When it comes time for an offshore fishing trip, choosing the right bait can make you or break you. Fish are highly sensitive creatures that use all of their senses when seeking out food, so it is important to consider how they feed when deciding what type of bait you will use to lure them. Fish rely on the use of sound, scent, and movement to detect their food and the right bait will appeal to their natural feeding instincts. Learn more in today’s blog.
Saltwater fishing tips: How do fish find their next meal?
Fish have incredibly perceptive senses and they utilize all of them when searching for food sources. Though they can only see about 15 feet in even the clearest water, they are able to perceive shapes and colors and are equipped with a special sense that humans lack that compensates for their poor vision: a line of fine hairs that travels down each side of their body. These hairs allow them to detect even faint movement in the water to alert them to potential predators and prey. Their ability to pick up scents is also much more developed than a humans and they are able to identify a single scent particle in the water and use it to track their dinner.
Live bait is the most effective type to use for your saltwater fishing trip but it does come with disadvantages. While live bait is best because it appeals to a fish’s natural feeding habits, it can also be tricky to catch and difficult to keep. For live bait to be most effective, avoid touching it with your hands in order to prevent your scent from obscuring that of the bait. If you want your live bait to swim downward, hook it in front of its dorsal fin.
Cut bait is easier to keep than live bait but it can be difficult to find. All cut bait should be fresh, firm, and have no unpleasant odor. If you are using frozen cut bait, ensure that it is completely free from freezer burn and keep it on ice in a cooler with good drainage. Always use the smallest piece of cut bait you can fit on your hook in order to prevent fish from nibbling at your bait without becoming hooked.
While not as effective as live or cut bait, scented bait is becoming more popular because it is easy to manage, doesn’t require refrigeration, and lasts longer than the other types. Be sure to store your scented bait in the liquid in which it was packaged and don’t allow it to be exposed to air for long periods of time or it will harden and become unusable.
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