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The Best Saltwater Fishing Bait

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A little saltwater fishing bait on your line can mean the difference between a good day and an amazing one. The best bait will depend on what kind of fish you’re trying to catch.

This article is a comprehensive guide for everything you need to know aboutbest saltwater fishing bait, from the most common types of bait to professional tips on how to use them. Whether you’re a fisherman or not, this article will make sure that your next fishing trip is a success!

What is a Saltwater Fish?

A saltwater fish is a fish that lives in the ocean. Saltwater fishing can offer hours of excitement and enjoyment, especially when you catch something big! There are many varieties of fish to be found in the salty waters around the world, with some being more common than others.

Why are Saltwater Fish Different?

Saltwater is fundamentally different from freshwater in almost all respects, medium being no exception. Saltwater fish often have a sharp sense of smell that helps them find their food. Luckily, this can work out for us – the best bait for fishing are those scents that are most likely to attract the fish you are trying to catch!

What’s more, many saltwater fish feed during the day rather than at night like their freshwater counterparts. This means that anglers must change tactics accordingly by using brighter or more reflective colors for their lures.

What are the Saltwater Lures?

Saltwater fish are attracted to specific colors, so it’s important to choose one that will help you catch the fish you’re after. It is often suggested that anglers use silver or gold-colored lures with dark backs and light undersides.

They may seem like general fishing tips, but these methods have proved successful time and time again.

Different Types of Saltwater Fishing Lures

Crabbing Lures

Crabbing is a popular activity for saltwater fishermen, and the best bait for catching crabs is usually some kind of foul-smelling meat or fish. It can be anything from shrimp to chicken necks.

Topwater Lures

Topwater lure do exactly what their name implies: they float on the water’s surface and can be moved about to simulate a fish in distress. These lures work best when small and shiny, such as silver or gold.

Types of Saltwater Baits

Live bait is the best saltwater fishing bait because it allows you to decide what kind of fish you are trying to catch. Unfortunately, fresh bait can be difficult to come by, so many anglers turn to artificial lures.

There are four main types of artificial saltwater fishing bait: jigs, poppers, spoons, and soft plastics.

  • Jigs: A jig is a type of fishing lure that has a very thin wire with a molded shape at one end and an eyelet on the other for tying your line. The thin wire allows the jig to be more easily retrieved from snags, while their molded metallic shapes add a bit of flash in the water.
  • Cut Bait: Cut bait is any type of meat that has been cut into chunks for fishing. A good cut of fish, like a kingfish or tuna, works well for this purpose.
  • Alive Shrimp: Alive shrimp is the best bait for catching fish because it closely resembles a real shrimp and can be purchased fresh at seafood shops.
  • Worms: Earthworms are also great saltwater bait. They are easy to find, effective for catching fish, and can be kept alive in a container of dirt or sand until it is time to use them.
  • Artificial Baits: Artificial saltwater bait is another option for using as fishing bait. As their name suggests, these are lures that are made out of various man-made materials instead of being caught or purchased alive.
  • Natural Bait: The best bait for saltwater fishing is natural live prey because it closely resembles the food that the fish are looking for. Unfortunately, fresh bait can be difficult to come by, so many anglers turn to plastic lures. There are four main types of artificial saltwater fishing bait: jigs, poppers, spoons, and soft plastics.
  • Poppers: A popper is a type of topwater lure that makes a popping or chugging noise as it falls through the water column and rises quickly back to the surface. Poppers work best when cast off a rocky shoreline where there is a lot of wave action.
  • Spoons: This type of lure will sink into the depths before rising back up again in an enticing fashion. Spoons are available in many different shapes and sizes, but they all contain a concave section that allows them to make this unique noise as they bounce off the water’s surface.
  • Soft Plastics: Soft plastic is any type of material that has been injected with saltwater scent to act as an attractant for fish. The most common types of soft plastics include squid strips and eels, which are remarkably lifelike.
  • Paddle Tail: Paddle tails are soft plastic lures that look like small fish and can be found in many different colors. These types of lures swim extremely well, so they work best on calm days when there is little wave action.

Can I Catch Largemouth Bass Using these Baits?

Yes! Saltwater fishing presents a new opportunity for this popular freshwater fish, and there are even some species of largemouth bass that live in saltwater.

Saltwater fishing baits of all kinds, including the ones mentioned above, can be used to catch largemouth bass.

What are Examples of Saltwater Fish?

Includes much popular fish like marlin, tuna, and shark. However, there are also hundreds of other types of fish in the sea. Some common varieties include flounder, snapper, sea bass, red drum, and pinfish.

Does the Size of the Fishing Pole Matter?

The best saltwater fishing bait will not make a difference if you are using it on an oversized rod. Make sure that the fishing pole is sturdy enough to handle the weight of larger fish or ones with sharp teeth!

Tips From Saltwater Anglers

Besides choosing the right bait and using the correct tools, there are a few other things you must do to be successful at saltwater fishing:

  • Know Where Fish Like to Feed: They congregate in different places depending on the time of day and season of the year. This can range from depths greater than 200 feet to the shoreline.
  • Scent Your Line: These fish can be a lot more sensitive than their freshwater counterparts because of changes in osmotic pressure, but that doesn’t mean you should skip this step! Fish have a stronger sense of smell and may follow your line back to its source. This leaves the scent on the line, which tells fish there is bait nearby.
  • Use Sunscreen: Saltwater can be just as strong, if not more so, than any freshwater sunburn. Use a high SPF or apply it frequently to avoid painful burns and see more of your time on the water!

What is Saltwater Game Fish?

These are any species of fish that can be caught by sport fishermen while saltwater fishing. Popular examples include bluefish, flounder, and tuna.

Essential Gears for Saltwater Fishing

When saltwater fishing, you’ll want to make sure to have certain tools in your arsenal.

Some essential items include sunscreen, sunglasses, polarized lenses, waders or breathable water shoes, a digital camera for documentation purposes, and granola bars or protein bars to keep energy levels high.

Rod and Reel for Saltwater Fishing

The rod and reel are both necessary for saltwater game fishing, but there are some important differences. Saltwater reels usually have larger spools that can hold more line than their freshwater counterparts because it tends to be thicker.

saltwater-specific rod is also more flexible than its freshwater counterpart due to the increased weight of large fish like marlin and tuna.

Line Capacity

A saltwater line has less stretch than a freshwater line, so you’ll want to invest in a high-quality product if you plan on fishing with live bait or lures.

It’s also worth mentioning that “monofilament” isn’t just one type of material anymore; today, there are many variations attributed to this term, including fluorocarbon, nylon, and even braid.


Make sure to stock your tackle box according to the type of fish you plan on catching. Saltwater game fish are typically much larger than their freshwater counterparts, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts on Best Saltwater Fishing Bait

Now that you’ve gone through all of these facts and tips, setting out for a day at the beach shouldn’t seem nearly as intimidating. This article has taught you everything you need to know about this kind of fishing and provide you with the best fishing bait!