Fishing Lures and Bait – What Gets More Fish?

Fishing Lures and Bait catch bigger fish

There are only two things that can attract fish to your fishing line and that is by using fishing lures and bait. Fishing lures are different from baits though they serve the same purpose. Fishing lures are artificial food baits that are designed to look and smell like real food for the fish. Baits are live or dead fishing baits that many anglers say are more effective in hooking fish. However, many angler newbies would not want to touch baits because of the smell or are disgusted with touching them so they would rather choose fishing lures and want to know more about them.

Fishing Lures and Bait

So here are the essential things they should know about the fishing lures –    

Fishing lures are artificial baits that fishermen use to lure fish into biting them. They come in different shapes and sizes and are usually made of wood, rubber, plastic or a combination of these with hooks. Some professional anglers also prefer fish lures for catching saltwater fish like trout or tuna and most of the fishing lures we have now are made to be reflective and also resembles real fish food which can tempt the fish to bite. 

Fishing Lures and Bait

On the other hand, the best advantage of using fishing lures compared to the best bait for fishing in saltwater, rivers and lakes is that these artificial fishing tools can be reused. You can also choose which type of lures can best attract the type of fish you want to catch.  

Moreover, real live baits, according to some experienced anglers are more effective in catching different kinds of fish because fish can smell them even from a distance. So what are the advantages of using the best bait for fishing in rivers, the best bait for fishing in a lake, and also in saltwater?

Advantages of Using Baits for Fishing

Baits are available in different kinds. Either it is a live bait, it can still smell and taste good to the fish. The most popular baits are worms, grasshoppers, frogs, and also small animals that can be found in waters like squid, shrimps, crayfish, minnows, and even leeches. Live baits are said to be more effective than dead baits because they move, wriggle, and swim which can lure  fish even if they are hiding between corals and rocks. 

Here are the benefits of using baits:  

Defined as “real food for fish” baits can attract fish of different species by luring it with its appetizing smell or flavor of real fish food regardless of the body water you are fishing in. 

Baits also help fishermen target specific species of fish that prefer certain types of foods such as worms for catfish or shrimps for trout. best rod for surf fishing

Many species of fish are more attracted to live baits compared to the lures. So some of the best bait for fishing in saltwater can also be your best bait for fishing in lakes. 

With lure fishing, one needs special skills to utilize them properly and tempt fish into biting them. Lure fishing also demands the use of better quality tools. Unlike with baits, there is always a high percentage of catch even for inexperienced anglers. 

Fishing Lures and Bait

Using the best bait for fishing at night will enable you to catch bigger fish because fish can smell it even with low availability of light.  

When it comes to fishing in freshwater, according to some expert fishers, the natural smell of bait is what attracts the common catfish, bluegills, and freshwater bass. 

On the other hand, some experts also suggest combining the use of fishing lures and bait so that it can draw the curiosities of different types of fish at a single angling session. For example, combining minnows or nightcrawlers with a spinnerbait or a top water bait will enable your combined bait to attract saltwater bass.  

Fishing Lures and Bait

Best Bait for Saltwater Fish

You don’t want to go surf fishing or engage in deep-sea fishing without knowing which fishing lures and bait you need to bring. To be sure, bring only the best bait for fishing in saltwater and also some jigs to attract deep-sea fish. Let’s now check which best bait for surf fishing is suited for the fish you want. 

Fishing along the shoreline can be very exciting because you can feel more relaxed, safer and can have more fun especially if you know which bait that matches the fish that live along the coastal line.

Fishing Lures and Bait


Shrimps are very abundant and cheap to buy. You can buy them from local bait shops or even from supermarkets. Shrimps are also some of the fisherman’s favorite for salt and freshwater bait because all fish species will eat shrimps. Some fish who prefer only certain kinds of food won’t swim away when they encounter shrimp baits. 

Live or dead shrimp, this does not matter to the fish because the shrimp’s appendages and succulent body will tempt the fish to take a bite. This is why shrimps belong to the number one spot as the best bait for fishing in saltwater as well as on freshwater.  


If you look at the prawns, they are much like the bigger versions of shrimps. And like the shrimps, these species also smell strongly fishy and can therefore be excellent choices for your fishing lures and bait combination. 

Fishing Lures and Bait


These shellfish are also some of the fisherman’s favorites because they are easy to rig to the hook and smell delicious to the fish. Being soft and chewy, you can find them hanging out under the sand or clinging on stones along the shore. To open them up, just slide a thin knife between its shell and slowly pry it open. The meat must not be damaged and you have yourself one best bait for fishing in saltwater.


Crabs are some of the most common crustaceans that can be your best bait for fishing in rivers and also in saltwater. If you run out of bait whether you’re surf fishing or fishing in a lake, just look under the stones or crevices nearby water or take a rake and a bucket with you and scrape the wet sand on the beach and most likely you’ll find small crabs.  You can also buy them from bait shops and they are available in different species like sand crabs, mole crabs, blue crabs and pass crabs.

To catch medium size fish, before you rig them to the hook, remove their top shell and legs first and break the abdomen in half then use each part as individual bait. For bigger fish, you can also rig the small crab whole and alive. 


We see squid not only as an all-around bait for many species of fish but they can also be your best bait for fishing at night and that’s because they also smell fishy. Once in the water, live squid or frozen squid bait (although live squid is more preferred), will spread its fishy smell and nearby fish would be tempted to bite even if they don’t feel too hungry. To rig squid up, pull the plastic-like cartilage first from inside its abdomen then pierce the top with the hook then let the metal pass through the abdomen then twist until the hook comes out near the eyes. 

Fishing Lures and Bait

Best Bait for Fishing in Rivers

Many fishermen agree that the best bait for fishing on rivers is live bait. Rivers usually have flowing waters so fish that live there are constantly moving and are also more attracted to moving baits. River bass, catfish, and carp are among the freshwater fishes that are commonly found in rivers. 

The thing is, when water in rivers gets deeper, bigger fish will come in and the active fishes will take refuge in nooks and crannies and become bottom feeders. So now you can target the swimmers and bottom feeders and their feeding mostly happens during the early morning and evening. Any river fish will be happy to greet your fishing lures and bait during this time so you must know which bait are the favorites among river fishes. Here is our list.

Fishing Lures and Bait


These critters can be found right in your backyard’s soil. You can also buy them from bait shops. Worms and nightcrawlers are some of the best baits for bottom feeders  like bass and catfish because they smell like earth and moss. 

The best bait for fishing in lakes and rivers for the rainbow trout are manure worms. These worms feed on animal manure so they are bigger, more wiggly and pinkish than earthworms but very fragile. To rig them up, insert the hook through its body until its body covers all the metal then twist the hook on the neck part so that its head wriggles as while in the water.  

Fishing Lures and Bait


In terms of finding the best bait for fishing in rivers and lakes, we cannot leave out the minnows. Tiny but very effective baits for all types of freshwater fish, minnows come in different species and you can buy them in almost any bait shop alive. Remember that when rigging up minnows on hooks, it should stay alive while under the water so that it wriggles and stays active. 

There are various ways of rigging up minnows but the best way is to insert the hook into the mouth and out near the gill area. This method can keep the minnow more secured from getting nibbled and stolen by smaller fish. Carps and catfish, on the other hand, are more attracted to minnows that were cut into pieces. 

Grasshoppers and other insects

If you are living in rural areas or on a farm, you can easily gather up some grasshoppers using nets. Insects like grasshoppers are some of the best baits for fishing in rivers and lakes and they can stay alive for hours as long as you avoid their vital parts like the head and heart when rigging them up. They don’t float but by jiggling them up on the surface of the water like a drowning insect, their movements can attract the attention of fishes that are roaming around. 

Shrimps and crayfish

These shellfish can be found also in freshwater bodies and they are some of the favorites among freshwater fishes. Avoid damaging their brains when rigging them up on hooks to enable them to move while waiting for the fish to bite. Also, choose the right size based on the kind of fish you want to catch but generally, all freshwater fish love these shellfish. 

Best Bait for Fishing in Lake

Fishing in the river and fishing in a lake is almost the same if we talk about choosing fishing lures and bait. The only thing you will observe is the movement of their water so you have to adapt to this. Rivers have shallower waters that constantly flow and empty this water into the sea so most of the fish that live in rivers can also migrate to the salty water like trout. Lakes are usually confined to large bodies of water surrounded by land so all the fish there are native fresh-water fish unless the lake also has a tributary connected to rivers. 

When it comes to fish that live in lakes, examples of these are bass, bluegill, channel catfish, sunfish, carp and other fish species that can also be present in rivers.


Here are the best baits for lake fishing


Earthworms are the standard types of baits when it comes to freshwater fishing. They are easy to find, cheap to buy and almost all freshwater fish are attracted to worms. To rig them up, check again our instructions above. Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Power bait.

The power baits are generally made of dough mixed with some natural condiments to make them more pungent and tasty to fish. You can buy this alternative food fish from bait shops and you can also create its size based on the size of the fish you want to catch. For the newbies, the power bait can be their best bait for fishing in the lake and  it doesn’t smell fishy as real live bait. You can roll it in your palm while squeezing it then insert the hook inside it.  Best Reel for Surf Fishing

Chicken liver.

Catfish are bottom-feeders so the best bait for fishing in the lake if you intend to catch those fat catfish is chicken liver or live baits that do not float. Catfish have a very sensitive sense of smell and they use their special cells on their heads to smell food in the water. To rig chicken liver on a hook is very easy since chicken liver is delicate and soft. You can rig the hook through the liver and expose only the barbed tip.  

Live insects like grasshoppers and mealworms.

  Any of these can be the best bait for fishing in rivers and lakes since they can get the attention of many types of freshwater fish  as it moves and wriggle like panfish, trout and smallmouth bass.

Best Bait for Fishing at Night    

Not all fish can see at night so some fish are day-feeders. So fish who see poorly under low light conditions use their sense of smell and other sensory perceptions to find and hunt for their food. However, when choosing the best bait for fishing at night, it is better that you use fishing lures and baits that are alive so that these can create a splash in the water and make the fish detect their presence.

fishing lures and baits best for night fishing:

 Buzz baits and live baits.

Buzzbaits are kinds of wire baits that can serve as topwater lures with tails and create splashes as you move them along the surface of the water. But to make them even more effective for fishing during the night, you should also accompany these with live baits such as small frogs or fish like minnows that can create splashes in the water.

Large worms.

You can also find large worms being sold on many bait shops and we prefer the large because we always want to catch bass which normally gets hungry and more active during the night. You can also include a jig or a buzz bait to make the worm bait more tempting to bass so they tend to attack the bait. 

Catching fish in different bodies of water requires skills, patience and of course your knowledge on which fishing lures and bait should be used. So with this info, hopefully, the next time you go saltwater fishing or fishing in lakes or rivers or even at night, you know which bait and lures to bring. Even though you are a newbie in fishing, it pays to know the kind of food your desired fish want to eat.

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