Purchase minnows to use as live bait when fishing for trout. Or opt for frozen whitebait if the tackle shop does not sell them fresh. Costs vary, depending on availability and whether they are fresh or frozen.
Make yourself some boilies---or buy them from your local bait and tackle shop---if you are fishing for carp. The main ingredients are dry fish meal, powdered milk, soy flower, baby food and eggs. Keep in mind that when they first hit the water, they will not attract carp quite so easily. Pre-baiting is usually a good idea when using boilies.
Red Wrigglers (Earthworms)
Collect earthworms from your yard or buy a tub's worth at the bait shop; they usually cost about $1.95 to $3.95, depending on the size of the tub and the time of year. Practice baiting a hook before you go out and fish; some anglers find that they have a hard time and may need some other kinds of backup bait.
Use plastic worms when fishing for bass or bluegill. Remember that it is important to use an eight- to 14-pound test line and only a very light slip sinker with these worms. This allows for lifelike movement of the plastic bait. Be prepared to spend between $2.65 and $4.95, depending on the size and shape of the plastic worm and if it is treated with special scents.
Select Power Bait if you are fishing for trout. Make certain that the fish in the particular venue you are selecting are actually known to snap for it. Gauge your success by the amount of hits---the gentle nibbles that barely tuck on your line--you get on your bait, not necessarily by the amount of bites---fish that actually swallowed the bait--you end up with. If you get no hits at all, it is best to switch to live bait or frozen whitebait, since the trout in this particular venue appear to have been overfed with Power Bait. Power Bait is not cheap and a 1 3/4-ounce jar sells from $3.95 to $4.99.