How to Catch Your Own Live Bait for Stripe Bass

How to Catch Your Own Live Bait for Stripe Bass
When fishing for striped bass, you want to use live bait that striped bass generally eat. You have several options for bait including flounder, sea herring, smelt, as well as lobsters, crabs, soft clams, small mussels, annelids (sea worms), and squid. After you have chosen the type of live bait you wish to use, rig your rod or net with the most effective set up and cast your line or netting into the water. For the best striking action, fish along the shore and keep live bait handy as you fish for striped bass.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Reel
  • Netting
  • Fishing line
  • Hook
  • Sinker
Step 1
Fish for flounder, sea herring and smelt in shallow waters such as lakes and streams. Flounder can venture to the bottom, but during winter months are generally found in shallow waters, especially fish bays, estuaries, and rivers.
Step 2
Cast your line close to the shore as well as near muddy rock beds. Use a small net to capture smelt swimming upstream; netting is an easier option due to the small size of bait smelt.
Step 3
Rig a big net with 1 to 5 pounds anchors and net fish for lobsters, crabs, soft clams, small mussels, annelids (sea worms), and squid. Drop your big net into the water from behind your boat and drag it along the bottom. Drive your boat across the lake or water source you’ve chosen. Check your big net every 2 to 3 hours. Pull the big net from the water using the top edge handle.
Step 4
Place live bait inside bait nets and hang off the side of your boat until you are ready to rig your line.
Step 5
Fillet or cut live bait into chunks before rigging your line. Fillet flounder, sea herring and smelt into 3 to 4-inch pieces for easy rigging. Cut lobsters, crabs, soft clams and squid into chunks. Bait mussels and sea worms with a worm hook, which features a large curved hook made especially for soft fish and worms.

Tips & Warnings

Store bait in a fish tank on your boat or hang off the side of your boat using a bait net.
Always properly store your bait, so fish remain alive.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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