Shimano Game

Shimano Game

Cathing Your Own Bait Fish

While bait choices often come down to personal preference,  there are many types of fishing that lend themselves far better to live bait than to top water plugs or heavy diamond jigs. The secret to success with live bait fishing is and understanding of where to find the right live bait for your needs. It is also important to know when frozen bait is sufficient and where live bait will do you more good.


In addition to the costly equipment that you already use for fishing, you can spend a small fortune purchasing live bait. In many cases, the only place to purchase it is a local bait and tackle shop. The problem then becomes is getting the live bait to your favorite fishing hole. Often by the time you arrive, your bait is listless from being so stressed out. In many cases, this can result in the bait not being able to be used immediately in which case you will have to catch your bait yourself.


Anglers in the Northeast love chasing striped bass. Fortunately, the favorite food of the striped bass is menhaden which is known locally as a bunker. The good thing about bunker is it is usually readily available in nearly all bait shops. The downside of this is that it’s nearly always frozen.  However, rather than purchasing frozen bait that could be very old, you can find fresh bunker fairly easily. These bait fish can be caught using hooks or nets by the hundreds. Any leftovers you can freeze them in the event you’re unable to locate fresh bait for a future fishing trip.

Live bait is very helpful if you are fluke fishing as well. While it may be easier to use dead and frozen bait, live bait can often provide an edge over those who are fishing with frozen bait. Mummichogs are the preferred bait for summer flounder. They can easily be found in creeks, the mouths of rivers, and other shallow estuaries that are typically found along the coast. It is not unusual to find these mummies in marinas. Place a trap and simply put a can of wet cat food into your trap, and within 30 minutes if you’ve placed in the right spot you’ll have all the bait you need.


Another popular live bait is used for blackfish. This is the green or Asian crab.  These are readily available in most fishing areas in the northeast. They are also typically readily available at bait shops but a word of caution – you need a lot of these.  Blackfish are notorious for stealing bait and getting away with it. You are usually better off catching your own green crabs with the use of a cost effective crab trap.  All you need for bait for a great catch is a filleted carcass of a fish and before you know it you’ll have a five gallon supply of these crabs for live bait.


If you are looking to save money on your fishing, catching your own bait will save that money. Combine the savings features along with the thrill of the catch, and you may soon discover that you enjoy catching your bait as much as your game fish.

When you are out saltwater fishing it is important to make sure you have the right supplies. Some of the most popular brands include Shimano Reels, Penn Reels, and Daiwa Fishing Reels.


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