Posted by Gary Keen on 1st Mar 2016

Different Bait to Use for Fishing

The bait you choose when going out on a fishing trip can be the difference between a major catch and nothing at all. In fact, it is imperative to think about what bait would be best for what type of fish you plan on catching, and if you are a beginner to fishing then it is best to heed any advice you can get from professionals in the field.

To that end, we have listed a beginner’s guide to different baits, along with a few tips to stick to. This will help you decide what the most effective one will be, and hopefully will lead to a bit of success when you are perched lakeside.

Things to Remember

There is a lot more that goes into fishing than just the bait, as there is a great deal to learn. But like anything, the best way to learn is to do.

The first tip to abide by is to have plenty of patience; becoming the best angler doesn’t happen overnight. Try going to a variety of locations, and trying a variety of baits for different species of fish. The more you fish in different spots, the more you will become accustomed to what works, and what doesn’t. Another thing to remember is that even if you get the right bait and prepare it in the right way, this doesn’t always guarantee a catch. Therefore, patience is key.

The next thing to think about is the bait itself. The main aim behind using bait is to make it look as natural as possible to the fish you are trying to catch, and not just a large hook with a chunk of bait on the end. Therefore it’s important to cut down your bait to match the size of the hook, so it doesn’t look too out of place.

Lastly, if you’re not having much luck at all, you can enhance your bait by flavouring it. This flavouring can take many forms, but it is worth experimenting with different foodstuffs to get a good result. Also, take advice from other anglers as to what combinations of bait and flavouring they have found success with, and you may find your catches come quicker than you’d imagine.

Bait is usually split between three different categories: live bait, natural bait and artificial bait. Using certain baits has its advantages and disadvantages so once again, it is worth experimenting with a few different combinations to see what works for you.

Live Bait

The cornerstone of any angler’s bait collection, Maggots and Worms are easy to use and often have the best results when it comes to catching multiple species of fish. Be careful to keep this live bait in the right conditions though so they are perfect when entering the water. Keep maggots clean by putting them in sawdust or maize flour for half an hour to soak up any grease that may have accumulated on them. Keep them in the fridge for freshness. Worms on the other hand need to be kept cool and damp so they do not dry out.

Natural Bait

Regularly used for flavour, foodstuffs or natural bait consist of a huge range of substances. These include Sweetcorn, Bread, Cheese and Luncheon Meat (Spam). In addition, a Paste Bait can be made from liquidised bread, water (or eggs) and ground fish pellets that together form a doughy substance. This can then be stuck into the end of a hook and used immediately.

Artificial Bait

Especially useful for if you want bait that lasts longer, Artificial Bait like a Fly or Lure (shown above) is normally very colourful and acts like natural prey to a fish to lure them in. A lure is normally attached to a hook that will catch a fish when it comes too close, attracted by colour, movement or even vibration if you have the right artificial bait.


If you really need something to enhance your existing bait, certain flavourings will do the job well. These include Curry Powder, Vanilla essence or even Turmeric, which should allow you to catch a few more fish if you’re finding yourself on an unlucky streak. These are good for adding to maggots, but can also be incorporated into Pastes if necessary. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to flavourings so once again; make sure you check with an expert to see what success they have found by using flavourings.

For any more detailed advice regarding choosing the right bait, feel free to pop into Keen’s Tackle and Guns, and we can set you straight. With our expert tips and tricks, there’s no knowing how much you could catch!