There is nothing more relaxing than spending a lazy day, out on the lake, fishing. No matter if you are doing it alone, with friends or family, fishing is a great way to let loose and unwind. It is truly a great bonding and healing experience.
But not all fishing trips are alike. Some days you come back home with dozens of fish while other days you may just have to settle for a small one; further still, there are times when you might have to return home empty-handed.
One of the first lessons to learn in fishing is to understand when to use what type of lures or baits and how to use them.
Is live bait better than lures?
Question: Hello there, my name is Evan. I am a 32 years old man from Alaska. I have found a new passion for fishing and love to spend every other day out on the lakes and rivers catching fish. It has only been a month or two since I really got into fishing and so I am still pretty much a beginner.
Although I am already quite good at it, I have trouble choosing between live bait and lures when I go fishing. Is live bait better than lures, and why?
Answer: Hi Evan, its Thomas here. That is an excellent question that you have put forward, and I will try my best to give you the answer that you are looking for today. Many other people also have similar queries, and it is justified. There is significant confusion as to which is better- live bait or lures.
To help you understand better, I will first explain the meaning of both and bring out the key difference between the two.
Firstly, a live bait usually comprises of a smaller living organism, which is often the natural food or prey of bigger fish. Whereas, a lure is an artificial and man-made bait designed to attract the fish to swim towards the hook. So, while we can use both live baits and lures to catch fish, one is natural while the other is artificial.
Most fish are naturally more inclined towards live bait, and it takes a person with more skills to fish better using lures. So, for beginners, using live baits will yield better results and help you catch more fish.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the same for experienced fishers. For a skilled fisher with plenty of experience, the choice of live bait or lures does not make much of a difference.
Based on the situation and nature of fish one wishes to catch, there are so many different types of live baits and artificial lures that one can choose from to make the best catch.
Let us dive into the details about the different types of live bait and lures and the best way to use them.
Types of Live Baits
Most of the time, we can use different organisms ranging from small fish to worms as live bait for different fish. Anything that constitutes as part of a fish’s natural diet can become a good live bait.
Minnows are one of the most-loved live baits that you can easily buy in the market. Many types of bigger fish like bass, pike, catfish, and crappies love minnows and will hardly ever not bite if you offer them. It is not challenging to fish with minnows. During spring, you can place them on a fishing bobber and bait the bigger fish to wander into shallow waters.
The crayfish is a crustacean that attracts every single type of bass, including trouts and catfish. You can catch crayfish from ponds or streams under rocks and debris. Keep them in a cold water bucket or tub along with some wet leaves. To fish with crayfish, you can pierce it with a hook through its tail and cast it into the water.
Fish like flounders, bass, and trouts can hardly resist the pinkish bloodworms. They are not hard to find as they live in the bottoms of shallow waters. They cannot swim well but wriggle and catch the attention of big fish. They are pink or reddish in color because their pale skin does not cover their insides.
Clams are one of the best live baits for saltwater fishing even though it can be a challenge to keep them hooked on your line. You should remember that the flesh of clams rot rather quickly once they die. It is best to use live clams for your fishing activities.
Whether you are fishing inshore or offshore, using small squids as bait is an excellent idea. You can either use a whole squid or not, depending on what fish you are planning to catch.
Benefits of using live baits
Ssome reasons why you should use live baits:
- You can fool most fish using baits
- They are the best choice when it comes to fishing in ice-cold weather conditions
- You do not have to move your rod if you use live bait. The bait will move on its own, so you can relax after casting your line.
- In the process of eating the live bait, the bigger fish will hook themselves to your line without needing anything.
- It is a better choice than lures for fishing at night.
Drawbacks of using live baits
- You need to store live bait in a tub of water or refrigerate it.
- Catching baitfish on your own can be a challenging process.
Types of Lures
We can find many types of artificial lures in the markets today. The shapes, design, and size of these lures often replicate live baits or the natural prey of the target fish. Some of the more common types of lures are listed below
In most cases, these lures usually come in the shape and size of small fish and are made from plastic or rubber. Decoy fish lures come in bright colors to attract the other fishes more easily.
Just as the name suggests, initially, people used broken spoons for this purpose. However, nowadays, we get a wide variety of spoon lures in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The Bomber Spoon Lure is an exceptional product in this category. These lures are especially effective underwater as the water current makes the spoon lure move in such a way that mimics a live bait, thus attracting the fish towards it.
These colorful and distinctly shaped lures often have a lead head, rubber skirt, and an arm attached to small metal blades. Get the BOOYAH Spinner blade for your next fishing adventure, Spinner blades move swiftly with the movement of the water and look like a tiny insect struggling. This helps to draw the fish’s attention.
Another unique type of artificial lure used for fishing is called flies. Flies are supposed to look like different insects and larvae. We make them using hair, fur, and feathers with some foam or rubber as well. Unlike other lures, flies do not sink underwater but are supposed to float above it. The Outdoor Planet Assorted Fly Fishing Lure Pack is an excellent deal for any fisher out there.
Benefits of using lures
Economical– you can use the same lure multiple times for as long as it is not damaged. This helps to reduce a lot of expenses and help you save money.
Hygienic– artificial lures do not come with all the grime and slime involved with using real live baits. They are much cleaner to handle and more hygienic as well.
Easy-to-use– you can directly attach an artificial lure, just as it is, to a line and start fishing straight away. It is much more convenient and helps save a lot of time for the person using them.
Drawbacks of using lures
- It takes more amount of skill and experience to master the art of fishing with lures.
- It demands a lot of stamina as the lure’s effectiveness depends on the way we move it constantly.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!