Fishing Bait

Fishing bait has been used since prehistoric times as a way to catch fish. Fishing bait is any substance which can be used to attract and catch fish, typically lying on a hook at the end of a fishing line, or inside a fish trap. Typically, insects and smaller bait fish have been used, with the preference being the fresher, the better.

Although artificial baits have been developed in more recent years, including ones aided by electricity, scientific studies have demonstrated that natural baits are more likely to be accepted by fish, and therefore remain the best type of bait to use when available.

Nearly every angler will use or has used, live bait to fish at one point in time. While the live bait chosen will likely vary based on the fishing environment, in popular culture, it is known and accepted that maggots and worms are commonly used. While this is true for lake or river fishing, it is not as prevalent when fishing in the ocean. Anglers in the ocean will typically use smaller baitfish, such as sardines when looking to catch smaller fish such as mackerel, or larger baitfish when fishing for cod and tuna.

As fishing has grown more popular, bait production has become an issue, as anglers constantly seek the best bait which they can, to increase their chances of catching and landing a fish. While it is possible to find worms out in nature reasonably quickly, it is impractical for most pleasure anglers to collect enough for an extended fishing trip. Bait production, in particular, worm farming, has been around for many centuries, and while not all worms are suitable for farming, there are a large number of varieties which are. One of the most commonly farmed worms for fishing are red compost worms, known in some areas as the red wiggler or European nightcrawler, and are suitable for farming as they live and breed in shallow earth.

Bait production has come under fire for being a source of spreading certain diseases between usually separate ecosystems, potentially causing catastrophic harm. Many US states now have regulations which prevent bait from being taken between state lines, or in some instances, even between large natural parks to combat the spread of disease.

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