There are many anglers out there that fish with live bait, including myself. There are some tips and techniques that can help the average angler use live bait more effectively. I'm going to discuss those tips and techniques which will help you become a much more successful live bait angler. Fishing with live bait obviously includes bait that is living. The category of live bait includes, but is not limited to, minnows, crickets, grasshoppers, leeches, hellgrammites, maggots, grubs, and of course worms. Let's discuss some of the tips and techniques for fishing with live bait:
-Fishes Sense of Smell - Many people don't realize how sensitive a fishes sense of smell is. If you have engaged in an activity (such as smoking) that makes your hands smell, it will affect your catch. Use a hand sanitizer or at least grab a handful of grass and rubs it in your hands to remove any unnatural smells. This may sound strange, but it's true. I always grab handfuls of grass or dirt periodically during my fishing trips and rub my hands. This helps remove all of those unnatural smells.
-Natural Presentation - When fishing with live bait, natural presentation is a key. You want your bait to look as natural as possible in the water. A set of gang hooks is perfect for helping to present bait as naturally as possible. The bottom line is that if the live bait doesn't look like what the fish is used to eating, it will affect your catch; it's as simple as that.
-Carrying Live Bait - There are many ways to carry live bait and with baits such as minnows, leeches, and other water dwelling live bait a minnow bucket is your best bet. If you're out fishing for a long period of time you're going to need an aerator or you're going to have to change the water frequently. Remember the "live" part of the bait is the most important part. Dead bait usually isn't nearly as effective. For worms, maggots, and grubs I would suggest a bait bag for carrying your live bait. A bait Bag is much more effective than carrying those bulky Styrofoam containers around.
- Hook Size - While fishing with live bait, you want your hooks to be as small as possible. Remember, we want our bait to look natural. A great way to employ small hooks and still get effective hook sets is again a set of gang hooks. I personally use gang hooks tied with size 10 hooks. For those of you who don't know, size 10 hooks are quite small. The bottom line is that when fishing with live bait you want your hook or hooks to be as small as possible so they are less visible.
Start employing one or all of these tips and you will become a more effective live bait angler. Fishing with live bait is a fun and effective way to fish, and can be taken more seriously than a twelve year old at the Bluegill pond. Just threading a worm onto a hook isn't good enough if you really want to start catching fish.
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