What Is the Best Live Bait?
Anglers everywhere disagree about the most effective bait for their desired catches, particularly when it comes to live bait. Using live insects or fish creates natural bait that attracts fish effortlessly, but each bait option comes with its own unique benefits and challenges. Here are a few of the most common live baits and some tips for fishing them!
Probably the most popular live bait to fish with, worms are always a solid option. From nightcrawlers to red wigglers, the type of worm you use depends on the type of fish you’re catching. Most commonly used for freshwater fishing, worms are a great choice because you can get an almost unlimited amount for a relatively cheap cost. Small worms like manure worms are great for catching trout. Nightcrawlers and earthworms will help you catch bass or catfish!
Fishing with Worms
Make sure to use a light line when fishing with live worms to get the most bites possible. To hook your worm, thread the worm on the hook and then pierce through the worm with the hook two to four times. When fishing with worms, simply allow the bait to flow with the current so it looks as natural as possible and you’re guaranteed to secure a catch!
It’s the circle of life: big fish eat small fish. This makes minnows the perfect option for live bait that naturally attracts the smallmouth bass or walleye you crave. Minnows are the best bait for shoreline fishing and come in all sizes. These mighty little fish can be found at any local bait shop but, if you don’t have one nearby, you can catch your own minnows! Just check to make sure its legal in your area first.
Fishing with Minnows
The key to fishing with minnows is making sure they stay alive. To do this, keep them in a bucket of cool water and make sure they aren’t crowded. When it comes to hooking your minnows, you’re going to want to consider your angling strategy. If you plan on trolling, hook the minnow through the lips with the hook facing upright so the minnow will look natural as it swims. If instead you’re going to fish with a sinker, hooking the minnow through the back is your best bet.
These delicious crustaceans are irresistible to many freshwater fish, particularly trout. You can find crawfish hiding under rocks and debris, often buried in mud. Bring along a net to easily secure these beauties for some high-quality live bait. You can also buy them at some bait shops, but, come on, it’s more fun to catch them yourself.
Fishing with Crawfish
One great thing about crawfish is there are a variety of ways to fish with them. You can hook the whole, live crawfish, as is, which is a strategy many anglers love. When hooking whole crawfish, hook them through the tail with the hook pointed upwards. Others choose to use only the tail, which is no longer live bait, but is very effective for smaller fish.
You’re probably familiar with leeches as the little bloodsucking worms to avoid when swimming in lakes and rivers, but they can also be excellent live bait for pike and walleye! Leeches can be found in waters naturally, but are not as abundant as they once were, so getting them from a bait shop is the best bet. These unique creatures are easy to keep alive because they are not very sensitive to temperature, so they are a great option for longer trips.
Fishing with Leeches
Make sure to hook the leech through the sucker at the tail because it’s larger than the one at the head. Fish your leeches at the speed they would normally swim; not too fast, not too slow. This will mimic their natural swimming pattern which is what the fish are attracted to.
Live Bait vs Artificial Bait
Should you even be using live bait in the first place? Every angler has their own preferences for what bait to use and there is no black and white answer to this question. However, there are some scenarios where live bait is particularly advantageous, and some where it’s not the best choice.
One major deciding factor is price. Live bait is certainly cheaper if you’re catching it yourself, but artificial bait wins when it comes to purchasing at a bait shop. Another consideration is the size of fish you aim to catch. Live bait has a clear advantage here if you’re looking to catch some true monsters. Using live bait doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll catch more fish, but if you’re striving for quality over quantity, live bait is your answer. Finally, a plus for artificial bait is the angler has more control. Live bait is obviously…well…alive, so the bait can move or swim in uncontrollable ways and at unpredictable speeds. Artificial lures will ensure you have complete control over the movement of your bait.
To learn more about the pros and cons of live and artificial bait, check out this article.
Is Protective Fishing Clothing Important?
People forget about the importance of performance fishing shirts . When you spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold, the apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance. You need men’s fishing shirts that have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking and stain resistant fabrics. Skin cancer is very dangerous, and wearing 50+ UV sun protection clothing for fishing shields skin from harmful rays.