A bait fish is a live small fish that is used to attract or lure bigger fish to a hook or fish trap so that it can be caught. As is commonly known, fish is one of those meats that are very healthy, tasty and go with everything.

It is fun going out to the river with your friends to catch fish but what makes it more fun and interesting is coming back home with a heavy catch ready for dinner. We have compiled a number of tips that are going to help you know how to catch bait fish.

1. Use A Sabiki Rig

A sabiki rig is a couple of hooks that are connected to a braid or leader. These little hooks each have a cord attached to them that is at least six inches long. This sabiki rig is usually attached to a special fishing rod specifically designed for sabiki. This hollow rod when retrieved takes in all those hooks in.

A sabiki rig has six to ten hooks. This means you get to easily catch as many types of bait as you like. A sabiki rig comes in different sizes that enable you to catch either small large or medium sized bait.

As much as they are good for catching bait be careful with them because they hook themselves to anything at all this could be your fingers, toes, skin clothes and to remove them is a hard and painful process.

Watch this video for clear instruction on how to use a sabiki rig to catch bait fish:

2. Burley Trail 

These have been used since time in memorial. Our ancestors used them and passed on this great bait catching gadgets to us. They were used to catch fish by causing a concentration of fish to form where the burley trail is hung or set. The added bonus of having this trail is that little bait fish are also attracted by it.

And it is very easy to catch them. Once you set up a burley trail and set it on the water surface, the smell will attract the bait fish and since they come in numbers, you just have to be a little patient before you pull that trail from the water and viola, you will have more bait than you can imagine.

Luring bait fish into this easy yet effective trail is easy. You can actually enjoy a cold drink as you wait for them to come by.

3. Use A Light Line

When using a light line to bait the bait, you should probably use it at night when it’s dark and the target at hand can easily notice the shining light.

Bait fish like the fiddly squid can fall for this one easily. Using a light line and a berley together is the most effective.

The light attracts them as the berley is used to bring them closer to a place that they can be collected together. You can also use little hooks to catch this little slimy bait.

Here is a video on how light lines can be used to lure bait fish:

4. Good Timing

If you want to know how to lure bait fish, you need to know when and where they are found.

For example, the mackerel can be found early in the morning on the side where the shadows of islands fall. Knowing this will save you the agony of waiting for these baits all day.

5. Spinners


Spinners are one of the baits that can catch the eye of bait fish

The most effective ones to use for catching bait fish are live bait spinners. They are small enough which means they won’t wound your live bait as much.

Out of water, they may not look attractive or even able to grab the attention of even a toad but once they are immersed in water, the rushing and gushing and vibration can almost instantly grab the attention of these fish.

Considering the bait has several hooks, once the fish bites it, it gets caught and unhooking itself from the deadly weapon is almost impossible.

Not only are spinners good for catching bait fish, but they also happen to be among the best lake

Check out the video in this link to see how it is done:

6. The Old Traditional Worms


Yes, you heard right. Use worms.

Most of these little fishes feed on anything that I smaller than them and since worms keep on wiggling when they are disturbed, how about hooking one onto a spinner or a sabiki rig for the extra help.

It is unlikely that the bait fish will pass a wiggling worm that looks trapped to go look for something else.

Worms can attract the attention of small fish like the dab flatfish which is one of the best lake trout bait.

7. Spoon It Up


Spoons are versatile.

They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some heavy some light.

Depending on the shape size and weight of a spoon, each is made to perform a specific task. Some are meant to bait vegetarian fish, others big fish, small fish, deep sea fish or surface fish.

Although they are good for fishing baits, they best work when fishing for bigger fish like salmon, largemouth bass or trout.

The crocodile would be the best lake trout bait to use on the trout. Its weight will cause it to sink to where these big and elusive fish live.

Your baits do not have to be made out of carnivorous fish.

Remember there are fish out there that are herbivorous and using meaty baits on them could be pointless.

It would be effective if you used peas or bread balls as bait which can easily be found in your nearest grocery store. Tilapias are pretty easy to catch especially when they are in plenty.

Just use your bait on a hook and wait for the magic to happen. They do not put up a fight as much as the bigger fish.


How to lure the bait into your bait, so you can use it as bait for fish is easy.

You should be creative be a fish. Seriously if you are able to master the patterns of these baits, their natural habitats and the time that would be best to catch them, charismas may just come early for you.

Remember that once you know how to trap bait fish, you need to also learn how to keep them alive for long if they are to be of any use to you.

Getting a de-hooker would go a long way and keep a bait tank which will definitely have those baits swimming around alive as they wait for their purpose to be served. Happy fishing and let’s meet in the lake or open water!

About author:

Hi, everyone! My name’s Rebecca, and I just love to write and to fish! My friends call me “Becca.” I’m 22 years old, single, and am currently residing in New York working at an office. With some free time I always give in to my passions, and that’s why I started creating blogs and a website about fishing, it’s two of my most favorite things!