The bait you hook on your fishing line determines what type of fish you will catch. Just like us humans, fish also have different tastes. For sunfish, crickets are like gourmet food but the same cannot be said for catfish.
Of course, you can experiment with different baits but why go through so much trouble when you can get the right one and catch fish on your first try. Just like a stationery shop is heaven for kids, so is a bait shop for anglers. There are hundreds of colorful options available that will make you want them all. This is why we have created a list of freshwater baits to make the selection easy for you.
Leeches are loved by northern pike and walleye. To make sure that the fish takes the bait, make sure that the leech is hooked through the mouth and out the tail.
Cut Fish Bait
This is the type of bait that can be made out of any small fish. Fish that find food using their sense of smell easily bite off cut fish bait. For best results, use a sharp knife to scale the fish. Carp and catfish are attracted the most to cut fish bait.
This bait is commercially made from panfish, trout, carp, and catfish. It’s a mixture that is molded into a ball and then stuffed around the hook. You can make doughballs at home with a few simple ingredients. Here’s how to make them:
- Mix 1 cup yellow cornmeal, flour, and sugar
- Pour a small amount of water into the mixture
- Use a spoon to mix the ingredients and form a dough
- Make ½ inch balls
- In a pan, pour less than 1-quarter of water and 1 cup molasses
- Add an aromatic flavoring agent like garlic or anise
- Bring the mixture to a boil and the dough balls into it. Cook for 3 minutes and then set aside to cool
Minnows are called baby fish and they are one of the best freshwater fishing baits. This bait is available in different sizes. The movement of a minnow is what attracts the fish, so make sure not to damage its spine when hooking.
There are plenty of other fishing baits that we can’t possibly list down together. To give you an idea about what other baits you can try, check out the following table.
Here’s a list of common fish species and what type of bait you can use for them:
|Fish Species||Types of Bait|
|Panfish (Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Flier, Orange Spotted, Sunfish, Etc.)||Earthworms, waxworms, crickets, grubs, mealworms, crayfish meat|
|Bass||Fathead minnows, shad, nightcrawlers, hellgrammites, stonecats, crayfish, eel|
|Trout||Earthworms, leaches, grubs, halved nightcrawlers, minnows, small crayfish, grasshoppers, crickets|
|Catfish||Chad, small herring, cut bait, nightcrawlers, hot dog chunks, crayfish, chicken livers, boilies, doughballs, corn|
|Carp||Sweet corn, doughballs, boilies, bread|
|Gar||Cut bait, minnows|
|Walleye||Minnows, nightcrawlers, leaches|
|Salmon||Cut herring, cured fish roe|
|Whitefish||Bread, insects, minnows, doughballs|
Note: Some of these species are considered both freshwater and saltwater fish.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your way to the nearest bait shop and get everything you need for a big haul. Settle on your boat dock and have a great time fishing peacefully in the early morning.