How to Choose the Best Bait for Saltwater Fishing

When you are heading out onto the ocean, whether you are going to be fishing from a boat, paddle board, kayak or even from a pier, you need to have the right bait along with you to make sure those fish bite. However, it can often be difficult to know exactly what type of bait or lures you should bring, especially if you have not done much saltwater fishing before, or if you haven’t had much luck at it so far. Let’s learn a bit more about how you can choose the best bait the next time you head out to fish.

Think about the Fish

First, you have to consider the ways fish tend to find their food and how they feed. Fish have three different methods by which they detect food in the water. They use scent and sound, as well as movement, to determine whether something is likely to be their prey or not. The goal of the bait you use is to draw in the fish, so they will take a bite and latch onto your hook.

You also have to keep in mind the types of fish you are going to try to catch, as some have different bait preferences. Know the type of fish you want to catch, the location where you are most likely to find those fish, and the preferred food type for that fish, and you will find that you have a much easier time selecting the right type of bait.

Great Types of Saltwater Bait

live biat

Consider the senses we mentioned that determine whether the fish will see the bait as food or not – scent, sound, and movement. Your goal is to do everything you can to fool the fish into believing that they’ve just found a tasty meal rather than a one-way ticket out of the ocean. Fortunately, there are some wonderful bait choices that can help to make this much easier for you.

First, you have bait fish. These are small fish that are caught for the primary purpose of being bait for the larger fish that tend to prey on them. Some of the most common types of bait fish used for saltwater fishing include scad and anchovies. These sorts of fish are very common, and they breed quickly, which makes them ideal for using as bait – there is really no danger of overfishing them.

This type of live bait tends to be great for saltwater fishing, as these are usually the types of fish that are eaten by your quarry. They naturally see these fish as their food, so it is easier to fool them into biting. However, you should always make sure that you do not touch the bate before you put it on the hook. When you do pass the hook through the fish, you want to make sure it is still capable of swimming naturally. Again, this is to make the fish you want to catch believe that this is just an easy meal.

If you do not have access to live bait, you could also use cut bait. Make sure you use the freshest cut bait possible, remembering that fish will often look for food based on scent. They may not be quite as willing to bite if they detect that their food is already dead.

Some of the other bait options that you may want to consider include clams, mussels, squid shrimp, and crab. Again, it will depend on the type of fish you are trying to catch. Read up on what those fish in particular like to eat, and then provide that if you can. This is one of the best ways to find success when you are fishing on the ocean.

Consider Using Artificial Baits and Lures for Saltwater Fishing

artificial bait

While live bait and fresh cut bait can be great, you can still use lures and artificial bait for your saltwater fishing needs. Many of the options on the market today look, and can even smell, very similar to live bait. In fact, some of the options available today are laced with fish attractants, and some feel these are even more successful than using live bait fish.

Related:  Live Bait vs. Artificial Lures: which one is best?

Lures and artificial bait are available that look like many of the different sorts of bait fish that you would normally want to use, and you can fill up a tacklebox with a range of options to try out on the fish that you are seeking the next time you go ocean fishing.

The most important takeaway from this article should be to think like the fish as much as possible. What will they find appealing, and how can you trick their senses into biting? Doing this will give you a much better chance of landing the fish that you want.


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