Amazing Freshwater Fishing Baits For Beginners

Freshwater Fishing Baits

Fishing is amazing, and there is no other activity that will give you the same feeling of calmness and oneness with nature. Probably that’s what got you into fishing in the first place. But, now that you have decided to go on your first fishing trip, it’s time to get your preparation right. And, that’s incomplete without the right bait! There are plenty of freshwater fishing baits to choose from. But how do you know which one is the right one for you? Let’s check out the baits and how they can help. And, you will know for sure where to put your money! 

Fresh Water Fishing Baits You Need To Know About

Freshwater Fishing Baits Minnows
Freshwater Fishing Baits Minnows

As already mentioned, you will find numerous freshwater fishing baits. However, not all are perfect for every situation. Let’s find out which bait to use when, and what are the things you need to take into consideration. 

Cut Bait

Cut bait is prepared by cutting a fish, scaling it but leaving the skin, and then using a piece. It is particularly useful to lure in fishes that are attracted to smells. They work great with catfish and carp. You can use a baitfish or any freshly caught fish to prepare this bait with ease. 


You will get leeches for bait easily from any bait shop. These work great with northern pike and walleye. Since leeches are live baits, the trick is to allow the leech to get used to the surrounding. Once it starts its natural movement in the water, that will attract the fish. While using leeches as bait, always hook the tail sucker since it is the larger of the two suckers, the other one being present towards the head. The best part about leeches is that it is incredibly hardy, and you will able to store leeches in the fridge. 

Dough Balls

This is one of the most used baits and relatively easy to manage. Prepared dough balls are available at the bait stores. Check the label to know which fish the bait is meant for. You can also prepare your dough at home following one of the many recipes available online. You will need to wrap the dough all around the hook, covering it completely. You can also attach it to a bait hold attachment with your treble hook. 

Ball Freshwater Fishing Baits
Ball Freshwater Fishing Baits


Crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, or caterpillars; you can use any one of these insects as baits, and they will work like a charm for panfish, sunfish, or trout. The trick with catching the insects will be to catch them from their nest, whenever possible. Even insect catching can become a great family activity if you plan a family fishing trip. 


Minnows are nothing but baby fishes. You will find various types of minnows at any bait shop. However, you will have to check with the local laws before you get them as baits. Not all place allows minnows to be used. There are also regulations about the type of minnows that are permitted. While hooking a minnow, always remember that you will need their natural movement. So, be careful about not breaking the spine. 

Grubs And Mealworms

Using grubs or mealworms is probably the easiest of all live baits. They are perfect for catching trout, sunfish, or panfish. You can use one at a time or add a few of them together to the hook. 

Freshwater Clams And Mussels

Clams and mussels are perfect if they appear naturally in the area you are fishing. For the best result, you can gather them while fishing. You will have to scoop them up from the shallow parts. Crank the shell open, cut out the mussel, and let it harden a bit under the sun before you tie it to the hook. But, remember not to pull the string too much. 


Crayfish is excellent as a whole for catching the smallmouth bass. Remember to leave it alive. For panfish, take the tail meat or the meat from the large pincers. And, for carp, catfish, and bullheads, the dead crawdads will be perfect. 

Preparing the bait right is as much important as to know when to pull the hook. Learn more about fishes to know which bait to use when and how to use them to tease and lure your catch. And, always remember to check local guidelines about the legal use of baits. 

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