Fishing Bait

Fishing Bait

Fishing bait is anything that can be used to attract and catch fish that can be placed on a hook attached to a fishing rod. Coming in two main types, there are many options for customers to choose from that are typically sold at bait and sports stores, online, or at supercenters. It is important to think of where you are fishing, what types of fish you are trying to catch, and what type of bait you feel comfortable using before looking into buying fishing bait. 

What is fishing bait used for?

Fishing bait is used to attract and catch fish, typically on the end of a fishing line with a hook. There are various different kinds of fishing bait that can be used for different purposes, in different environments, and to catch certain kinds of fish. The two overarching types of fishing bait sold are artificial and live bait, which can be found in most bait and tackle shops and sports stores. Artificial and live bait are both heavily used when fishing because they attract fish with their movement, colors, and shape. Additionally, some advantages are that live bait has a scent that can be beneficial when trying to catch fish, and artificial bait can be reused from time to time. When trying to catch fish, many varieties of artificial and live fishing present great options. 

Things To Consider

When looking for fishing bait, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What type of fishing bait are you looking for?
  • Where will you be fishing?
  • What kind of fish are you trying to catch?
  • How much do you want to spend on bait?

What are you looking for in fishing bait?

  • Live bait
  • Artificial bait
  • Scented bait
  • Use in saltwater
  • Use in freshwater
  • Similarity to natural prey
  • Reusable
  • Easy storage and transportation


The two main types of bait that are used when fishing are live and artificial bait. Read on to learn more about each type and what benefits they have to offer fishermen.

Live Bait

Fishing Live Bait

Live bait is a great choice of bait to use when fishing. They are usually natural critters or small fish that attract larger fish to your hook. Typically costing between 25 cents and a dollar for each individual bait, they are often sold in larger quantities such as by the dozen. Cut bait, small fish, minnows, and worms are the most commonly sold and can be used on any occasion when fishing.


  • Live bait is the closest option to the fish’s natural prey
  • Wide range of types available, some of which cater specifically to different fish
  • Fish can be attracted to the scent of bait


  • Can be messier and smellier than artificial bait
  • Have to be stored and handled properly
  • Must be used in a short timeframe

Artificial Bait

Fishing Artificial Bait

Artificial bait, also known as artificial lures, is another type of bait used when fishing. These types of bait are small artificial objects that mimic the look or movements of live bait and are attached to a hook at the end of a fishing line. Additionally, there are a variety of different kinds of bait available for customers to choose from. At a low cost between $10 to $30 for a large quantity, they are made of different materials such as plastic, rubber, and metal that can be reused over time.


  • Can be reused
  • No special storage is required for this type of bait


  • They mimic live bait but do not smell, which may make them less effective at attracting fish
  • May take some trial and error to see which types attract the fish you want to catch


The two most popular brands for fishing bait are Berkeley and Wanglers due to their variety of bait sold.

Berkeley (Gulp!)

The brand Berkeley offers a wide variety of live and artificial fishing bait options to choose from. Berkley produces one of the most recognizable artificial bait products available, called “Gulp!”. At its creation, “Gulp!” was unique for releasing a scent into the water, mimicking live bait. Although this brand is typically on the more expensive side of fishing bait, with each piece costing about $10, there are several sizes of artificial bait offered for each product and many colors to choose from. Additionally, their artificial bait’s shape, color, weight, and movements are designed to help you catch more fish. 


Wanglers is a popular brand for live fishing bait, specifically worms. They carry three different types of worms: natural, chartreuse, and garlic, which all have different qualities that attract fish. Each worm is about the same size, typically 3 inches long, and they are sold in quantities of thirty. Wanglers fish bait is available at locations such as Walmart, bait shops, and online stores. Their bait is also very inexpensive, which makes them a popular brand among many. 


How much does fishing bait cost?

Since fishing bait can be either artificial or live, prices typically depend on the type of bait being used. Live fishing bait costs between $0.25 and $0.95 cents per bait, but they are often sold in larger quantities, which can range between $2.50 to $10 per dozen, depending on what kind is being purchased. On the other hand, artificial bait typically sells for anywhere between .95 cents and $10 per bait or around $10 and $30 for a pack of bait with hooks that can be reused and last a long time. However, prices for each type of bait can vary depending on where you are making your purchase and from what brand they are being purchased from. 

What kind of bait is easiest for beginners to use?

Artificial bait is typically the easiest kind of bait for beginners to use as it is the easiest to handle, but rookie fishermen can use live bait as well. Earthworms are usually the easiest type of live bait for beginners to use, but many types of artificial bait are recommended for beginners, such as crankbait, curl tail grubs, and rubber worms. Additionally, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and spoon lures are also some types that beginners can use easily.

What types of live bait are most frequently used?

The most common types of live bait are worms, minnows, and cut bait. All three are readily available at any bait and tackle store and can be purchased in large quantities. Worms are usually used for freshwater fishing, are the most versatile, and come in three different types. Similarly, minnows are typically used in freshwater and can be used to catch larger fish such as trout, bass, and walleyes. Lastly, cut bait can be used to catch freshwater bottom feeders but is typically used for saltwater fishing. They are a great candidate for catching large fish as well.