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Learn What Type of Bait to Use

Learn What Type of Bait to Use

Fishing is a timeless pastime and a great way to relax. No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, knowing what type of bait to use and when to use it can make all the difference in a successful outing. Here, we’ll discuss the different types of bait generally used by anglers and when it’s best to employ them.

Learn What Type of Bait to Use

Live Bait

Live bait is probably the type of bait most fishing enthusiasts are the most familiar with. Live bait is simply the practice of taking live critters from their natural environment and using them as bait to lure in the fish. This can include anything from nightcrawlers, mealworms, grubs, crickets, minnows, shrimp, and even frogs. All of these can be used to successfully catch fish and can usually be found in any bait shop.

The benefit of using live bait is that the movements and scent of the critters can often attract nearby fish and trigger them to strike. The issue, however, is that live bait can be difficult to obtain and is often far more expensive and time consuming than other options.

Artificial Bait

Artificial bait is bait which has been manufactured to imitate real bait. This can include anything from plastic worms, lures, crankbaits, and jigs. Artificial bait is usually the preferred choice for fishermen for many reasons.

For starters, artificial bait is usually far less expensive than live bait and doesn’t require constant restocking. It’s also much easier to store so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Most importantly, it’s much more versatile than live bait and can be used to target a wide variety of fish in any body of water.


Softbaits are another type of artificial bait made of soft plastic or rubber. These baits come in a variety of shapes and colors and are designed to imitate the movements of real bait, such as mealworms, grubs, and some small aquatic insects. Softbaits can be used to fish in shallow water, deep water, and even in heavy cover.

Softbaits are especially useful in more pressured bodies of water as they can often seem more natural and enticing to the fish. It can be a great choice for challenging fish, such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, which can be more prone to being picky about the type of bait they strike.

Natural Baits

In addition to live bait, fishermen can also use certain parts of naturally found items as bait. This can be everything from plant material, insects, and even pieces of grasshoppers or larvae. Natural baits are usually used for the same reasons as live bait, to emulate the natural movements and scents of real bait and to attract nearby fish.

The biggest benefit of natural baits is that they can often be gathered for free, making them much less expensive than either live bait or artificial baits. Additionally, they can be very effective in waters where live bait and artificial lures have seemingly lost their power due to overfishing.

Which Bait to Use?

Ultimately, the type of bait you use depends entirely on the species of fish you’re targeting and the conditions in which you’re fishing. Generally speaking, live bait is best for beginners and natural baits work great for experienced anglers.

Artificial baits tend to be the most reliable and versatile choice for fishing in any body of water and can be used to catch a variety of different species. Softbaits are an especially great choice for more pressured fish as they can often seem more natural and enticing.

No matter which bait you select, the key is to be familiar with the fish you’re targeting and the waters you’re fishing in, so you can make the best decision. With a little trial and error and lots of practice, eventually you’ll know what type of bait to use in nearly any situation. So don’t be afraid to get out there and give it a try. Your next great fishing story may be right around the corner!

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