Spinners, spoons, poppers, jigs; no we’re not listing the latest in hip-hop slang that you’ll have to get your kids to translate. We’re talking bait and lures, one of the biggest battles raging in many a fishing household. Are bait or lures better for your favorite fishing hole? Well, we’re going to have to play Switzerland in this conflict, and for good reason: both natural bait and artificial lures have their respective pros and cons depending on your fishing spot and targeted fish. So, what do you need to know before picking the right tools for your next fishing foray?
Bait or Lures: Variations, Pros and Cons
Live bait is mostly utilized in freshwater fishing, including a number of small critters, such as worms, minnows, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, snails, fish roe and leeches. Though the squeamish may have some trouble with this practice, live bait has been used for eons, preferred by many for its natural color, odor and texture. There is no beating the allure of all-natural bait when it comes to sheer, instinctual attraction for many fish.
Live bait is not without its downsides, however. For one, it’s often much more work to ensure that your bait is kept alive and kicking. Besides storage, acquiring local bait can sometimes be a tall order. Sure, you could just pick up bait from anywhere, but local bait is often much more effective since it’s familiar to the fish that you’re trying to reel in.
To the live bait fans, we say the most sincere form of flattery is imitation, and that is precisely the aim of artificial lures. Providing a level of variety and options for any fishing hole, artificial lures have live bait beat when it comes to flexibility. Though you’d be hard-pressed to find a lure that can perfectly imitate live bait, many modern lures do a pretty darn good job. Crankbaits, plugs, flies, jigs, spinners, spoons, poppers and more can all add up to an arsenal of options regardless of where you’re casting your reel.
On the downside, again, at best, these lures are simply imitations of the real prey of the fish you’re trying to catch. Not to mention the learning curve of mastering the right tool for the job. Are you looking to catch fish at the surface, subsurface or bottom levels? Should I go high or low tech? What colors or movement will work best? There are often a stifling amount of questions that could deter beginners from making a decision.
Though choosing between live bait and artificial lures is not always an easy decision to make, always remember that fishing is supposed to be fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff when planning your first fishing fun. As always, this boating and fishing community that we’re all a part of is more than happy to share a few friendly tips, so don’t be afraid to ask for some advice when picking up your gear. You may have to sit through a big fish story or two, but you may just come back from your trip with a few stories to tell of your own.
For more information on the bait or lures debate: http://www.discoverboating.com/resources/article.aspx?id=532