Fishing bait

Fishing bait is any substance used to attract and catch fish, e.g. on a fishing hook. Bait items are both selected from and placed within the environment to achieve enhanced prey capture success.[1] Traditionally, fishing baits are natural fish food such as night-crawlers, insects, worms, and smaller bait fish that have been used for catching fish. Fishermen have also begun using processed food, plastic baits and more recently, bionic lures to attract fish. Despite the importance of fish's attraction to bait, the way fish react to different baits is quite poorly understood.[2]

The various techniques and bait that a fisher may choose is dictated mainly by the target species and by its habitat. Bait can

A container of worms (night crawlers) beings used as bait.

be separated into two main categories: artificial baits and natural baits. The alternative of artificial and live baits frequently

demonstrate similar efficiency. The overall bait type and size will affect the efficiency and results of catches when fishing.[3]  With these two common ways to fish also comes environmental concerns. It is known that some bait fish are invasive and have the possibility to spread disease. A common theme when inspecting the use of artificial baits is the discarding and loss of said baits. The disposing of lures can lead to problems in the ecosystem.

Artificial baits

Green Highlander, an artificial fly used for salmon fishing.

Using lures is a popular method for catching predatory fish. Lures are artificial baits designed to mimic the action of different prey, usually small fish. These lures are made to use movement, color, vibration, noise, and sometimes scent to attract fish into striking.[4] The lure may require a specialized presentation to impart an enticing action e.g. in fly fishing. Artificial lures are rigged with different types of hooks in order to increase catch rate.[5] Artificial baits are manufactured to be durable and fished repeatedly unlike natural baits. Different companies are continuously modifying lures with new technology to better represent and attract the attention of fish. A study showed that the reason fish react to different colors of lures is due to their ability of see infrared rays being reflected off of lures.[6] Companies have taken information like this into consideration so that they can make their lures in a way that maximizes efficiency. Some common artificial baits include: crank baits, soft plastic baits, swim baits, fake frogs, etc. Artificial baits are most commonly acquired online, in-store at tackle shops, and made by hand.

Environmental Effects

A floating bobber attached to fishing line stuck in a branch.

See also: Human Impact on the Environment

Over time, the popularity of artificial baits has increased drastically. With this, concerns of harm to the environments have been brought up. One of these concerns comes from the loss or disposing of used baits into the environment. The discarding of line and lures, loss of baits, and snapping of line while hooked to a fish can cause potential harm to the ecosystem. Another concern would be towards the health of the fish. It is not uncommon to find lures and hooks lodged into the digestive tracts of fish when caught. Along with that, fish will swallow are get tangled in discarded fishing line.[7]

Natural baits

Sample shad (dorosoma petenense) baitfish.

The natural bait angler, with few exceptions, will use a common prey species of the fish as an attractant. The natural bait used may be alive or dead. Common natural baits include worms, leeches (notably bait-leech Nephelopsis obscura), minnows, frogs, salamanders, and insects. Natural baits are effective due to the lifelike texture, odor and color of the bait presented. Studies show that natural baits like croaker and shrimp are more recognized by the fish and are more readily accepted.[8] Live bait being used to catch native species is a sustainable and desirable activity in a social and economical aspect.[9] The availability of live bait and cost factor can inhibit the use of natural baits year round.[10] Anglers can get various live baits from tackle shops at the limitations of price and season. Other ways anglers get natural bait is through methods of catching e.g. hook and line, fish traps and casting nets.

Spreading disease

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) disease in a gizzard shad.

The capture, transportation, and culture of bait fish can spread damaging organisms between ecosystems, endangering them. In 2007, several American states enacted regulations designed to slow the spread of fish diseases, including viral hemorrhagic septicemia, by bait fish.[11] Because of the risk of transmitting Myxobolus cerebralis (whirling disease), trout and salmon should not be used as bait. The Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Act of 1990 focuses on the effect of aquatic nuisance species. The introduction of these invasive species in various bodies of water have spread disease, killed fish, clogged water intakes, and covered beaches and boats.[12]

Anglers may increase the possibility of contamination by emptying bait buckets into fishing venues and collecting or using bait improperly. The transportation of fish from one location to another can break the law and cause the introduction of fish alien to the ecosystem. There has been legislation passed within the last couple years in attempt of protecting big and small fisheries.[13]

Some common baits that fish will go after.


    1. Ruxton, Graeme D.; Hansell, Michael H. (January 2011). "Fishing with a Bait or Lure: A Brief Review of the Cognitive Issues: Review of Bait Fishing". Ethology. 117 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2010.01848.x.
    2. Karpiński, Emil Andrzej; Skrzypczak, Andrzej Robert (2021-11-27). "Environmental Preferences and Fish Handling Practice among European Freshwater Anglers with Different Fishing Specialization Profiles". Sustainability. 13 (23): 13167. doi:10.3390/su132313167. ISSN 2071-1050.
    3. Eighani, Morteza; Paighambari, Seyed Yousef; Herrmann, Bent; Feekings, Jordan (2018-03-01). "Effect of bait type and size on catch efficiency of narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) in the Persian Gulf handline fisheries". Fisheries Research. 199: 32–35. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2017.11.023. ISSN 0165-7836.
    4. Bailey, Christopher T.; Noring, Austin M.; Shaw, Stephanie L.; Sass, Greg G. (2019-11-01). "Live versus artificial bait influences on walleye (Sander vitreus) angler effort and catch rates on Escanaba Lake, Wisconsin, 1993 - 2015". Fisheries Research. 219: 105330. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2019.105330. ISSN 0165-7836. S2CID 201195030.
    5. Beukemaj, J. J. (April 1970). "Acquired hook-avoidance in the pike Esox lucius L. fished with artificial and natural baits". Journal of Fish Biology. 2 (2): 155–160. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1970.tb03268.x. ISSN 0022-1112.
    6. Alderson, A. (2016-05-01). "Sports Tech: Fishing lures". Engineering & Technology. 11 (4): 78–79. doi:10.1049/et.2016.0427. ISSN 1750-9637.
    7. Raison, T.; Nagrodski, A.; Suski, C. D.; Cooke, S. J. (2014-02-01). "Exploring the Potential Effects of Lost or Discarded Soft Plastic Fishing Lures on Fish and the Environment". Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 225 (2): 1869. doi:10.1007/s11270-014-1869-1. ISSN 1573-2932. S2CID 42949733.
    8. Gunnar Miesen; Steve Hague; Steve Hauge (2004). Live Bait Fishing: Including Doughbait & Scent. Creative Publishing. ISBN 1-58923-146-5.
    9. Henriques, Marcelo Barbosa; de Araújo Nunes, Fabio Alexandre; de Souza, Marcelo Ricardo; Castilho-Barros, Leonardo; Barbieri, Edison (2022-02-01). "Live bait or artificial bait? Efficiency in recreational fishing for sea bass (Centropomus parallelus)". Ocean & Coastal Management. 216: 105976. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105976. ISSN 0964-5691. S2CID 244701171.
    10. Wilson, Alexander D. M.; Brownscombe, Jacob W.; Sullivan, Brittany; Jain-Schlaepfer, Sofia; Cooke, Steven J. (2015-08-18). "Does Angling Technique Selectively Target Fishes Based on Their Behavioural Type?". PLOS ONE. 10 (8): e0135848. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135848. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4540471. PMID 26284779.
    11. "LSC - Fish Disease Leaflet 83". 2007-06-15. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
    12. Bacheler, Nathan M.; Runde, Brendan J.; Shertzer, Kyle W.; Buckel, Jeffrey A.; Rudershausen, Paul J. (March 2022). "Fine-scale behavior of red snapper ( Lutjanus campechanus ) around bait: approach distances, bait plume dynamics, and effective fishing area". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 79 (3): 458–471. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2021-0044. ISSN 0706-652X. S2CID 237810319.
    13. Murray, Alexander G (2013-02-01). "Epidemiology of the spread of viral diseases under aquaculture". Current Opinion in Virology. Virus entry / Environmental virology. 3 (1): 74–78. doi:10.1016/j.coviro.2012.11.002. ISSN 1879-6257. PMID 23206337.

    This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.