Live Bait

live baitLive Fishing Bait

Discover the top live baits for freshwater and saltwater gamefish. Some of the live bait can be purchased at your local bait shop, but most of them will need to be caught using a cast net or a Sabiki rig.Using a native baitfish or live bait is always a good idea and will usually produce results.

Freshwater Live Bait

Nightcrawlers (Earthworms): Premium freshwater live bait

  • large worms for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass
  • small worms for panfish, trout

Live Freshwater Fish Bait

  • Grubs: sunfish, panfish, trout
  • Crayfish: smallmouth bass, largemout bass, trout, walleye
  • Shiners: largemouth bass, pike, muskie Leeches: walleye, sauger
  • Insects (grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars): panfish, trout
  • Dough Ball: trout, panfish, catfish, carp (Various recipes are available)

Saltwater Live Bait

  • Atlantic Croaker ~ They make a croaking sound that attracts other fish
  • Mullet ~ caught inshore or purchased at local bait shop Pilchard ~ A top native saltwater baitfish
  • Threadfin Herring (Greenback) ~ A premium live bait – saltwater baitfish
  • Spanish Sardine ~ Another top native saltwater baitfish
  • Menhaden (Shad, bunker, shiner, pogey) ~ Nice native saltwater baitfish
  • Pinfish ~ Try hooking the pinfish just underneath the tail
  • Shrimp ~ Easy to buy and always productive live fish bait
  • Scaled Sardine (Whitebait) ~ Always productive and always plentiful
  • Glass Minnow (Anchovy) ~ Always plentiful live bait
  • Ballyhoo (balao) ~ A top live fishing bait – for best results, break off the beak before using
  • Striped Mullet (Black mullet, Fatback) A nice fishing bait
  • Blue Runner (Hard tail jack, yellow jack, yellow mackerel) Live bait for larger gamefish: tarpon, etc…
  • Crabs (Hardshell, Softshell) A live bait used for a variety of fish: tarpon, sheepshead, etc…
  • Sand Fleas ~ A live fishing bait found in the sand on the beach
  • Squid ~ Usually frozen, usually productive