Whether you are fishing in saltwater or freshwater, it is important to know what the fish want to eat. Saltwater fish eat several times a day, while freshwater fish can go months without eating. Even though fish eat a wide range of bait, the key to catching fish is to attract them away from everything else they could possibly eat to your bait. Do not be skimpy with your bait, stick with well-known baits and match the size of your bait to the size of the fish you are trying to catch. Keep a variety of baits on hand so if one isn't working, you can use another.
Worms and Mussels
Common bait includes ragworms and lugworms. Thread them onto the hook through the tail end and loop the worm around so it is punctured twice. Mussels are a good option to buy frozen and tie to the hook with a string. You can also freeze them to the hook so they defrost when cast into the water. Razor clams are similar to mussels and should be used in the same way.
Squid and Shrimp
Squid and shrimp are great sea fishing bait options. Squid can be obtained at supermarkets, bait shops and fishmongers. Cut it into small strips or leave whole if you need large bait. It lasts long in the water and is good for hard casting. Use live shrimp for a variety of fish such as spotted sea trout, black drum and southern flounder. Shrimp are great bait from shore, but they can also be expensive. Hook the tail through the hook so they stay alive longer.
Fish are a great bait if you are trying to catch very big fish. Herring and mackerel are oily, so they spread their scent through the water when cast out. They should be used whole for very large fish like sharks or cut into pieces for others. Although mackerel and herring can be bought frozen from bait shops, they often turn to a mush when defrosted, so try to get them from fishmongers. White bait is a fish that is sold in small bags. This silver fish is cheap and needs to be defrosted before use. Bags of these little silver fish can be bought cheaply from fishmongers. Defrost enough for your trip because they don't refreeze well. Guppies and minnows are also good options.
Article Written By Lauren Wise
Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.