Fish find food in three different ways—they identify and track down their prey using its scent, sound and movement. To reel a fish in, expert fishermen need to employ methods that fool all of a fish’s senses. Keep reading to learn the best saltwater bait to use for your next fishing excursion:
- Live bait: By far, the best kind of bait for catching big saltwater fish is live bait. Live bait provides the perfect mix of sound, smell and movement to attract a larger fish, making it a breeze to catch one on your hook. When it comes to using live bait, try to avoid touching it with your bare hands too much prior to tossing it in the water, as oils from your skin may deter your trophy fish.
- Cut bait: If live bait isn’t an option, cut bait is your second-best bet for catching saltwater fish! Though the cut bait obviously won’t have the movement or sound a fish is looking for, it will have the right smell. Fish used as cut bait should be firm, smell fresh and have clear eyes and red gills. Keep your bait on ice in a well-drained cooler before tossing it in the ocean.
- Crabs: Hard-shell, soft-shell and peeler crabs can also be great saltwater bait to use for certain types of fish. You can either pull them apart or use them whole, depending on the size of fish you’re going for. If you’re trying to hook a whole crab, bore a hole through the shell like a drill and work the hook through the entire body. This method is a bit tedious, but it’ll allow the crab to live for a while and provide that essential movement we discussed above.
- Clams and mussels: As long as they’re native to the area you’re fishing in, clams and mussels can also be great bait for reeling in large saltwater fish. Crack the shell open, cut the clam or mussel out and allow it to harden a bit before hooking it. Letting it dry in the sun makes the bait stay on the hook longer while it’s in the water.
- Shrimp: Humans aren’t the only creatures that love eating shrimp—fish do, too! Different sized fish will hit on different sized shrimp, making them some of the best saltwater bait for all sorts of fish. When hooking a shrimp, be careful not to poke the hook through the black spot on the shrimp’s head, as this will kill it immediately. Though a dead shrimp may be effective, it won’t work as well as a live one.
- Scented baits: Sometimes, obtaining the types of bait mentioned above isn’t an option. That’s when artificially scented bait comes in handy! This plastic bait is laced with powerful fish attractants that can draw all sorts of different saltwater fish to your line. Just be sure to keep the bait in the liquid it came in to prevent it from drying out.
Regardless of whether or not you use the best saltwater bait, you won’t get a catch unless you use a quality charter fishing company! Be sure to choose Sea Wife Charters if you want to catch some big fish and have fun while doing it.