The Most Basics Fishermen Should Know About Fishing Baits

Bait fishing and lure fishing are among the most common methods of fishing. In fact, any angler while preparing for his fishing trip has to spend a huge amount of time stocking up his tackle box with different fishing baits and lure.  And when you have a full tackle box, it is still a hard task choosing between lure and bait or the different types of baits to use.

There are a lot of things that you should know about baits and lures as well as their pros and cons and how to use them. Having a proper knowledge about them will surely help you to catch fish much more easily so read on.

What is the difference between lure, bait, and jigs?

Many people think that since lures, baits, and jigs serve the same function – to trick fish to catch on the hook, they are the same things. However, they are all completely different and knowing about these differences will help you to understand more about different types of fishing and how to use them effectively.


It is not a living thing. In fact, it is artificial bait, which has a design that is the same with natural living bait. It is often made from rubber, wood, plastic, lead and animal hair. Also, you need to put in some actions to “lure” and attract the fish.


Image source:


There are two types of baits, which is natural bait and artificial bait. While artificial bait is a lure, natural bait is the actual food that you throw out into the water to catch fish such as worms. When you use bait, fish will catch the bait and eat it.


It is a type of lure which is simply lead metal melted into the liquid inside a mold. It comes in many shapes and design such as round head or oval head. This is one of the most versatile and effective types of fishing lures by many anglers. It can be used for all types of weather and water.


Image source: YouTube

I put the comparison between lure and bait into a table for your consideration

  Bait Lure
What Is It? It could be natural or artificial. It is the artificial bait.
The way of use Anglers needs to cast the hook and wait for a fish to come. After throwing the lure into the water, anglers need to reel in and create some movements with the lure.
Why should you use it? People who believe bait fishing is effective as they think that fish will find food based on the smell, not the sight. Unlike bait fishing, with lure fishing, it is based on the idea that fish goes after creatures with movements, vibration, and colors.
Pros The fish can eat it.

You can easily buy it in store, or you can catch it in nature with little or no cost at all.

Bait fishing could be the last resort for some species of fish. It is also considered more effective than lure.

With any species of fish, you would be able to find a type of lure.

Since you can use your lure so many times, it saves you a lot of money in the long run.

The lure can be easily removed.

It can prevent the occurrence of overharvesting bait which can affect the food chain severely.

You don’t need to store it in a special place with a specific degree of temperature to keep it alive.

Cons You have to keep it fresh all the time before a fish catches it.  Therefore, you need to use it as soon as possible.

You also need to keep the live bait alive under the water.

It cannot be eaten and sometimes, it can kill the fish.

You cannot just sit there and wait for the fish to catch your lure. Instead, you need to add some movements to your fishing line.

Different Types of Bait Used for Fishing

Artificial baits/ Lure

  • Jig: This is weighted hook with a lead head and sharp tip. Suitable for deep water fishing and saltwater fishing.
  • Surface lure: It is also known as poppers and stick baits. This is one type of top water lures.
  • Spoon lure: As the name suggests, this lure has a shape of a spoon.
  • LED lure: It has a built-in LED and battery.
  • Plug: This lure resembles minnows and crankbaits.
  • Artificial fly: This lure is typically used for fly fishing.
  • Soft plastic bait: It is made from various plastic and rubber material with the shape of baby fish, frogs, and worms.
  • Spinnerbait: It is designed with a hook and a spinner which is flashy on top.
  • Swimbait: It comes with tails to create movements while you reel the line.
  • Fish decoy: It has the design of a real fish.
Artificial baits

Image source: SPORT FISHING CHARTERS in Malta

Natural Baits

  • Worms: This is the most popular and also abundant types of bait. They are earthworms and nightcrawlers – which you can find under a pile of dirt. Worms also include manure worms and wrigglers which you can find in compost bins. You can easily collect them by yourself, or you can also buy them from any supply store with little cost. Also, many types of fish are attracted by worms such as bass, sunfish, and trout.
  • Freshwater clams and mussels: You can catch them in shallow water areas. To prepare the bait, you need to open these clams and mussels and let them dry out while being open. When their meat becomes tougher, you can hook them on without any difficulty.
  • Minnows: These baits are small baby fish, which you can find abundantly in any bait store. In some cases, you can catch minnows with a net. When you throw this bait under the water, it will move and swim around a lot, causing a lot of vibration and movements. When you hook a minnow, be careful, not let the hook go through its spinal cord or let it die.
  • Leach: You can buy leaches from a supply store and keep them alive in your refrigerator for a few days. You can use this type of bait to catch pike fish and walleye fish. It attracts fish in the same way with minnows- by creating a log of motions and movements.
  • Insects: They include beetles, caterpillars, ants, and grasshoppers. They can be easily collected depending on the climate where you live in. Some fish which are attracted by insects include sunfish and trout fish.
  • Dough balls: Finally, you can use not only a single type of bait but also a combination of them and mix them into a ball called dough ball. You can, of course, buy it from fishing stores or make it by yourself with some extra flour and molasses.
  • Various types of foods: There are some baits that you can simply take out from your refrigerator and your kitchen such as bread, corn, cereal flakes, and livers to name just a few.

Fishing bait tips

There are a lot of things that will be able to impact your choice and effectiveness of using fishing baits such as the types of fish, the body of water, the water and air conditions, Here are some things that you should remember when you use baits and lures for fishing.

Fishing bait tips

Image source: YouTube

  • Using the right baits and lures is the most important factor that can determine whether you are successful or not. Therefore, you need to plan for what types of fish you will go fishing for and do some researches on the proper baits and lures. One type of fish might be attracted to various baits and lures so be prepared. Also keep in mind that sometimes this type of bait works but sometimes it does not; hence, be prepared to try several baits.
  • You need to choose different baits and lures based on different types of the water. If it is salt water, you need to use bait which is designed to catch salt water fish and also works under salt water.
  •  When you use a lure, it is important that you make it as natural as possible – throw some actions with it while it is under the water. Make sure it has a natural and easily recognized look. Also, it should not have any strange smell.
  • Select the right time is very important as well. You need to choose the time while your target fish go out hunting for food. In most of the case, the fish will normally come out before noon and before the sun sets to seek for their prey.


Many anglers know that there is not a definite type of bait or lure which a fish like. It also depends on a lot of things such as the air condition, the weather and the water that day. Therefore, you should be prepared and bring a lot of different types of bait and lure to try on to see which one works.

Although it might be a daunting task, you will gradually learn how to fish with your baits and lures better and then will be able to catch a lot of tough fish while having a good time.