Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Dough Ball Fishing

L. E. & Fern Runyan
Lisa Wallen 1956

As a kid I got to spend a lot of good quality time with my maternal grandparents and a good portion of that time was spent outside with Granddad, no matter what he was doing. He might be painting an old metal chair, fixing the lawn mower, cleaning a fresh catch of fish, or even when he was just reading the newspaper in his rocker on the porch, I'd be playing nearby.

We went to the river nearly every day. Granddad loved to fish and when he ran out of worms he made dough balls to fish with and naturally, he taught me how to make them too. I got pretty good at making dough balls and I'd make them for Granddad so he wouldn't run out. I never once caught a fish with a dough ball but I caught plenty of minnows and tadpoles along the riverbank by scooping them up with my coffee can!

To make dough balls you just take a piece of soft white bread and tear off a piece of whatever size you might need depending on what you were fishing for. You can chum the water with the crust because the crust is pretty useless. Then you squeeze your bread and roll it in a ball and squeeze some more and after a while it would turn in to a little ball of dough. You could form the ball around the hook and completely hide the hook inside or you could thread the hook right through the dough ball for the dumber fish.


And when you are done for the day and heading for home, it's always kind to throw all your left over dough balls into the river for a treat for those fish that got away!
Lawrence E. Runyan - A typical day's catch - 1962



  1. Thanks for sharing! What a wonderful story--and it sounds like the marriage "took" in spite of (or maybe because of) it's crazy beginning. Congratulations!

  2. Ha! Sheryl I think you meant this comment for the story at

    written on my 35th wedding anniversary! Thanks! Yes, it "took" alright!!