Fishing is a pastime that goes back hundreds of years. Throughout the years it has evolved from a simple need for food into something that people do for leisure or as a competitive sport. No matter the reason, fishing has remained popular throughout the world for all these years.

When it comes to fishing, there are plenty of ways to successfully haul in a huge fish. Bait is one of the most popular options since it takes a food source that is known to that kind of fish and uses it to lure them to your line.

But what if you don’t want to use bait? Maybe you don’t have access to it. Whatever the reason, it is important to find a way to fish successfully without having access to bait. Here are a few ways that you can fish successfully without the implementation of bait.

Making Fish Bait Without Worms

Though worms are the most common form of bait used in fishing, there are some downsides to using them. Their slimy and gooey appearance can be very off-putting for casual fishermen, bringing on the need for an alternative form of bait.

The good thing is that you can make bait without worms very easily. First, you need to understand the conditions in which you’ll be fishing. Fish have unique feeding habits and there are certain things that they prefer to prey on. By knowing these conditions, you can figure out how to create the right lure that can mimic live bait without all of the grossness.

It is also important to understand the temperature that your target fish prefers. For instance, warm water fish will prefer to eat near the surface of the water. You can even utilize your kitchen, too. Using bits of chicken, peanut butter, and cheese can work just as well as live bait.

Fishing Lure Options

If, for whatever reason, you can’t go with food bait or live bait, there is always the opportunity to use artificial lures. These are artificial bait and are meant to mimic the different types of bait out there. Even better, they’re plastic and reusable; you catch a fish, release it, and use the lure again and again.

Lures can come in a huge array of colors, shapes, and sizes and each of them can attract a whole different range of fish species. Understanding the different ones can be important depending on the species of fish that permeate the area where you fish.

Best of all, there are tons of reasons why you would use an artificial lure as opposed to live bait. For one, you can fish out deeper and further using lures versus live bait. This provides an extended range and greater opportunity for catching fish.

The thing that you will want to keep in mind is that artificial lures are more expensive than bait. This is because they can be used repeatedly whereas live bait can only be used during that one session. Artificial lures are also far more prone to snagging on obstacles underwater, so it takes a little bit of care and patience to work with them.

There are also lures designed specifically for fishing in freshwater or saltwater. Here are a few saltwater fishing lures that are definitely worth adding to your tackle box.

Gold Spoon. For inshore saltwater anglers, there may not be a better option. This lure can come in many different shapes, styles, and colors; some even come with weedless spoons while others have single hook or treble hook spoons. Whatever option you go with, these are extremely useful when catching saltwater fish.

Paddletail Soft Plastic. Versatility is the name of the game with these artificial lures. The great thing is that they can draw strikes from just about all types of predator fish that generally feed on small baitfish. These lures also have a tail that creates genuine motions when retrieving it through the water. This means you can get strikes even when just going with a straight retrieve option.

Berkley Gulp Shrimp. Whenever you fish in grass flats, Berkley Gump Shrimp lures are a great option. They can be jiggled in the water and also come in a huge array of different colors so that you can match it up to the hue and color of the water where you are fishing.

Fluctuating Spoon. One of the most common saltwater lures out there, it is capable of simulating the movement of certain types of prey fish, attracting more predatory fish to the area. Like most other lures, this one comes in a variety of sizes and weights and should lead to greater success no matter the water circumstances or fish species.

Fishing in Freshwater

While those are all great for fishing in saltwater settings, it is important to have options in your tacklebox for instances where the water is fresh instead. Here are some of the best options for lures in freshwater bodies.

Plastic Worms. Don’t want to deal with the real, wriggly, slimy thing? Go artificial! This is one of the most popular options for freshwater fishing since they can perform in many different circumstances and configurations. They also come in different forms such as drop-shot style, wacky-style, and hook-nosed. Just be aware that you have to pick according to the type of fish that you plan to catch but the best plastic worms are the ones that make it seem like they are dying baitfish.

Rattle Baits. The great thing about this type of lure is that they will work well throughout the entirety of the year, even when the weather has turned frigid. The most accurate technique when using this type of lure is to fish just over the top of weed beds. Using a slower retrieve will also keep this lure from vibrating, since some species of fish can feel those vibrations and may be scared away.

Jigs. Jigs are great because they’ll catch any species since they are able to replicate the movement of prey pretty well. You can even trim some of these and insert them into a grub and plastic worm. Jigs can mimic baitfish such as minnows or even insects and crawfish depending on how you dress it.

Most standard jigs will crawl and bounce along the bottom portion of the water. Jigs that are plastic-dressed are able to be cast and retrieve without pauses and twitches. They can even make a deadly presentation of pike, muskies, and bass while the tiny jigs will float to take panfish and trout.

Spinner Baits. Spinner baits are the type of lure that can give you a greater level of versatility. This is achieved thanks to the blade type, number of blades used, the configuration, and the finish of the lure. They also come in a wide array of skirts that have different color options. You can even use spinner baits that are of a safety-pin-style that have heads that weigh an ounce or so. This means slow-rolling along the bottom portion of the water even when the weather turns cold.

Understanding Your Target Increases Your Chances of Success

Understanding the senses of your fish will give you a much better chance of catching them. Picking a lure or bait is much easier if you know whether the fish will find it through their sense of smell. Use some general tips to become a more efficient fisherman.

Make sure that you create as few disturbances as possible whenever you approach. Fish are spooked off by sudden movements so try to avoid stomping, running, or banging your tackle box on the shore or on the floor of your boat.

It is also important to keep your shadow off the water as well. Keep your profile low since the fish can see your shadow, so make sure that you sit or kneel as you are waiting for something to bite to avoid spooking them away.

Be aware of the fish and their senses. It might seem crazy, but fish have all the same senses that human beings have plus a few others that we don’t have. Fish actually have pretty impressive vision, it’s just that their eyes are different. They have round lenses in their eyes so that they can see clearly in the water. Most fish can actually see a wide array of colors, they just don’t know what the name of the colors are.

Since fish have excellent vision, it is possible that they can see you coming. Fish can see high above the surface of the water through a circular window. This window is created through the bending of light rays as they hit the water. So, if you can see the fish, they can probably see you too. Keep your profile low whenever you are close to the water to prevent them from seeing you and thus taking off.

There are plenty of other things to be aware of when fishing, but having the proper lure and moving slowly and carefully can be all that you need to be successful.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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