Ready to go fishing? We bet you are, but what about the bait? Bait is no doubt what you use to attract fish. With a wide range of bait options to chose from, which type of bait is right for you. The three main categories of bait are live bait, dead bait, and artificial bait. Choosing the type of bait for your fishing trip depends on the type of fish you are fishing for, the body of water you’re fishing in, time of year, and the natural food source of the fish you’re trying to catch. Take a look at the three main categories of bait.
Live bait is bait that is alive when you put it on the hook. Things such as worms or leeches. Ask any angler and they will most likely say that live bait is the way to go no matter what. The reasoning? Fish are used to the look, smell, and taste of a live specimen that inhabits their waters. When you are using live bait you can either catch it yourself using insects, worms or other small fish that you catch in the same body of water that you are fishing in. Or, you could buy live bait from your local bait shop. Be sure that if you are purchasing live bait, to make sure it is indigenous to the area where you are fishing or the fish won’t come near it.
Again, just like it sounds, dead bait is bait that is dead when you place it on the hook. Dead bait has all the same benefits as live bait. It looks like, feels like and smells like the real thing. The same types of baits are available for dead bait that you can purchase alive. The advantage of dead bait is it’s far less expensive, plus if you’re planning on spending your whole day fishing, you don’t have to worry about keeping the bait alive all day. The disadvantage, you have a little more work cut out for you. You will have to make the bait appear alive by moving it through the water.
Artificial bait is not natural, it is manufactured. This type of bait includes bait from using just hooks, to large plastic creature like objects. Artificial bait is a huge part of the fishing industry. Every year manufactures come out with new and improved baits that are guaranteed to catch fish.
So, what is your favorite fish to catch?
I have always said that as humans we are a little too arrogant when it comes to thinking we have figured everything about fish species, why because I just don’t think fish have the brain capacity to distinguish various things.
A fish already has a hard enough time hitting the actual frog bait we are using let alone noticing the leader just before it strikes. As I mentioned before there is no right or wrong way to do this, experiment and see what you like BUT some options do have advantages especially when big fish strike and the leader keeps them on !
Always heard don’t use a leader for top water baits the fish will see it, well sure in extremely clear water maybe it would impact hits but in murky or tea coloured water sorry not going to happen. Fish strike things on the surface because that is what they see all the time, frogs swimming, birds on a patch of weeds just out side of the water, lizards, snakes and various other small feed and in the end they eat these things as they are part of the food source.
Key tip is to observe these types of natural environment baits on the water, see how they scurry across the surface, how a frog gets off a lilypad, stuff like this then when you fish similar artificial baits make sure to try a mimic this behavior.
“ALWAYS” try to make your baits look as natural and real as possible and you will quickly see how you start getting strikes you wound normally not get !
This applies to any type of top water bait you use, use it the right way fish will end up on your line, use them the wrong way no fish will go near it.
The AMFisH guy…
Top water fishing in general is flat out exciting BUT missing fish is part of the game, no matter what bait you are using we are all relying on that bass or species of fish to attack at the right second.
Fish exert a lot of energy striking at a bait, even more on top water stuff so unfortunately we fisherman are at the mercy of timing. I watched a pike attack a frog I was casting 6 times, kept missing the bait, jumped over it, knocked it out of the water, bit the line not the bait, everything but getting that frog in it’s mouth !
Again it is part of fishing as top water hook ups ratios are pretty darn low, from here there is only one tip I pass along once a fish has your actual bait “set the damn hook quickly” ! People will say sit and count to 8 before you set the hook on a fish that took a top water bait but experience after experience for me has been losing fish that way.
The more time a fish has to examine the bait, feel of it possibly even tension on the line will result in it spitting it out. Once my bait is gone I wrench back on the rod, truly have landed more fish after I started following this style of fishing.
As I am fighting the fish I tap the rod twice towards me with my hand, this ensures the hooks are set in the fish just in case it was barely hook and when the fish tries swimming off a good thing to do is also pull in the opposite direction, this secures hooks as well.
The AMFisH guy…
The line tie loop at the front of the frog on most frog baits is designed to swivel around allowing for better action and maneuverability of the bait as well. A lot of people like tying the line directly to this loop, again a preference thing BUT I have always fished frog baits on a fluorocarbon leader, while the bait sits on the swivel.
This serves three purposes, first the leader adds some weight to the line making casting a frog out easier, secondly I find that every little twitch results in a few extra kicking to the sides motions with the bait, where as if it was tied directly to the loop you need to work harder to make that frog move around, thirdly a leader keep the fish on should a massive pike or something attack the frog !
ALWAYS fish frogs with the line being slack as possible, no tension on it and I use a fast tip popping motion, resulting in the line going tight for a split second that back to being slack. This will allow your frog to look as real as possible in the water, tight line will make the action look not so real.
An advantage to the weight on the ass end of the scum frog baits is that the bait sits in the water with the head up and the body with legs sits just under the water like a real frog. Once it is twitched on the retrieve the legs kick and the frogs moves along BUT once you pause again the head sits out of the water and the body slopes downward, resembles a real frog action AND those fluttering legs just below the water will for sure seal the deal ! ! !
The AMFisH guy…
I can’t even start to explain how amazing top water fishing actually is ! Let’s just say it is out of this world and sure does keep you on your toes ! ! ! Posted a pic of a rock bass that hit my go to scum frog, well wanted to touch of frog fishing in general.
My go to frog is the scum from series when it comes to an actual frog bait not a soft plastic frog, that in itself is an entirely different application which I will blog about more. I have found that the scum frogs are reasonable priced compared to other frogs on the market, they are also made of very soft squeezable rubber that is surprisingly durable for being so soft.
They have great hooks that are already slightly bent upwards to allow for better hook sets, yes you can actually use pliers to bend your frog hooks a little more open to allow for a better hook set - basically exposes the hook barb a little more so it is not too tight to the frogs body.
The scum frogs body pushing down quite easily exposing the hooks even with a very soft touch, this is quite unique as some other frogs tend to be very brittle and require a lot of pressure to expose the hooks, which can result in missed fish.
I will always encourage people to try various frog baits, why because with fishing sometimes it is a preference thing, BUT what you should remember is stick to colours that match the actual frogs you see around where you fish, example: if you fish on a pond that mainly has dark brown toads, well a bright yellow frog will probably still catch some fish but not as many as a colour that resembles the natural bait there.
I tried a little frog bait repair technique a while back as I was always throwing away torn frog baits, WELL YOU CAN REPAIR THEM if they are not torn too much. Simply hold a nail with some pliers and heat it up with a lighter for several seconds, from here you touch the nail along the torn part on the frogs body.
A slight touch is all it needs, you will smell the rubber burning but that is ok the nail is hot but now a flame so what it does is melt the torn part together, resulting in a salvaged frog bait !
The AMFisH guy…
As I mentioned spinner baits come in various colours and patterns and I suggest trying various ones. I myself probably have 40 spinner baits myself, large, small, variety of colours, blades patterns, you name it BUT what I tell everyone to do is ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS have about 4 of your most amazing one !
By this I mean have multiples as back ups of the number one colour and blade pattern that works for you, WHY well if you only one snaps on the water and that is the only thing that has worked all day, need I say more……NOPE !
Pick up some common colours like chartreuse(this catches lots of species), white is great for small mouth bass, even better if everything is white including the blades(wire always stays nickle colour as the do not colour that part), solid black great for overcast days BUT I have mixed feelings about that bright colours on bright days and natural colours on dark days, read through some past blog posts for details on that, blue and white another good colour pattern, perch coloured skirts(black, orange and green mix) with the same coloured blades, pink and white great colour for bass, the list goes on and on, pick some up and try them out, who knows you may end up having 40 like me !
The AMFisH guy…