The above heading is likely to raise some eyebrows and get a few anglers squaring off against each other as they passionately exclaim to anyone who will listen, the reason why ‘their’ angling method is superior to the other.
The truth is, each method has its pros and cons, and selecting one type of fishing over the other on anything other than personal taste is hard to back-up with facts. But comparisons can be made between the two. I practice both, plus I fly-fish (my preferred fishing method), and enjoy them all. I bait fish far less, but that’s only because I like being more active and move about. It’s probably fair to say that in the right hands, the correct use of bait will out fish lures 10 to 1 everyday of the week. If you’re new to fishing, giving it a go while on holidays, or fishing with the kids, then using bait is the easiest and cheapest way to catch some fish. If you’re after a feed of fresh fish then it’s definitely the most reliable method to use.
These days, there are more and more anglers participating in ‘sportfishing’, which involves targeting fish for the challenge and fun of it, rather than simply going out and catching a few fish to eat. Most sportfishers chase fish with lures or flies rather than using bait because the fish can be easily and harmlessly released as most lure caught fish are hooked in the mouth rather than the gut.
Having said that, these days the lines between bait and lure fishing are becoming blurred, there’s so much variety to be found in modern day lures, including many that are edible and biodegradable! Do you see where I’m coming from? In fact, some of these new ‘lures’ are even called artificial baits! That’s right, you don’t have to put up with baiting live or dead animals onto hooks anymore, you can buy your baits, which are often shaped like small fish, frogs and other creatures in plastic bottles and packets!
If you’re chasing freshwater fish you’ll probably end up using live worms, yabbies, baitfish or mudeyes for bait. It’s possible to buy worms, yabbies and mudeyes from tackle shops in fishing areas. But often you have to gather these yourself. There are also artificial power baits available that come in small jars and are pliable and putty like in texture. These are very successful baits when chasing rainbow trout in lakes in particular, and are less messy and offer a great alternative to live baits that have a tendency to put off many newcomers from participating in the whole bait fishing process.
In saltwater there are both live (fresh) and dead (packaged/frozen) real baits available for fishing and chasing bread and butter fish species such as bream, mullet, flathead or whiting while on holidays or away for a weekend. This type of fishing is often the first taste of fishing for many grown-ups and children.
Many popular fishing locations have numerous outlets that sell both live and dead bait.
A basic light to medium spinning rod and reel, with monofilament line and a simple rig with a running ball sinker above a stopper, such as a swivel, above a one metre leader down to a single hook is all that is needed to catch just about any species of fresh or saltwater fish that the average angler might be interested in chasing.
Just as artificial powerbaits have made baitfishing in freshwater more ‘novice’, so has the use of artificial baits, or soft plastics made lure fishing less technical for novice lure anglers. As mentioned earlier, many of these soft plastic ‘baits’ blur the line between bait and lure, many of them are scented and edible, and can actually be fished statically so fish pick them up and chew on them.
The upside of lure fishing is that it is generally a ‘cleaner’ fishing method where there isn’t any necessity to collect, use or store ‘smelly’ baits. A wide variety of lures can be collected and easily stored in convenient tackle boxes and carried about and used whenever required without the need to ‘buy or collect’ fresh bait before every fishing trip.
The downside of lure fishing is that it can be expensive if you start using (and collecting) intricate hard-bodied swimming lures that can be lost on snags and fish etc. Using soft plastic lures is far more economical (and just as effective) as the jig heads and the soft plastic tails are less intricate in their manufacture and therefore less expensive.
The same basic, light to medium spinning rod, reel and line outfit is perfectly suitable for lure casting (hard and soft) for most bread and butter, salt or freshwater fish species. A straight monofilament line to lure rig is perfectly adequate to get started and catch fish.
To summarise, there are no hard and fast rules as to when one method is better than the other. If you’re taking the kids on holidays to the beach, want to have fun and catch a few, then my suggestion would be to start them off using bait to chase bream and flathead etc. It’s possible to set-up a few rods, keep all the children close at hand around the water while fishing from the beach or jetties. Safety around water should be a key factor where kids are involved. As they grow, and if they show a keen interest in fishing, then getting them started using soft plastic or basic lures and chasing easily caught fish such as flathead in saltwater or redfin in fresh, can kick-start their lifetime fishing adventures.
If you’re just after a feed of fish then you can’t go past fresh bait and local fishing advice. If you’re more interested in moving about and putting the odds back in the fish’s favour, and making your fishing more challenging, and releasing more fish than you keep, then lure fishing is probably for you.
No matter what method you choose, make it enjoyable, fish responsibly, take your rubbish home with you, don’t leave discarded fishing line, hooks or plastic packaging lying around, and most importantly, limit your kill.
Phone: 03 90880386
Address : Bendigo, VIC 3550
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