Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Eric Bonneman
Whether you’re planning to angle in the freshwater lakes or saltwater coasts around St. Augustine, FL, the bait you select can make a considerable difference in your fishing success. The baiting question often narrows down to three main contenders: live bait, frozen bait, and lures. Each has its strengths and circumstances where it shines. Let’s dissect each one to determine what might suit your fishing scenario the best.
Live Bait: Nature’s Own Appeal
Live bait, such as shrimp, mud minnows, night crawlers, and seasonal sand fleas, has been a staple for many anglers, and for a good reason. The lifelike movement, scent, and texture of live bait work incredibly well at attracting a broad range of species. In freshwater, live bait is especially effective for luring bass, catfish, and panfish. In saltwater, species like redfish, flounder, and snook find live bait hard to resist.
However, live bait requires a bit more care and attention. It needs to be kept in optimal conditions to stay alive and thus maintain its attractiveness to fish. This added level of care can sometimes pose challenges, especially on extended fishing expeditions.
Frozen Bait: Convenience on Demand
Frozen bait is another widely used option among anglers. Available in a variety of options such as shrimp, mullet, squid, and crabs, it brings the advantage of convenience and longevity. It’s particularly handy when live bait is not readily accessible, or you want to store bait for future fishing trips.
While not as lifelike as its live counterpart, frozen bait does emit a scent in the water that can attract fish. For saltwater fishing around St. Augustine, frozen bait like shrimp or mullet can be excellent for species like drum, trout, and pompano.
Lures: The Art of the Imitation
Lures bring a different game to the table. They are designed to mimic the look, movement, and sometimes even the sound of a fish’s natural prey. The range of lures available is vast, including topwater plugs, spinnerbaits, jigs, and soft plastics, each designed for specific conditions and species.
Lures can be particularly effective when you are targeting specific species, or when fishing in areas with lots of underwater vegetation where live bait could get easily snagged. They are also reusable, which is not the case with live or frozen bait. The art of mastering lure fishing can, however, take time and practice.
In the end, the choice between live bait, frozen bait, or lures is often a matter of personal preference, experience, and the specific conditions on the day of your fishing adventure.
One Stop Shop
If you’re in the St. Augustine area and want to discuss the best bait for your next outing, stop by Avid Angler. Founded by Tommy Vaughan in 1995, the store has grown into one of Northeast Florida’s premier outlets for fishing gear. Overcoming a devastating fire in 2004 thanks to the support of loyal customers, Avid Angler continues to provide a top-notch selection of fishing rods, reels, and accessories.
Whether you’re looking for quality live bait, a vast array of frozen bait, or an extensive collection of lures from top brands like RAPALA, MIRRO LURE, and BERKLEY GULP, Avid Angler has you covered. Their knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice and make sure you have everything you need for a successful day on the water. Remember, there’s more to fishing than just catching fish – it’s about enjoying the experience. Choose the right bait, and you’ll likely have a great story to tell. Check us out!