Some bass fishermen think of fishing with live bait as easy, or even cheating. It might not be as much work or require as much experience as fishing with some artificial lures, but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it.
There are certain factors to consider when fishing for bass with live bait, but the most important is determining what the best live bait is for where your fishing.
They are most often rigged in two ways, either through the nose or the back. Anglers claim that shiners stay on the hook better when rigged through the nose but swim more naturally when hooked through the back. It’s really whatever you prefer. You also need to stermine the depther your going to be fishing as this will tell you if you need a weight or a bobber.
Shiners are great because they’re readily available at any bait shop, they’re easy to rig, and they’re easy to keep fresh. If you keep them in a bucket out of the sun they will stay alive a long time. They will last even longer if you keep the water aerated with a cheap battery powered aerator or aerator tablets.
If you’ve caught a bass with food in it’s mouth and it’s not a fish tail, then its a crawfish. Bass absolutely love smashing into the bottom of the lake to grab a crawfish. That’s why you should always fish them with a weight so they get to the bottom and stay there.
Rigging the crawfish with a small hook through the tail works best. It allows it to stay alive a while and move somewhat freely to attract hungry bass. Many anglers use a Carolina rig with great success.
They’re not sold in every bait shop and are even considered an invasive species in some states so transporting them to different bodies of water can be frowned upon. Your best bet is to catch them yourself in the body of water you plan to fish. You can either flip rocks over and catch them with a net as they flee or simply use a crawfish trap. For bait use a dead fish or even some chicken.
Bass love and will eat worms or night crawlers all day long. The only problem with fishing with them is your hook will often get picked clean by a swarm of sunfish and perch before a bass even has a chance to see it. So before you go casting them out, make sure your not in a vicinity of a school of sunnies.
When you rig a worm you want to poke the hook through the body a bunch of times to ensure the worm does not going flying off when you cast it. Leave the both ends over hanging an inch or so so they can wiggle and attract bass.
You can purchase night crawlers at any bait shop or find them yourself in the ground and under rocks. After a rain you can often find them in the grass at night, hence the name “night crawlers”.