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Guide to Fishing with Live Bait in Saltwater

Live bait is one of the most effective ways to catch many of the fish species around NYC. Fish eat other fish and crustaceans in the wild, so being able to mimic their food source by providing live bait is one of the best ways to guarantee a successful catch.

You can always use swim baits and many anglers in the area have great luck with them, but live bait will often perform better. However, live bait does come with a few challenges. Choosing the right bait for the fish you are targeting and keeping that bait alive throughout your trip can be difficult. This guide will help you effectively use live bait on your next trip.

Best Saltwater Fishing Baits in NYC

For freshwater fishing, worms have long been a bait of choice since they are easy to find and easy to keep alive. Saltwater anglers need fish or need bait that is equally attractive to saltwater fish. Some of the various types of baits include:

  • Bloodworms and Sandworms – Like freshwater worms, these worms can be hooked at the head and will wiggle on the hook to tempt fish. They are easy to keep alive throughout your fishing trip and you can also chunk them for bottom fishing. The one drawback to these worms is that they tend to be somewhat pricey.
  • Baitfish – Smaller fish like mackerel and hearing are good baitfish for trophy caches like striped bass. To keep baitfish alive throughout your trip, you will need aerated water kept at the correct temperature. However, dead baitfish will still work to attract several types of fish.
  • Shellfish – Clams, shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans are good for saltwater fish. On the hook, most will move about to attract fish. Others such as shrimp and clams are good for chunking when bottom fishing in saltwater.
  • Squid – Squid can catch a number of saltwater fish such as lingcod. While live squid works well, frozen squid is also usually effective and is easier to keep since you can store it in your cooler under ice.
  • Eels – Eels are another good bait for striped bass. They will live for several hours outside the water and, once in, are very active to help you lure fish. Their challenge is that they are slippery, so use a rag or something similar when hooking them.

For saltwater fishing, free lining your live bait enables the lure to appear the way a natural meal would appear to a fish. You can also use live bait successfully for bottom fishing by attaching a sinker. A three-way rig works well for this, especially when fishing in a current.

One good way to get all of the right bait for your fishing trip is to leave it to the crew of a fishing charter. On the Marilyn Jean fishing charter in NYC, we supply high quality bait on your trip so you do not have to worry about stocking your own bait stores. Join us for a convenient and relaxing day of fishing that  promises some impressive catches. You can book your ticket today through the calendar on our website.

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