Live bait

If you were in a situation where you HAD to use live bait to catch bass, what would you use? I would use whatever live bait I felt the Largemouth Bass were feeding on naturally. The answer to this question depends on what area of the country you are fishing. In Northern Minnesota for instance you have two great options. If you are fishing a typical shoreline with water depth of 4-8 feet I would choose a lively sucker hooked in the upper back. The sucker is indigenous to many of these lakes and is a great natural bait to use. Fishing the same lake in Northern Minnesota but in deeper water of 9-12 feet I would change my bait selection to a large black ribbon leech. The leech is an awesome bait to use not only for Largemouth Bass but a variety of other species as well. You have to consider what other fish are present before you make a live bait choice. A large earthworm hooked once through the nose is great Largemouth Bass bait, especially in Kentucky Lake. The problem is if you fish an area that holds many panfish they will devour the bait long before a bass can attack it. Fishing river bass gives you a different bait choice. I have found crayfish to be the best live bait choice in rivers. With the many rocks generally found in rivers crayfish become the predominant forage species for bass. One last consideration is the area you are fishing. When fishing a shoreline of heavy weed and lily pads the frog becomes another great selection, especially for very large bass. A live frog will often entice a huge bass to strike that might not otherwise.

I would use whatever live bait I felt the Largemouth Bass were feeding on naturally. The answer to this question depends on what area of the country you are fishing. In Northern Minnesota for instance you have two great options. If you are fishing a typical shoreline with water depth of 4-8 feet I would choose a lively sucker hooked in the upper back. The sucker is indigenous to many of these lakes and is a great natural bait to use. Fishing the same lake in Northern Minnesota but in deeper water of 9-12 feet I would change my bait selection to a large black ribbon leech. The leech is an awesome bait to use not only for Largemouth Bass but a variety of other species as well. You have to consider what other fish are present before you make a live bait choice. A large earthworm hooked once through the nose is great Largemouth Bass bait, especially in Kentucky Lake. The problem is if you fish an area that holds many panfish they will devour the bait long before a bass can attack it. Fishing river bass gives you a different bait choice. I have found crayfish to be the best live bait choice in rivers. With the many rocks generally found in rivers crayfish become the predominant forage species for bass. One last consideration is the area you are fishing. When fishing a shoreline of heavy weed and lily pads the frog becomes another great selection, especially for very large bass. A live frog will often entice a huge bass to strike that might not otherwise.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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