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Fishing Baits

Fishing baitsThe term fishing bait can refer to live bait, artificial bait and fishing lures. If you choose to use live or artificial bait there are certain factors that should be considered. Firstly it is important to match your bait to the kinds of bait fish that are common to the area in which you are fishing. This applies whether you are using live or artificial bait. You should also choose bait that is a typical food of the fish species that you are trying to catch.

There are arguments both for and against live and artificial bait. Some anglers are uncomfortable with live bait, and prefer to use artificial or frozen bait. The advantage to this approach is that artificial bait does not pollute the water and does not disturb other life in the area. However artificial bait does not move or smell exactly like a real fish and is therefore less effective at attracting fish. Live bait can be attached to hooks in such a way that they can still swim almost freely. They are therefore more inclined to attract prey fish, especially when trolled behind a boat or from the shore. However many anglers are uncomfortable with threading a live fish onto a hook and many feel that it is a cruel practice.

If you choose to use live bait you can either catch it yourself or purchase it from a bait shop. Bait fish are usually small creatures such as minnows, anchovies, shrimp, leeches and worms. Other commonly used baits include frogs, crickets, grasshoppers and crayfish. However you may need to acquire very specific forms of bait if you are fishing for certain species. For example if fishing for Tuna, Kingfish or snapper, you will need to acquire Yellowtail, Mullet of Mackerel in order to entice these large fish to bite. When choosing to use live bait, you should always research the eating habits of your prey fish and select your bait accordingly.

Sometimes you may wish to go fishing in a particular location, without having a certain species of fish in mind. In this situation you should find out what types of bait fish are indigenous to the area and stock your tackle box accordingly. In general, if you choose to go fishing in a freshwater location you should choose either shad, minnow, killifish or sucker as live bait. In saltwater scad, anchovies and ballyhoo are particularly attractive. If you are fishing for bass, some appropriate baits are frogs, leeches, nightcrawlers, crayfish and minnows. Sunfish can be attracted with insects, worms, leeches and minnows, while pike are attracted to frogs and larger minnows.

Live bait should be stored out of the sunlight in cool fresh water. Insects can be stored in boxes and worms should be kept in moist soil. Remember that in order for your live bait to be effective, it needs to be fresh and energetic. Lifeless and listless bait will not be as effective at generating enough “noise” to attract attention from prey fish.

Live bait can be attached to a live bait rig, which is constructed from a hook, a leader, a walking sinker and a swivel. In some cases the bait is more effective when attached to a simple hook, with a float and a sinker. This is suitable for all live bait except frogs, which must be kept near the surface in order for them to breathe.

If you can, you should try to catch your bait on the same day and at the same fishing spot. Meat and cheese are useful for catching baitfish. Remember when using live or artificial bait that you should always choose fishing baits appropriate to the season in which you are fishing.