Lures are a multi-million dollar industry but bait continues to be the “go to” for many salt water anglers. While lures can be an excellent means of fooling even a wary fish natural bait allows to you to skip the trickery and offer what is already a natural food source. It’s like feeding your child what they already like rather than talking them into trying something new. However, bait does require more care and a slight change in tactics if you are going to be success.
Picking your bait
You want to use bait which is naturally found, and that your target species naturally eats, in the area you will be fishing. The best way to do this is to catch you bait yourself in the same water before heading out for bigger game fish. If you cannot collect your own bait pick some up from a local bait shop instead of bringing it with your from somewhere else. Even if your favorite bait works well at home it may not be the food of choice where you are going. Plus, many areas have strict regulations concerning the transferring of baits from one water to another due to concerns over disease or invasive species.
Next, you should always try to use fresh live bait. Again, this is what game fish are feeding on and this is what will result in the most hook ups. If live bait is not available look for fresh cut bait and as a last resort frozen cut bait.