Which bait should you choose?

This is often a question that we get asked and the answer is almost never simple. There are so many factors to take into consideration when choosing which bait you are going to use. It is definitely not something that should be taken lightly. Besides location, it is probably the most important aspect to your fishing and can drastically effect your catch results and the sustained nutrition of the fish.

This article is by no means a definitive guide to choosing the right bait, but merely something to stimulate thought and hopefully give you a bit more insight into choosing the right bait.

Aside from the bait make-up and fishing situation, which we will discuss in more detail shortly, it’s worth considering a couple of points when you are looking at potential companies to buy from.

  1. Reliability – Has the company got a solid reputation and will they be able to continually roll your chosen bait to the standard you will expect? There are a few easy things to check to help. Check them out on social media and make sure they have a positive presence. It’s well worth contacting them and seeing if they respond in a timely manner too.
  2. Price – Many people buy bait on price and to me it’s a huge mistake. If a business (trying to turn a profit) is willing to sell you bait super cheap, it should tell you there are very few quality ingredients in there. I am not saying the bait won’t catch, but fished against a quality alternative the fish will soon start to make the right choice. I would rather use 5kg of a good bait that 20kg of rubbish one.

OK, so you’ve found a reliable company at a good price point and now you’ve got to choose one or more of the baits. Confidence really is the key with bait as with rigs. If you are happy with those 2 things it will just come down to getting yourself in the right location (the tricky bit!) – Testing bait is definitely an important part of becoming confident, so make sure you don’t just go for the next “Super bait” and you thoroughly test your bait in your own fishing situations to make sure your confidence is high.

Most people will generally have a preference on the type of base that they prefer with a bait and if correctly formulated will all provide an effective base to build a bait from. There are many variations, but the most common are:

  • Fishmeals
  • Milk Proteins
  • Vegetable Proteins
  • Birdfood

This is not an exhaustive list and basemixes can be made up of many different ingredients, but it’s a good place to start.

So, the main factors are a mixture of how and where you will be fishing.

In terms of location there are a number of things to consider:

  1. What is the lake make up like? By that I mean; is there naturally occurring food sources?, what type of bottom are you fishing on? – If you consider the lakes food sources you may look to “match the hatch” at certain times of year and making sure your bait is blending in or standing out on the lake bed could provide the edge.
  2. Baiting strategy – Are you fishing short overnighters where instant attraction is key and you’re likely to be mobile and fishing different swims or are you looking to establish a food source over a long period of time?
  3. Casting distance – It seems an odd factor, but imagine you want to fish consistently at 100 yards+ and every time you try and stick bait out here just splits because its too soft? Ultimately you can air dry the bait, but you could also consider a bait that is naturally more dense and solid.
  4. What does everyone else use? – In my opinion joining the masses because everyone catches on a certain bait is a mistake. I’ve seen the new syndicate member trip up the sort after fish countless times because they approach it differently by using different bait and fishing different spots. This can be by chance because they simply don’t know “the spots” or sometimes it can be a very calculated approach.
  5. When are you fishing? – Different baits have different properties and react differently in water temperatures. Making sure you are choosing the right sort of bait is key. If you’re fishing in winter make sure you are using a bait that has good winter properties such as low oil content and digestibility.

As I mentioned this is not a definitive guide but hopefully this has given you some food for thought and will help you when selecting your next bait!

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