The Best Fish Bait for Raystown Lake

The Best Fish Bait for Raystown LakeRaystown Lake in Pennsylvania spans 8,300 acres and runs 30 miles. This massive lake has more than 118 miles of shoreline, most of which is undeveloped. The most sought-after fish on the lake is striped bass, popularly known as stripers. Fishing for stripers on Raystown Lake is so popular that some local guides, like the Lunker Guide Service, have capitalized on their popularity by coining slogans like "Highest Striper Catch Rate on Raystown Lake." While heading out with a guide guarantees great fishing, knowing what bait to use helps anglers who head out on their own. (Pictured: Mountain top view of Raystown Lake, Huntington, Pennsylvania)


Alewife, a species of herring, can be purchased at local bait shops, or for anglers with the proper setup, they can be caught using cast nets. Alewife should be hooked using a horizontal nostril hook, in which the hook goes into one nostril and out the opposite side. This hook setup allows the bait to be flung without worry of the hook coming out.

Gizzard Shad

The gizzard shad provides stripers with one of their primary food sources, so it makes good sense to use them as bait. Because they have a bony nose, hooking them using a vertical lip hook for trolling allows the fish more natural actions. When hooking, open the fish's mouth, hook the upper lip and drive the hook through the nose.

Live Trout

According to Vic Attardo, a writer for "Fishing and Hunting News," many veteran Raystown anglers use live trout to catch stripers. These trout are more expensive than other bait trout at about $1.50 a piece, but if the veterans are using them, they're probably worth the cost. Hook them using a behind-the-head hook for casting and lobbing. Push a hook through just behind the head and below the backbone.

Keeping Bait

Baitfish should be stored properly to make sure they last. Anglers can take four steps that will help preserve the bait. 1. Clean the tank before using it. Contaminants may cause early death in bait. 2. Install an aeration system to make sure the bait receive a constant flow of fresh oxygen. 3. Cool the water. Bait die in water temperatures above 60 F. Use a thermometer to keep the water temperatures below 55 . 4. Run the water through a filtering system to help remove impurities.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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