How To Pick the Right Bait for Fishing

Scout fishing on a rock in the Uinta mountains

To catch fish, you need to tempt them with something they want to eat. You can use live bait or artificial lures.


Natural foods are easy to use and often work well. Use bait that is native to the area, and check with local fishing regulations on using such bait.

Types of freshwater live bait: These include worms, minnows, crawfish, leeches and fly larvae.

For saltwater fishing: Try eels, crabs, shrimp and sandworms.

Proper hook placement helps maintain the bait’s natural movements. If the bait is moving strangely, fish might not want to eat it.


Artificial lures can be used again and again. They can be designed to look or move like real food or can be shiny and colorful to catch attention.

Types of artificial lures: These include plastic worms, jigs, spoons, spinners, plugs and flies.

When fishing with certain lures, you can put some action into your line to mimic how animals move. You can do this by jerking or pulling the lure and then pausing before reeling it in.


All Scouts can go fishing, and Scouts BSA members can earn the BSA Complete Angler Award by earning the Fishing, Fly-Fishing, and Fish and Wildlife Management merit badges, as well as completing a project like helping Cub Scouts work on their fishing skills.

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