Live Baits or Artificial Baits for Striped Bass

Live Baits or Artificial Baits for Striped Bass.

Why Most Anglers Don't Use Live Bait.  /  The Anglers Attitudes.

Use of Live Bait and Transportation of live bait Laws in Arkansas Effective October 1st 2018.
Always check your states laws on the use of live bait.

Rule #1: In the sport of Striped Bass fishing there are few, if any absolutes.

Rule #2: Be Flexible.

A fact is that if a fish does not want to eat, you are not going to "force" it to eat, regardless of the live bait or artificial bait.

Live Bait

Why You Should Try Live Bait.

Using live bait works, many times when nothing else will. Regardless of what type of fish you're fishing for they don't start their lives looking to eat something artificial. They are looking to eat what is natural. If you use the natural food of the lake you success will be better.

The best Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Guides all use fresh live bait which increases the number and size of fish they catch. And they all have their favorite artificial close at hand, especially top water lures.

Live bait, mainly shad "the food of the lake", are harder to come by and harder to keep, which is a big reason the occasional guides who don't bother to do the work to catch, keep or use live bait prefer to use artificial lures.
Live bait has distinct advantages, particularly when fishing for trophy Striped Bass, it is the runaway preferred method for the experienced guides on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas.

Most people simply overlook the fact that with live bait fishing, just as with any other technique, there is a lot to learn. The anglers who know this, and who put in the time and work required, will always be the ones who excel.

Artificial Lures

There is no experience in freshwater fishing like that of a striped bass in the 30 to 40 pound category attacking a top water lure.
The angles that have experienced this attack and won are in a special group indeed.

Artificial baits are simply much easier and quicker to use. Tie your bait on, start fishing. There are times when artificial lures might just be a better choice. The following is some, but not necessarily all, of those conditions. The ultimate in striped bass artificial fishing is the trill of the top water action.

Stained water.
In stained or murky water, Stripers tend to rely less on site, and more on feel and smell. In these conditions, a fish can't afford to be as finicky. Just as the Stripers field of view is lessened, so is its opportunity to feed. If a meal comes within range, a Stripers must react while it has the chance. It is also possible to cover much more water with artificial.
Some artificial put off more sound and vibration, than live bait, which can help a fish to find its prey.

Night time.
For many of the same reasons listed for murky water, artificial tend to be more effective at night. But also, fish are less wary at night and definitely make a lot more "mistakes" about what to feed on. If an angler wants to catch big fish, and feels that he has to do it on artificial, night time is the right time.

Moving water.
Stripers in moving water, below dams, entrances of rivers and creeks tend to feed more out of spontaneous reaction. Possible because their food source is constantly moving. If baitfish happen to come by, a Stripers had better eat while it's there. Because that meal could be yards away in a hurry.

Surface feeding tail spacking frenzy.
Quick !!! toss a topwater, soft bait, spinner, spoon or your fishing pliers into this feeding frenzy and hold on. The striper are in a spontaneous reaction mode and will hit the kitchen sink most of the time.

Later in the day.
Striped bass have a tendency to school up and move out over the deeper waters and go into cruise mode. Normally these will be smaller fish.

Remember in all cases refer to Rules #1and #2

The Anglers Attitudes.

There are three groups concerning the thoughts and attitudes towards Live Bait vs Artificial baits.

  1. The first group are the victims of the "corporate brainwashing"  These anglers have little, if any, first hand knowledge or experience with the use of live bait, but rather, choose to base their thoughts and decisions on hearsay and sales propaganda. A lot of artificial lures are made for attracting the fisherman and not the fish. The sales of artificial lures is a multi-million dollar business. Of course these manufactures want you to believe live bait is not as good. These companies also spend millions of dollars promoting the use of their lures, and in the sponsoring of tournaments, which of course, do not allow live bait. There lively hood depends on "your" money.
  2. A second fairly large group of fisherman believed that live bait was a guaranteed way to always catch a limit of fish fast. They went into it with unreal expectations. These guys fished any lake at any time, with any live bait, just knowing that they couldn't possibly miss. Nearly all of these fisherman end up disappointed.
  3. There is a very small group of anglers who catch fish consistent who realize that live bait is a strong consistent tool at the right time and place. These anglers put in the time and effort required to learn how to use live bait to the fullest extent. This group is not concerned with "looking cool" or "hanging with the in-crowd", but rather their concern lies, in catching the most fish that they possibly can. Until you learn how and when to use live bait, you won't know what your missing. Keeping an open mind and being flexible is the key.

The bottom line.

There is a very small group of anglers who realize that live bait is just another tool, albeit, a strong one at the right time and place.

These anglers put in the time and effort and expense required to learn how to catch, keep and fish with live bait to the fullest extent.

Finally, this group is not concerned with "looking cool" or "hanging with the in-crowd", but rather their concern lies, in catching the biggest fish, and the most big fish that they possibly can !

Until you give live bait a solid shot, you won't know what your missing ! 

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