water warms up start to drop your bait further and further away from your bobber. In the middle of the day or the hottest part of the day you can take the bobber off and allow the hot dog to sink to the bottom where you can catch catfish cruising the bottom for a meal.
Do Saltwater Fish Like Hot Dogs
You can definitely go fishing with hot dogs and can also be successful in saltwater. You may not find much luck offshore fishing with them, but inlets, and harbors can be fished similarly to how you would a freshwater lake or river.
You can hook it to a jig head and bounce it off the bottom, or you could fish it with a simple hook, sinker, bobber method.
You can be successful fishing using this method just about anywhere.
Can You Ice Fish With Hot Dogs
You typically don’t think of using hot dogs as bait when ice fishing. Usually you think of wax worms, or jig heads. But the hot dog is a versatile bait and can absolutely be used to catch fish this way.
You can either set it on a tip up and allow it float there waiting for a passing fish to come by and snatch it up. Or you could hook it up to your jigging rod and sit in your ice shanty and try to entice a bite.
It may not be as successful as using a worm or a jig, but the almighty hot dog has been known to catch fish year-round in all different types of weather and situations.
Most anglers grew up using items other than live bait. Some used bread, cheese, I’ve even heard of someone using Krispy Kreme doughnuts. While to some, his might seem like a waste of a good doughnut, but not to me. If it catches fish, I say use it!
The hot dog is certainly one of those baits that fall into the “other” category. Its not live bait, it’s not a dough, its not a lure. It’s something that almost every American has access to and can get them relatively cheap. However, it’s very versatile and you can absolutely go fishing with hot dogs.
So next time you’re out on the water don’t be afraid to pick up a pack of Oscar Meyers beforehand. Cut up a sliver and slide it on the hook and kick back and wait for that bobber to start bobbin’. Remember to keep the hot dogs on ice. Just in case you don’t wind up catching dinner you’ll have something else to cook up later that night.