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5 Steps to Choose The Right Bait For Fishing

5 Steps to Choose The Right Bait For Fishing

With thousands of lures and many live bait options, it can be difficult to choose the right bait for fishing. The important thing to remember is that fishing is a combination of research and experience. You won’t be a successful fisherman until you get out on the water and earn some experience. Whether you choose live bait or lures, each situation will be different, and you need to keep that in mind while trying to find success on the water.

Understanding how to choose the right bait for fishing is fundamental to becoming a better fisherman. Whether you are a novice or an experienced fisherman, here are some proven tips on how to choose the right bait for fishing. We will also cover the fundamentals on artificial vs. live bait: 

  1. Artificial vs. live bait
  2. Know where you are fishing and what type of fish
  3. Know what is legally allowed
  4. Choose your hook wisely
  5. Visit your local tacklebox store

Artificial lures vs. Live bait

Most fishermen get started on live bait such as nightcrawlers, crickets, shrimp, or other critters. Most live bait is often inexpensive and can be great for fishing at your local pond or watering hole. You can pick up live bait from your local tacklebox shop for cheap. If you are just starting out, all you need is some nightcrawlers and bobbers to go in the water. A carton of live bait can easily last you all day on the lake.

Artificial bait, or lures, as they are called, can be bought at your local tacklebox shop or big box store such as Academy. Unlike live bait, artificial can be used over and over again and can save you money in the long run. Lures come in wide varieties and can be cheap or expensive depending on the manufacturer. Lures replicate the effect of live bait, such as minnows swimming in a pond. Fish respond well to this bait, just as to others. Although, this will depend on a number of factors. Suffice to say, when you want to choose the right bait for fishing it would be more heavily dependent on factors such as:

  • Weather conditions
  • Type of fish
  • Prey in the ecosystem

Know where you are fishing and what time of fish

Fishing in texas versus fishing in Ohio is going to be very different depending on the type of water you are fishing in and the type of fish you are looking for. Looking at conditions such as the weather, clearness of the lake, or whether it is saltwater or freshwater all play a role in how you choose the right bait for fishing.

Catfish bait is going to be different from other types of fish bait, and you need to be exactly sure of what your fish eat in a given ecosystem. Research the body of water you plan to fish and the type of fish in that water and what they eat. Again, experience is going to be your best teacher when fishing. Weather conditions can change fast and may cause you to change your bait due to the muddying of the water. That’s okay; always have a backup. TylerReelsFishing breaks it down even better in this video:

Know what is legally allowed

There are legal rules and regulations depending on your state and local counties. This prevents mass fishing in certain areas and protects wildlife. Before heading out on your next fishing trip, consider looking over rules and regulations for your tackle box. Almost all tacklebox shops are going to sell you legal lures and bait so it doesn’t come up much. However, it always pays to be well prepared and knowledgeable about your laws.

Choose your hook wisely

Some hooks work better and worse depending on the bait you choose and the mouth of a fish. Hook size plays a major role in securing the fish. As the Online Fisherman points out:

“The number one rule for picking a hook is: The hook size and gauge should be based on the size of your bait first, then the type and size of fish you are targeting, and lastly the type of terrain or structure you’re fishing in and around. Of course, sometimes there are exceptions to this.”

Consider both the bait and type of fish you are hoping to catch.

Visit your local tacklebox store

As mentioned above, experience is a great teacher when it comes to choosing the right bait for fishing. Your local tacklebox store has personnel that are avid fishermen and know the local area well. Don’t hesitate to talk to them about what the best bait is for the certain pond or lake you are going to. They can help you decide between live bait and artificial lures as well as hook size. 

If you are lucky, they may even tell you the best spots to fish and what time of day is best. Also, talk to friends and family members about what bait they use and where they’ve had the most success. 

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  1. It’s good to know that there are some legal rules with bait. My husband is wanting to look into finding some bait to get to for finishing at the lake we recently moved next to, and he wants to make sure that he chooses the right bait for it. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to him as he searches for bait to use for his fishing trips.


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