Spring fishing season is officially here, and the dog days of summer are not far behind.  Many anglers are stowing away their parkas and ice shacks in exchange for lightweight windbreakers and sunglasses as they begin spending countless hours on the water in search of fish. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a professional angler or just a weekend warrior, you likely understand how important factors like variety and presentation are when it comes to catching fish day in and day out.  This is why anglers, regardless of fishing saltwater or freshwater species have countless fishing lures and rigs set up and ready.  What is enticing to a fish right now may not be enticing tomorrow, neither ensuring that you have plenty of tackle and fishing lures at the ready is often what is necessary to ensure that you see some action during the course of the day.

As far as fishing lures go, most anglers likely cut their teeth by fishing with live bait.  Whether it was a night crawler, shad, or perhaps a crawdad or shrimp, fishing with live bait is an excellent way to introduce someone to the sport of fishing and not only that, fishing with live bait is a dynamite method for putting more fish in the live well!

The Live Bait Fishing Legacy

There are several reasons why fishing with live bait will always be an effective tactic regardless if you are a beginner or an expert.  For starters, it is easy!  Lure presentation doesn’t get any more effective than when you let the lure do the work, and that is exactly what you get when you fish with live bait.

Second, it is really hard to beat the real thing.  No lure can exactly mimic the smell, movement, color, and texture of the real thing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many fishing lures you have in your tackle box, fishing can still be tough.  Often, all it takes is to make a switch to fishing with live bait and you can turn the slow trip into an action packed memory.

Finally, when it comes to fishing with live bait, when the timing is right the action can be second to none.  Simply put, if the fish are actively feeding on baitfish, crawfish or insects and you happen to have those at your disposal, you can’t help but catch fish!

Keeping Live Bait Alive

While there is an amazing upside to fishing with live bait, there is a catch.  Simply put, when it comes to fishing with live bait, the fresher the bait the better the results.  No matter what type of live bait you are fishing with, there is a typically a little maintenance involved to ensure that your bait stays fresh and active for the long haul.  If you take care of your live bait, your live bait will certainly take care of you, and allow you to spend more time fishing and less time in the tackle shop. There are several factors that combine to determine live bait life.


You would be hard pressed to find a variety of live bait where the temperature wasn’t a factor.  Understanding the needs and requirements of the bait you are using is a good first step, so do yourself a favor and do a little research.  You just might be surprised by what you learn!  All too often, if the temperature becomes a factor, it is almost always a result of your bait overheating.

Simple tips like ensuring your bait is out of direct sunlight or monitoring the water temperature in the live bait container are all simple tips that can ensure that your live bait doesn’t overheat.  There typically exists a “sweet spot” where live bait will remain extremely active while waiting to be used, which maximizes the presentation.  You want to try you best to maintain that temperature and ensure your bait is working for you, to the best of its ability.


How would you act if you were struggling for air?  Chances are you would be very stressed and sluggish, which is exactly the way your live bait will be acting if they find themselves in this predicament.  Ensuring that your bait has the proper aeration is not only critical in keeping your live bait fresh, it also ensures that your bait will actually remain alive! Also consider the amount of bait in the container. Stress is a big reason that bait will die before being used, so ensuring that they are relaxed and happy is important. The video above shows the general time frame you are looking at when using live bait such as minnows. With considering the bait, temperature, and number in the live bait container, be sure to stop for a quick change of water between casts.

Quality of Life

Regardless of your live bait choice, using live bait comes with a cost.  While the cost may be your time collecting the bait, or your hard earned dollars, the reality is that in order to really reap the benefits you need to maximize the lifespan of your bait.  In order to accomplish this, you need to make sure that you are addressing the previous two factors while at the same time simply taking the time to keep an eye on the overall health of your bait.  Be sure to change the water, often. Keeping the bait alive will keep your fishing alive!

To read more about how to keep minnows alive longer, click here.

Live Bait Container Considerations

Instead of lugging an aerated bucket or container around, check out what we at Bait Up have to offer. The simple innovative design has taken live bait fishing to a whole new level, and has not only made it easier for the angler to monitor and maintain the quality of their live bait, but has made it easier to access the live bait as well.

Bait Up live bait containers are portable, and can easily be carried with you anywhere you go, making it easier to switch or replace your bait!  Say goodbye to the ole’ Styrofoam bucket, “cage”, or heavy bucket, as well as the days of dead bait, and improve your fishing experience!

To order Bait Up from Productive Alternatives, click here.