When you’re ready to up your angling game, there’s nothing quite like live bait to, well, liven things up. The approach can help you gain a major competitive edge on the water, all while unlocking a new side of the hobby/pastime/lifestyle we call angling — and there’s no better time than spring to try it out! Whether you’ve never used live bait before, or simply want to refine your technique, here are our top tips to keep in mind along the way. Plus, see how your Blackfin Boat might make the switch that much easier.
Know When To Use It
Live bait can be super powerful when it comes to upping your on-the-water skills — but it’s important to know when, and where, to use it effectively. For starters, you’ll want to ensure that you are allowed to use live bait in your specific area. In several states, for example, you can use live bait in the same body of water it was caught in; in others, certain baits are prohibited on a species-by-species basis.
You’ll also want to think about ideal conditions for using live bait — especially in low-light situations, where your chosen catch may not be able to see your bait. But they can definitely smell it! Artificial lures definitely still have their place, though, such as in most catch-and-release fishing situations, or times when you’re trying to cut though the “noise” that is a busy fishing hole with lots of “bycatches,” aka those fish that get in the way of your intended fish for the day.
Maintain A Spacious Baitwell
One of the best ways to ensure healthy, active bait (all the better for attracting hungry fish) is to avoid overstuffing your baitwell. When your fish have room to swim around without running into the baitwell walls, or each other, they can remain less stressed out for the journey — and that’s good for you as an angler!
Lift With Care
The same idea applies to the way you lift bait out of the baitwell. Take it slow, and be careful not to disrupt other fish while you remove one to prep and hook it up. According to Sportfishing Mag, this “keeps the rest of the live ones healthy and panic-free.”
How To Hook
Speaking of... once you’ve carefully removed your fish, how do you hook your live bait? Hooking through the nostril is generally recommended for being easiest on the fish, but it’s not necessarily the only option at your disposal. You can also try hooking through the jaw. Either way, these methods will allow your bait to swim more naturally into the water, attracting large (and most importantly, discerning) fish along the way.
Switch Up Your Routine
Once you get into a new routine utilizing live bait, don’t be afraid to switch it up! It may seem counterintuitive (why mess with what works, right?), but nailing the live bait basics will allow you to experiment with new fishing methods you might not have considered before. For example, you can combine live bait with chumming to attract large sportfish and keep them on their toes — er, whatever the fish version of that is. You might also want to try live trolling, which lets your live bait swim on a line behind your boat to attract fast, hungry swimmers.
We hope that these tips help you reel in an amazing time on the water! Be sure to share your best catch photos with Blackfin Boats on social media — we can’t wait to see them.
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