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Fishing Lures vs. Bait

Fishing Lures
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Fishing Lures vs. Bait

Although many don’t know the difference, the debate over fishing lures bait continues.

Many new fishers ask the same question: Should I use live bait, or fish with artificial lures? While some things in life are objectively better choices, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to this aquatic dilemma. Each of them has their own list of pros and cons, and are great for different applications. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of both fishing lures and bait to help you decide which is the better choice.

Popularity in the Media

When you look at fishing magazines, videos, and TV shows, you probably notice that the vast majority of the fishers in the media use fishing lures to reel in their prized catch. While it is true that in the media most fishers use lures, in ordinary life, countless people use live bait with great success. The popular opinion in many angler communities is that fishers should all start out with bait fishing, and then as their skills progress, they can move onto artificial lures and then flies as they continue to progress.

With this in mind, there aren’t any rules about which type you should use, and it all comes down to the personal preference of the fisher, the type of fish they’re fishing for, and a variety of environmental factors.

Why You Should Start with Bait

Many of the most successful fishers in the world started their fishing careers off using fishing lure bait. It teaches beginning fishers a few skills that are crucial to their future success out of the water. For one, when you use live bait to attract fish, you learn which foods certain fish like and which ones they don’t.

Also, by using live fishing lure bait, going through the process of finding, gathering, and catching your live fishing lure bait will teach new fishers quite a few essential lessons. By hunting for your live fishing lure bait, you identify where the fish’s food is, how the prey behaves, and what the bait looks like should you ever move up to lure or fly fishing in the future.

Bait Fishing is Trapping

When you think about the difference between fishing with a lure or fishing with live bait, when you choose to use bait, you are essentially setting a trap for fish to swim into. You don’t move your hook around that much, and the most important skill to have is patience.

Lure Fishing is Hunting

On the other hand, when you use a lure to catch fish, it is more like you are hunting for them. With a fishing lure, you can cover more water at one time as you don’t need to worry about the bait falling off. While fishing with a lure, you are more active in the entire fishing experience as you move your lure back and forth to attract the fish and lure them onto your hook.

Best Times to Use Lures

So, which factors will necessitate the need for fishing with lures? For starters, you should typically use fishing lures when you’re at a catch and release fishery. Lures typically won’t hurt the fish as much as plain hooks used with bait fishing. You should also utilize fishing lures when you’re fishing in waters full of smaller, non-target fish. When you use bait in these scenarios, you’ll end up catching more of these nuisance fish since you have less control over your hook.

Lures are best used in clearer water so the fish can actually see the lure as it reflects the light. And, of course, only use lures when you’re fishing in water designated as “fly and lure only.”

Best Time to Use Bait

If you’re fishing at night, or in muddy waters, bait fishing is best. Since the fish won’t be able to see the lure, your best bet is to set your bait and then trap them as they swim around in the dark. You should also use fishing lure bait when you’re teaching kids how to fish (or beginning adults) since it will help them develop their fishing skills much better than starting with lures.

You should also use bait when it’s colder, especially if you’re ice fishing. Since baiting a fish is practically trapping them, while they move slowly through the colder water, they’ll probably run into your bait eventually. Finally, you should use bait on your hook when catching a meal is necessary. In a survival situation, you probably won’t be able to head to the store to pick up lures and you’ll be stuck with a hook, and whatever bait you can find.

Stock Up with Adventure At Nature

Adventure At Nature is your one-stop shop for everything you need for a successful fishing trip. From lures to hooks, lines, rods, and reels, we have it all! Check out our full selection here.

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