There are few things more debated among fishing friends than whether fishing with live bait or artificial lures is more effective. These critiques are often based on broad generalizations and how individuals most enjoy fishing, rather than a critical review of each’s effectiveness. In reality, the most experienced fisherman, like Capt. Bucky, will agree that each technique has its place in a fisherman’s lineup depending on the target species and conditions on a given day.
The prime game fish species are opportunistic predators that feed on a wide range of marine life found in their chosen habitat. The availability of prey species can vary throughout the season as well. For example, juvenile redfish that grow up in the salt marsh often feed on blue crab, resulting in their distinctive iridescent blue edge on their tail. However, when shrimp or mud minnows are present in numbers redfish will target them as well.
Logically speaking, using live or fresh dead/cut bait that is currently active in the area is going to trigger a hungry fish to feed. However, there are several practical limitations to consider. The best bait may not be available to buy at stores and it may not be cheap. If you don’t want to buy it, can it efficiently be caught? Can you keep the bait alive?
Bait fishing sometimes requires different gear and techniques to fish to achieve the most natural presentation. Fishing with bait can also result in catching a wide range of species that you may not be targeting, like catfish, sharks, etc. Some species are simply less likely to strike artificial lures, so having the right bait can make all the difference in having a successful day.
On the other hand, many anglers truly enjoy fishing with artificial lures and they are highly effective in many situations. Tricking fish into striking a lure is remarkably satisfying. Artificial lures come in a near-endless variety of shapes, colors, and styles meant to mimic prey animals or trigger reaction strikes through vibration or the action of the lure in the water. Fishing with artificial lures does also requires the use of specific techniques to make the lure work properly.
Anglers will need to provide all the movement and speed to the lure. This is not always easy to understand when starting out. Lures are not cheap, but they can often last for a long time compared to bait, sometimes years. When searching an area for feeding fish, lures are very useful. They can be cast far, accurately, and repeatedly to find fish in an area. These features can be very important to some anglers. Some lures are uniquely satisfying to use as well. It is extremely fun to watch a fish strike a topwater lure while working it across the target zone.
No matter your level of experience, next time you book Capt Bucky, ask him to show you a new technique for using bait or lures to add to your “tackle box”. Now is the time to book your trip with Capt. Bucky for the coming spring and summer season.