Worms, minnows, shad, menhaden, and anchovies are the most common types of bait or lure in an angler's tackle box, but there are a number of more unusual and surprising options that can be just as effective, and sometimes even more effective, at attracting fish. In this article, we’ll talk about some weird fishing baits that may be worth giving a try on your next fishing trip.
But first, let’s talk about why fishermen and fisherwomen might want to switch it up once in a while and try some unexpected baits.
To begin, we all know that different types of fish are attracted to different types of bait and lures. What works for one species may not work for another. If you’ve been trying your best to catch a certain type of fish but not getting any success, trying something more unconventional can sometimes work. If it doesn't work, at least you'll know what doesn't work for a specific species and can avoid it in your next attempt.
Second, using unusual baits can be a fun and interesting way to spice up your fishing experience. Trying out different baits can add a sense of novelty and creativity to your fishing trips, keeping things interesting and enjoyable.
Using unusual baits can also be a fun way to challenge yourself as an angler. Experimenting with different baits can help you develop new skills and techniques, as well as provide a sense of accomplishment when you catch fish using something unusual.
Finally, if you or your fishing partner forget to bring bait or lures, these alternatives can come in handy and keep your fishing trip from being canceled.
Don’t forget, though, that state laws cover what you can use as bait or chum. In Rhode Island, for example, it is illegal to use corn as bait. Some states, like Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, and Michigan, among others, prohibit the use of corn as chum. Be sure to check what’s legal where you’re fishing.
With all those out of the way, here are a few unusual baits to try:
Cheese is a popular unconventional bait. It has a mild to strong aroma, depending on the kind. Stronger odors are especially appealing to catfish, carp, bluegill, and chub. Cheese is also readily available all year, is reasonably priced, and is easy to prepare. It can be cut into small pieces and threaded onto the hook, or it can be wrapped around the hook to make a more substantial bait.
Like cheese, bread can be an effective bait for catching certain types of fish, such as crappie, bluegill, trout, and catfish. Bread can be easily infused with substances like fish slime or store-bought fish attractants to entice hungry fish.
While they may not seem to be the most natural bait, they can be effective for catching a variety of species such as catfish, flounder, and even bass because of their meaty smell and taste. Just make sure to use a good-quality hot dog and avoid any that are overly spiced or flavored.
While it may seem strange to use fruit as bait, certain types can be effective at attracting fish. Bananas, for example, have been known to catch catfish. Of course, if you’re the superstitious kind, some believe that the yellow fruit brings bad luck, as we explained here. Meanwhile, apples, cut into small pieces, are said to attract trout.
Believe it or not, certain fish like trout, bluegill, and perch are said to be drawn to the sweet scent of marshmallows when they are used as bait. They are also soft, easy to eat, and easy to attach to a fish hook.
Corn is another popular bait. The grain is said to be great at catching catfish, carp, bream, tench, and trout. The bright yellow color stands out in the water, and its sweet smell is attractive, and it’s inexpensive. Some fishermen buy a bunch of dried corn, soak it in water, and rig it on a hook.
Give unusual baits a shot!
While these unusual baits are not as common as more traditional options, they can be just as effective at attracting fish. So the next time you're out on the water, don't be afraid to try something new and give these baits a shot. You never know: they could be the key to landing that trophy fish you've been after for a long time.
Of course, if in the end, you still prefer traditional baits, here are a few options.