Author: Daniel Calvin

Live Bait Vs Artifical Lures: Which is Better?

It’s such a common question amongst anglers – Which is better? Fishing with live bait or lures?

While it would be easier if there was a definitive answer to this question, there really isn’t… It depends

Both methods of fishing have their advantages and disadvantages. Which method will best suit, depends on a number of factors, such as the weather, water conditions, the species of fish you are going after and your skill set. 

Some situations you will find live bait works best and others, an artificial lure is the way to go… So let’s examine both methods a bit deeper and look at their pros and cons. 

Fishing with Live Bait

Fishing with live bait simulates the natural feeding process the closest out of the two methods. You are offering them food which is naturally to their diet, you don’t need to dress it up, it’s the real deal. Using this method also releases scents, enzymes and pheromones into the water, serving as a powerful attractant to your prey. 

While live bait is incredibly effective, you need to take into account the species of fish you are after, as not all fish have the same diets and thus you may waste your bait fishing for a species which isn’t attracted to the bait you are attempting to entice them in with. 

Types of Live Bait

To drastically increase your chance of making a catch with live bait, before you go don to your local bait shop and stock up, you should know what type of food the species you are trying to catch eats. 

Saltwater Fishing: If you are going for a catch in saltwater, these baits are best to use:

  • Mullet
  • Crabs
  • Sardines
  • Squid
  • Minnows
  • Shrimp
  • Pinfish

Freshwater Fishing: If you are going for a catch in freshwater, these baits are best to use:

  • Mealworms
  • Minnows
  • Frogs
  • Crickets
  • Crayfish
  • Nightcrawlers
  • Butter worms

Benefits of Live Bait Fishing

Going the natural route has it’s advantages, a few of the pros of live bait fishing are:

  • Fish are drawn in by the scent. Scent is a much stronger sense for fish than it is for us humans, they rely on it a great deal in order to find food. When you cast live lures in, your prey will be quickly attracted to it and come in for a bite!
  • You’re giving them what they want… that is the food they normally eat. This helps your chances of catching a fish raise dramatically. 
  • If you’re resourceful enough you can find your own live bait, especially worms are very easy to find.

Disadvantages of Live Bait Fishing

While using live bait is a great method of fishing, there are a few disadvantages:

  • Live bait needs to be kept alive, so there is a certain amount of maintenance and time that goes into it. 
  • Fishing with live bait can be a bit gross. The blood and guts are enough to make the faint of heart squeamish. 
  • When you are fishing with live bait you have a finite supply, unlike artificial lures hat can be used over and over again, live bait can be used only once. 

Fishing with Artificial Lures

Artificial lures are more easier than live bait in one sense, but more difficult in another. With artificial lures, you don’t need to replace it every time you catch a fish, so it’s much easier in that you don’t have to bother with all the maintenance and care that goes with live bait fishing. 

But fishing with an artificial lure is a little more challenging and often requires more skill than fishing with live bait. 

Different Kinds of Artificial Lures

There are a number of different types of artificial lures available, here are a few of the options:

  • Decoy fish
  • Spoon lures
  • Swim bait
  • Sinking lures
  • LED lures
  • Artificial flies

Benefits of Artificial Lures

Artificial lures are lived by anglers the world over, a few of the reasons for that are:

  • Fishing with artificial lures is definitely more convenient, you don’t need to worry about keeping it alive, you just stick in your tackle box and it’s ready for next time!
  • You can continue using your lure for an unlimited amount of time.
  • It’s also the cleaner option of the two, no blood and guts. 

Disadvantages of Artificial Lures

While lures can be a great option, they aren’t without their downsides:

  • Since artificial lures don’t give off a scent, you need to target the fish. This requires more skill and knowledge of different species and their habitats and habits. 
  • Fishing with artificial lures is definitely the harder option as for catching fish.
  • It takes more out of you physically, since you need to be constantly moving the lure through the water, if you don’t the fish won’t see the lure. 


Pollock Sea Fishing – Tips & Guide

Pollock are a well sought after and fairly easy catch, with a minimum amount of gear needed.

Pollock are fairly common in the UK, they are great catch and put up quite the fight!


Pollock prefer areas with nooks and crannies over open seas. So fishing in areas with reefs or structures such as shipwrecks, will dramatically increase your chances of success Pollock fishing. 

The nature of reefs make them like ocean restaurants. As the tides rise, they carry small food particulars which are deposited in the many grooves and nooks in the reefs structure. Gangs of smaller bait fish then come to feed on the food particulars. 

Reefs with depths of around 10-15 meters are best for good Pollock fishing. 


A rod with a good amount of sport is best. Lure rods with casting weights or around 30-50 grams are ideal. Fixed spools are the best choice, with a size of around 3000. 

Braid line will allow you to feel every fish bite and know when the lure is hitting the sea bed. Braid is thinner than monofilament, so isn’t as affected by the tides and sea currents.

Lures and Bait 

When fishing for Pollock you can use either fresh bait or lures. 

For fresh bait, worms, crabs, mackerel and squid are effective.

Pollack will gobble up lures between about 15-25cm in length.

Almost any kind of lure will work well enough, but eel or minnow lures work particularly well.



Freelining For Pollock

Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. 

Simple freelining is a great method for catching pollock. Bait fishing with mackerel strips, lugworms or squid can result in a great catch. Using hook sizes of 2/0 or 3/0 are a good choice. 


In rocky areas, spinning is one of the more successful fishing tactics. Pollock will easily fall for lures resembling a sand eel.

One of the benefits of lure fishing for pollock fishing, is that, unlike bass, pollock are not scared off by a lead weight close to the lure. This is handy, as you can use a light lure with a small lead weight after the lure, without scaring away your catch.

Float Fishing

This method involves baiting a hook with fresh bait. Lugworms or shrimp are a great choice. 

A large float needs to be slid down the line. The bait can then be fished about 10 feet or deeper. 

When the pollock take the bait, the float prevents them from taking the bait and diving down to safety.

Bottom Baiting

When pollock are in deeper waters with a strong tide, bottom baiting can work well. 

You’ll want to fish with a heavier rod, like a beach or bass rod. It works well with a heavy grip lead and a long trace, around 5 feet or so with a 5/0, baiting with squid or mackerel.

This method can be a longer wait g game, so make sure you have a comfortable seat and a cold beer nearby!

Beginners Guide to Sea Fishing

Any type of fishing can be fun, relaxing, and can provide a nice meal. However, sea fishing in the UK can be especially rewarding. The smell of the ocean, the cool breeze, and the beautiful views make it a very unique experience. Deep sea fishing is one variety that gives you a massive amount of water and a wide variety of fish to pursue.

However, getting started with this type of fishing can be an intimidating task. There is much more to it than buying a rod and reel and heading to the closest lake or pond. Almost everything about sea fishing in the UK is different than freshwater fishing. However, once you know the basics you can travel to any coastline you like and have some success and some fun.

Learning How to Sea Fish

Ocean fishing requires some serious knowledge. You want to acquire that knowledge from multiple sources. This means reading sea fishing books, taking sea fishing classes, and taking charter trips. You can learn a great deal in a short period of time without having to mess with trying to figure it out on your own.

Clubs are a great way to learn from other saltwater anglers without spending much money. In these clubs, everybody is focused on the same process. Many people in the clubs have decades of experience and are happy to help you learn… if you are willing to listen to a tall tale or two.

You can also visit with members online to get as much information as you can. These clubs are as social as they are focused on fishing, so people will be happy to visit with you. You might even snag a friend that is willing to take you out and show you the ropes. These clubs are typically easy to find and open to the public. They have regular meetings to get to know everyone.

Charter trips are another way to learn the process quickly. With these trips, an expert will take you out in their boat and show you everything. You learn the equipment, the best spots, the bait, the target fish, and even how to care for a boat when you get one. You can go alone or take a bunch of people with you to split the cost and share the knowledge. You are also nearly guaranteed to come back with a cooler full of fish.

Be aware that some charters are geared towards novices and some are geared towards experienced fishermen. Make sure you pick one that will help you learn.

Classes are another option to help you learn quickly. There are usually classes available in any major city near the water. They tend to fill up quickly, so sign up well in advance. Some classes will focus on saltwater shore fishing, while others will take you out onto the water. There is typically a one-time registration fee.

learning to fish

Fishing Ethics

As is with any fishing, it is important that you fish responsibly. It is vital that you follow local fishing regulations so that we can protect the fish population. This will help ensure that our kids and grandkids can enjoy sea fishing as much as you do. This includes size regulations and local catch limits for the season. There are also specific species that are prohibited from being harvested.

Permits are required for almost every type of fishing, so make sure you purchase the right one.

It is important that you know how to properly catch and release a fish that you do not intend to keep. Be sure to handle the fish as little as possible. Fish have a mucus membrane that can be easily disrupted. In addition, the head, eyes, and gills are especially sensitive. You should have needle-nosed pliers or something similar to remove the hook properly. If the fish has swallowed the hook, cutting the line and releasing the fish gives it the best chances of survival. If able, move the fish back and forth in the water to push air into the gills. Then just let it swim away once it starts to become revived.

You might happen to catch a fish that has been tagged for observation. In this case, you want to provide the tagging party with as much information as possible. You want to record the date, location of catch, species of fish, length, weight, and if you kept the fish or released it.

Ideally, you should catch and release every fish if possible. This allows you to enjoy the sport, keeps the fish population intact, and ensures you are not violating any regulations. Just be sure to follow the tips above. In addition, you want to keep the fish in the water as much as possible. You can also use barbless hooks and specialized nets to help protect the fish. If you need to take a picture, keep the fish in the water until the last second.

It should go without saying, but it is vital that no trash end up in the water. Water pollution is a huge issue, and you do not want to be contributing to it.

fishing ethics

Saltwater Fishing Boats

Saltwater fishing from the shore can be extremely limiting. Most of the fish are farther out than you can cast from the shore. Having access to a boat can make a huge difference with saltwater fishing. However, you must choose the right one for your needs.

Center console boats have a basic design, but get the job done. They have no structure to protect you from the wind and rain, but you can fish off of any side of the boat. There is walking space around the entire perimeter. Most are designed for the fisherman, so they typically have bait and fish wells along with rod holders built in. They come in aluminum and fiberglass constructions. These boats can hold between four and eight passengers and range from 15 feet long to 42 feet long. The biggest engines can do a solid 70 mph on open water.

A deck boat focuses more on multiple purposes. They are designed with the angler in mind but are also very comfortable for a family outing. They are also much flashier than a center console boat. These boats are designed to load up a bunch of passengers with just a few fishing at any given time. The open design is more focused on seating.

All-purpose boats are really ideal for doing everything. This includes saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, watersports, and just taking the family out on the water for a good time. It is the design most often chosen for any type of fishing. They have some additional design features that may them safer and more comfortable on choppy water.

ocean fishing boats

Rods and Reels

When it comes to buying a fishing rod, your choice is greatly about personal preference. If you want to go after several different species, you will likely want several different rods. The action of the rod is vital. For fish over 20 pounds you will want a heavy action rod.

A medium-heavy rod is great for trolling and going after steelheads. It is ideal for fish between 10 and 20 pounds. Medium action rods are great for a variety of fish between 5 and 10 pounds. You can use these for trolling small lures. Light and ultralight rods are designed for the smallest lures and fish. If you have friends that do some sea fishing, try out their rods and see what you think.

When selecting a reel, you should first look at the gear ratio. This tells you how many times you must turn the handle before the spool makes one turn. A higher gear ratio makes it easy to reel in fast. However, a lower gear ratio provides more power. This is important when fishing on the bottom.

The winding mechanism is also important. It will affect the feel of your cast as well as the type of bait you can use. A baitcasting reel is best for heavier baits. A spinning reel is best for lighter baits. I have both and use both for different purposes. An ideal gear ratio is about 5:1:1. However, try them out for yourself and see what you like best.

Additional Gear

There are several additional items that can make sea fishing easier for you. One is a GPS unit. This will allow you to pinpoint a specific location on the open water and then return to it whenever you want. It will also help you navigate when you are out looking for a new spot.

Fish finders are another good idea. These will show you when fish are below your boat. You do want to make sure your electronics are specifically designed for saltwater fishing. A dual frequency transducer works similarly to a fish finder.

Proper fishing line is vital for a good saltwater fishing trip. Your first decision is the max pound test on the line. That should be selected based on the fish you are targeting. You should use the thinnest line that you can without risking a big fish breaking your line. This will ensure that it is easier to cast and harder for the fish to see.

Monofilament lines are the most popular and can be used on just about every type of fish. Braided line is stronger, but more visible to fish. Fluorocarbon lines are completely invisible in the water. They are stronger than monofilament but also more expensive.



The Complete Beginners Guide to Bream Fishing


Bream are one of the most common species of fish found in the UK. In almost every lake, river and reservoir,  they can be found.

These hungry fellas are not overly picky when it comes to bait, and can be caught using a variety of methods. Bream really are one of the easiest catches, making them excellent game for beginners. Bream fishing doesn’t require special equipment or bait, so it makes for inexpensive and hassle free fishing, just grab your rod, some bait, and your ready to go.

Since Bream fishing is notably easier than fishing for other species if fish, it’s perfect for kids and beginners. But before heading out, you should do a little research to find where they’re biting most.


When fishing for bream, the right rod can make a huge difference. We recommend a light rod, between 1kg and 4kg, with a fairly soft tip and a stiffer middle section, you want something that can cast well.

Go for a 1000-2500 sized reel.

It’s generally best to use light tackle, using hooks sized 10-14 will get you the most bites, but larger sized hooks Can be used when fishing for larger specimen.

Leader Lines

Bream have a habit of dragging you through the weeds, like it or not. Leader lines are your best friend when fishing for Bream and shouldn’t be overlooked!  

Braided leaded lines are preferred, but you can also use monofilament mainline, within the 2-6lbs range with a 4-10lbs fluorocarbon leader.

Bream Habits

Bream scour the beds of lakes or rivers, feeding on tiny bloodworm. They have a huge appetite and a five pound bream can dine out on as much as a hundred thousand animals every day.

They patrol routes running through lakes and rivers, stopping to feed along as they go. Bream do follow the same route each day, but this doesn’t mean they feed in the same spots. Finding the route of Bream in a lake or a river will give you a useful rough guide of their most likely whereabouts. The feeding stops along the route are dependant on the quantity of bloodworms in any given location, changing constantly, but they will always return back to their daily patrol route.

In the beginning of May, Bream begin to gather for spawning. Male Bream seek out shallow weedy areas, claiming their own territory and effectively isolating themselves from other male Bream. It’s a battle of the fittest, the biggest and strongest males claim the best areas.

After spawning, Bream go on a feeding frenzy to fatten up… this is generally the best time to catch them.

Best Techniques


1 Berley

The use of Berley is a game changer in Bream fishing, it will increase your odds of success hugely. Bream patrol the waters, roaming through lakes and rivers, they do not stick to one spot. The use of Barley is an excellent method to lure them in and keep them hanging around one spot.

The trick with berley is to get enough into a cloud of food into the water, enough for them to smell and taste, but not enough for them to feast on. As you want their meal to be the bait on the end of your hook.

2 Fish light

Bream can be slightly timid fish, often they will not take the bait if the sinker is too heavy. If it’s a little looser they are more likely to take the bait and carry it off. Use a light sinker to get the bait to the bottom. If the water is calm, you can use pea sized sinkers, right near the hook.

3 Fresh bait is the best

Nothing will get Bream to bite quite like fresh bait. Crickets and worms being the most popular and best bait choices.

Worms come in a few different varieties, with different colours and sizes. The larger varieties such as ‘Nightcrawlers’ ’are not as effective for bream fishing, the fish will simply nibble off an end of the worm, missing the hook completely. Smaller types of worms, such as redworms are a better option.

4 Be quiet and gentle

Bream are easily frightened. Making loud noises, dipping your rod into the water, shining a flashlight into the water, or pretty much anything else that will spook them are going to hurt your chances of a good catch. So just take it easy a d don’t cause a scene!