The Best Baits for Fishing – Ultimate Guide

If you are planning a trip where you will be fishing in saltwater, you need to know what type of bait to use. Of course, your choice will depend on what type of fishing you plan to do, as well as the fish you want to catch. Learn all about the best baits for fishing in this article.

Many times, whether you catch a fish or not will depend on the bait you are using. If you are visiting an area that is unfamiliar to you, ask the locals about the saltwater fishing bait they use. They will usually have a better idea of what works best in their waters. There are quite a few options when it comes to choosing saltwater bait, and here are some of the most popular ones.

What Is The Best Bait for Fishing?

There are many baits for fishing, each one is preferred by a different species. In this article, you will learn which ones to use according to the circumstances. Also to have successful fishing we must know certain weather conditions. We recommend our article about fishing calendar solunar.

Best Baits for Fishing – Using Shrimp

Shrimp has become the all-purpose saltwater bait. They can be used in almost any situation and will always have some kind of results. They are probably best used in low water conditions that have many types of fish.

Of course, you will need to keep them alive in a bucket as live bait, although fish have been known to eat them even when dead. The problem with shrimp can be that you are going to wear them out fairly quickly and they can be expensive. Many times smaller fish, which are useless for fishing, will bite them, leaving you with no shrimp or only a portion on the hook.

best baits for fishing shrimp
Best baits for fishing.

Using Cut Bait

Cut bait is when a part of a fish that is dead is cut off and placed on the hook for bait. This type of bait can be used in shallow water fishing, offshore, or surf-casting fishing. It is more generally used offshore.

Groupers are especially fond of cut bait, as are other fish such as bluefish. You can use an unwanted fish you’ve caught as bait or cut up some of the live baitfish you’ve purchased.

Best Baits for Fishing – Using Clams

If surf-casting is the type of fishing you’re looking for, clams always seem to bring results. You can usually buy them by the dozen at local bait stores. Clams work well for pompano, whiting and other types of fish found near the surf-casting area.

If you live in an area where clams are found, it is possible to dig into the shallow water on your own. The best thing about clams is that you can get four baits out of each clam. You’ll need to open them by banging two together or using something harder to break the outer shell. Then simply cut them into several pieces and place them on your hook.

Any leftover clams store well in the refrigerator for several days to a week.

bait clam
Best baits for fishing.

Using Other Small Fish

Smaller fish, such as mullet, small croakers, small sardines, and other small fish are a great bait to use. They are good for both shallow water and offshore fishing. Generally, you can buy these types of baits at your local bait store, or use a tackle line to catch them on your own.

These fish are more lively on the hook and seem to stay alive for quite some time, so your chances of catching a fish are even greater. Of course, you will need to keep the others alive in a bucket of saltwater. They are spectacular to use when trying to catch bluefish, redfish, trout, conger eel, and tarpon.

If we are going to use live bait we must always keep it in proper conditions. You should use a live bait cooler.

Engel 30qt Live Bait Cooler Box with 2nd Gen 2-Speed Portable Aerator Pump and 4 x Fishing Rod Holder Attachments. Fishing Bait Station and Minnow Bucket in LBC30-RH in White
  • Quality injection molded (PP Copolymer) & insulated with high-grade molded polystyrene foam
  • Airtight EVA gasket Seal recessed ergonomic
  • Carry handles (ABS) & integrated shoulder strap (PP) along with a self-stopping hinge (ABS)

Best Baits for Fishing – Using Sand Fleas

Another great bait to use for surf-casting fishing is sand fleas. Since you can collect your own using a bucket, you don’t have to spend a dime. People have been digging up the shore of beaches for years, gathering sand fleas.

Since they live just below the surface of the sand, you’ll have to dig to catch them. They make great bait for surf-casting fish such as pompano and whiting. Place the hook through their hard shell and you’re ready to fish.

Using Crabs

When you can catch them, small crabs or fiddler crabs make excellent bait. Some fish, such as salmon and salema love them. You may be able to buy small crabs at a local fishing store, but it’s easier to look for them on the beaches.

The smaller the crab, the better. Place the hook through the back of the shell so the crab will still be able to move while in the water.

best baits for fishing crabs
Best baits for fishing.

Bait For Beach Fishing

Baits that are effective in beach fishing reflect the natural food sources on the shore that fish are accustomed to eating. In some cases, you can look for live bait on the beaches before you start fishing. Otherwise, check with local seaside bait vendors for good bait products.

Baitfish, clams, crustaceans, squid, and other marine species are good baits, depending on the type of fish. When you combine the saltwater bait you use with the prey of the fish you want to catch, you can increase your chances of success.