Fishing Bait

Live Bait Vs Artifical Lures: Which is Better?

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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. 


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