If you are getting started with fresh water fishing, here is some great information to lead the way.
Like the ocean, there are hundreds of fresh water fish species to fish. But the most popular are bass, catfish, pickerel, pike sunfish, trout, salmon, muskellunge, sturgeon and walleye.
There are a wide variety of both live and artificial baits that work well for fresh water fishing.
Bait: Live bait works well for fresh water fishing. Fresh water fish feed on a variety of prey, including earthworms, insects, insect larvae, frogs, minnows, chub, shad, crayfish and small fish species such as smelt. Freshwater fishing bait such as earthworms, crayfish, frogs, minnows, chubs and shads can be caught in its natural habitat. Look around piers and in shallow water. Freshwater bait can also be purchased from your local bait and tackle shop.
Artificial bait, as the name tells us, is manmade. It includes plastic worms, insects, flies, small jigs, lures, spoons, streamers, flies, spinners and more. Artificial bait can be purchased at fishing tackle and bait shops, mass retailers or online. Some anglers prefer to buy the supplies for these types of baits and create their own.
There are a wide variety of prepared baits that you can use for freshwater fishing. These include kernel corn, bread balls, cheese balls, egg bags, liver, cereal balls, chicken entrails.
All fishermen try to figure out what will turn a fish on enough to strike. It's part science, part art. To get you started, here is just a short list of some freshwater fish and the bait that attracts them.
Catfish - feeds primarily at night in big rivers and streams.
Bass - bait preferences will be different depending on whether it is a small mouth bass or large mouth bass.
Pickerel - small in size, but very scrappy.
Pike - voracious appetite, very predatory fish.
Sunfish - includes: Crappie, Redbreast Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Roanoke Bass, Flier, Warmouth, and Green Sunfish.
Trout -Look for them next to the main current where rapid moving water meets slower moving water.
Salmon - Your key to success in catching salmon? Casting location. They're moving - so you have to get your lures out in front.
Muskellunge - You'll have a better chance to land one if you keep your bait active and moving.
Sturgeon - a bottom feeder.
Walleye - primarily a night feeder.
As you can see, there are innumerable choices when it comes to fresh water lures and bait. Don't let yourself get too confused. Ask an experienced angler to give you some tips. This can be a family member, a friend, a fresh water fishing guide, instructor or a staff member of your local bait and tackle shop. If you do this, keep in mind that everyone has favorites, and over time you will find yours.
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