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3 Important Tips when Using Live Bait

With such a large variety of artificial baits now available to us these days, there’s always a time and a place where live bait is still your best choice for a great day on the water.

Here are a few tips on using live bait, including how to catch more fish with bait that is no longer “alive”.

1) Keep your bait lively

One of the most effective ways to increase your strike ratio with live bait is of course, to keep your bait lively. A lively, struggling bait is a sure sign for an easy meal and any near by fish will attack it.

A key to keeping you bait lively is to avoid hooking it through the head area, or the mid area. For bait fish, key in on areas such as: through the tail, the top of the back, or through the lips. For worms, just avoid the head area.

In fact, in cases like this, it is also best to use thin wire hooks with any live bait. Thick, bulky hooks will cause more damage to your bait.

2) Key tip for using live bait which is no longer “lively”

Once your live bait has “expired”, you can discard it and replace it with a live one…which could get expensive – or you can continue to fish with your existing bait.

In cases like this, simply move your line forward a bit (about 2 – 3 feet) and then pause for at least 10 seconds. If you don’t get a bite, slowly move your line again, another 2 -3 feet and then pause again.

Continue with this method all the way back to shore or to your boat. This little bit of movement will put some life back into your bait and trigger more bites. The fish may bite while you are slowly moving your bait – or – many times, they will slowly follow your bait and then hit once you pause.

If you are ice fishing, in this case, simply slowly move your bait up a foot or 2 and then let it slowly fall down. Give it a 10 second pause and then repeat – this will trigger more bites.

3) When all else fails

After a while, your bait will loose it scent and effectiveness, so in cases like this, best to change your bait and put on another live bait and start over again. Keeping your bait fresh will always increase your odds of getting more bites!

So next time you find your self using live bait, keep these few tips in mind and get ready to have a great day on the water!

Until next time, good luck and good fishing.

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