BlogAugust 2015

5 Secrets to Know When Using Artificial Bait

5 Secrets to Know When Using Artificial Bait

By Debbie Hanson

Aug 09, 2015

Using artificial bait or lures when fishing can be both challenging and fun.

Using artificial bait or lures when fishing can be both challenging and fun. While artificial bait usually requires a little more thought and strategy, artificials are easier to transport and can save you time since there's no need for re-baiting your line after each catch.


Depending on the type of artificial bait or lures you plan to use, the species you are targeting, and the conditions; there are different secrets or techniques that can be applied to help increase your chances of a strike.

  1. If fishing freshwater for largemouth bass with soft plastic worms, use smaller sized baits just following a cold front and larger baits in warmer water. If you usually catch fish on a 10-inch worm, try downsizing to a 7-inch or 5-inch worm during cooler weather.

  2. Metal spoons are a good lure choice when fishing freshwater for muskellunge or northern pike. Just keep in mind that the spoon size should match the size of the baitfish that the targeted species normally feeds upon.

  3. When fishing saltwater inshore areas during the early morning hours for snook, topwater lures can often be productive. One secret to fishing successfully using topwater lures is to vary your retrieve speed until a fish takes interest and you get a bite.

  4. Rattling crank baits are artificial lures that can be effective when used in either fresh or saltwater if the water is stained or cloudy. The rattle produces a vibration that attracts fish even when it's more difficult for the fish to see the lure. Try rattling crank baits in freshwater for largemouth bass and in saltwater for redfish.

  5. Plastic shrimp are one of the most versatile saltwater artificial baits you can use. The secret to success when using plastic shrimp is thinking about how a live shrimp moves along the bottom and mimicking that action. Work the artificial bait slow and you're likely to get bites from species like redfish or spotted seatrout.


Now that you know a few secrets about using artificial bait, find a top fishing and boating spot near you and try your luck without having to bring along your bait bucket!

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.