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An Introduction and guide to Fishing Baits

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Depending on the fish species you choose to target, your decision to use specific baits will be altered. Baits help to tempt the fish into taking the hook. Generally, many species are less likely to take lures than they are to take the bait. Lure fishing typically requires pricier gear than bait fishing.

Therefore, bait fishing is suitable for beginners that only want to spend low amounts of money on startup gear. The bait that catches the most fish will be the bait that resembles the fish's food.

Understanding Basic Types of Baits


Saltwater species will naturally feed on shellfish, which are common in your area. Generally, shellfish are more effective after long periods of poor weather. This is because the shellfish will be dislodged from the rocks, and more fish will be feeding on them. Mussels and razorfish are two of the best shellfish to use for catching a wide range of species. Salting shellfish can help toughen them before fishing. This will improve casting.

Prawns and Crabs

Prawns are not standard angling baits. Cod and Whiting will feed on prawns. Crabs are harder to use as baits. This is because you can only use a crab for appeal in a particular stage of its life cycle. This stage is when the crab's outer shell turns soft. The crab is called a 'peeler crab' when this happens.


Different types of worms are used in both salt and fresh water. Common earthworms can be used for catching various species of trout. More giant worms such as ragworm or lugworm are used for sea fishing. These baits are great due to their versatility and availability.

Mackerel and Other Fish Baits

mackerel fishing bait

Mackerel is used mainly when saltwater fishing. The large fishes amount of oil content allows for it to attract fish better. Mackerel can be caught on feathered hooks or purchased nearly anywhere. Sandeels and Herring are two other great saltwater baits. Small baitfish such as minnows and roach are used for fishing freshwater. They can be hooked alive and allowed to swim around the lake until spotted by a giant predator such as a pike.

Carp Bait

excellent on a hair rig. These tend to catch larger fish. Carp liquid is used on baits. There are two main reasons for this. It makes the bait bright, allowing it to stand out. The fluid also has a strong taste which the carp love.

Cocktail Baits

Cocktail baits are used for attracting different types of species. Cocktail baits are made up of multiple types of baits. Usually, this method is only used for saltwater fishing. When aiming to catch cod, cocktail baits are recommended. Cocktail baits can be used when you don't have large amounts of high-quality bait available.

Placing cheaper baits together to bulk up around fresh oily bait is typical. Surprisingly the order the bait is placed onto the hook will affect how many fish is caught. Place softer baits onto the hook first before using more onerous baits. This will help prevent losing anything when casting.

Rigging Live Baits

It is recommended to use treble hooks when rigging smaller baitfish. Pushing them through the back of the fish will allow it to swim normally and hold well. Rigging live baits can be highly effective for freshwater pike. Using common species such as trout or roach.

Storing Baits

Storing the majority of bait should be done within a cool box or bag. Cool boxes can be found in various sizes. Use ice blocks or ice beverages to help keep the box cold. Ensure to keep all the air out when packing the bait. It is recommended to place a foam layer within the box to prevent damages to the bait. This will also help retrain the cold within the box. When using worms, keep

packed fishing bait
packed fishing bait

lug and rag within bags in cool areas. Do not let them freeze, as this can make them less active or kill them. When using earthworms, store them in cool, damp soil.

Purchasing Baits

Feash bait can be got from your local

fishmongers. Although it is recommended, you do not tell them you are going fishing. This is as they may give you more inferior quality meat. Peeler crabs can be purchased from bait and tackle stores, but they may be uncommon. Rag, lug and earthworms can be dug for or bought at local fishing stores. Shellfish can be found on rocky marks around the local seashore.


Chumming is a method used to attract larger species of fish towards you. Standard methods of chumming are cutting up a whole mackerel and chucking it out to sea. Crabs will churn this meat up, causing a large amount of smell. These smells attract bigger fish closer to shore. This can also be done on about. Dangling a bag of cut up, smelly bait over the side of the boat will attract different fish species as well.

Bait Presentation

Pull the bait all the way up the hook. This will help it to stay on the hook and look more natural. Have the hook protruding from the side of the bait. Doing so will hook the fish more efficiently


Overall, there are a large number of baits available. It is evident that different fish species prefer different baits. Selecting the correct bait can be vital for increasing your chances. Saltwater and freshwater baits are widely different. Storing baits correctly will help stop them from deteriorating. Being able to present your bait correctly will help as well as your hook placement.

Fishing with bait that is local to your area will drastically improve the amount of fish you catch. Good high-quality bait recommendations are Fjuka Micros Bait and Aurum bloodworm and liver pallets.

by Daniel ONeill

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