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Live Bait vs. Plastic - Your Opinion?


JewellOutdoors

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So, what is better? Live Bait, or Plastic Bait? I suppose each one has its own unique value. However, I hear some folks say, "I'll never use anything other than live bait!" And still others that vouch whole heartedly that plastic baits are every bit as good. What do you think?

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I am on the "I never use live bait" train. There has been countless times I have been on the water fishing with and around people using live bait and the plastic is out catching the live bait by 5-1. It will depend on many things to get fish to bite but my line always has plastics. Good Fishing!!

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I personaly think that plactic baits are the way it will be in the future. Plactic baits are high in price compared to live bait now but we have all have seen the price get higher the past few years on live bait. With all the new regulations that keep coming out to protect our lakes I'm sure some day we probably won't even be able to use live bait. I guess I will have to learn how to use plactic baits. Heck, I'm not even good at using live bait yet but if it means more time on the water learning something new I'm in!

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They each have there place and time. Sometimes plastics work better and other times live bait works better. I dont think you can say 1 or the other is better.

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I've never really learned to use plastics that well. I spent my childhood (and up through college) trapping leeches all summer. IF there was time to go fishing (after 10 hours of running leech ponds) we obviously used what we had. That's kind of why I was curious to see your opinions.

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Plastics (or artificials anyway) for bass and pike, and live bait for panfish and walleye for me.

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It depends on a number of things. We go thru alot of live bait guiding. But the decision as to what bait ( live Vs. plastic) to use is one we usually leave upto the fish. It changes day to day; the species of fish you target, the time of year, the nature of the lake/river your fishing, the weather and the experience level of the angler are just some of the factors to consider.

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Plastics do have their time and place. I personally have never had plastics out fish live bait, especially when the bite is tough.

It also depends on what species of fish your talking about. Like posted above, Bass and Pike seem to bite just as well if not better on plastics or lures and panfish and walleye seem to have more of a preference for live bait.

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Really the only fish I use live bait for anymore is walleyes. I feel plasitcs do just as good of a job if not better than live bait for crappies and bass.

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There are times for both, if your a die hard believer in either your missing out when the other would be better.

Let the fish tell you, always try both if you can they fish will answer this question every day, and its a different answer.

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use them both and they work good. just depends on multiple things for which one we use. like what you you are fishin for, are they quick and can steal your bait, how they are biting. we usually have both in the boat so we can try them both and see which one is catchin us fish for that day

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I let the fish decide. I always start with live because when the fish are sluggish or inactive, they will generally take live over artificial. If they are aggressively hitting live bait, I usually switch to artificial baits as this means less time rigging and more time with my bait in the water. Overall, I would say I fish live bait 90% of the time, however. If it ain't broke...

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I really think it depends on how you like to fish. Using plastics, you must give the bait some sort of action (on most of them), and live bait you could just soak a bobber or dead-stick a minnow. My dad was a die-hard live bait guy and would laugh at some of the "things" I use to catch fish these days. I find myself using more and more plastics each year...even through the ice.

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Doug Stange from Infisherman, did a article about plastics last year. He said he has not use live bait in the past five years and still catches just as many fish.

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Quote:
They each have there place and time. Sometimes plastics work better and other times live bait works better. I dont think you can say 1 or the other is better.

Ditto.

If fishing your Flathead Catfish I think livebait would be best. Channel Catfish I would use cut bait. Carp-corn or a fly. Walleye-crankbaits or jigs, livebait. Northerns-neither I woud use a spoon. and on and on.

Bass I would use a big fat night crawler or a Shiner. wink

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I think you need to keep the live bait option open, especially for those times the crappies and walleyes are sluggish and passive.

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Panfish absolutely go nuts for plastics. Havent used anything but for the last few years. Case and point, yesterday on Pelican. I and my friend outfished everyone around us 3-1 on plastics. I have never had so many people stare every time that you pull one in to see hat you're using.

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What do you think pros would do in say a walleye tournament.I bet they wouldnt have just plastics on board,but rather a mixture all forms of baits.I wouldnt limit myself to just one presentation,Ill use all forms.

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Was out crappie fishing yesterday and outfished everyone that used live minnows like 5 or 6 to one.

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What do you think pros would do in say a walleye tournament.I bet they wouldnt have just plastics on board,but rather a mixture all forms of baits.I wouldnt limit myself to just one presentation,Ill use all forms.

Actually the PWT or whatever used to have a tourney where it was all artificial, no live bait allowed. I still catch alot of walleye on plastics and other "non walleye" baits.

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I use plastics mostly for the fact that I dont have to find a bait store everytime I want to go fishing. I tend to decide to go on the fly so its not always an option. its nice to pull out the jar of fake waxies and go.

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I always use whatever the fish want. Some days they turn their noses up a plastics but will destroy a minnow and vice versa. I guess I dont have a real preference either way but I do have to say plastics are easier to deal with.

When I went to Canada last summer it would have been a real pain to try and deal with live bait so the gulp alive was all I used. It really did work as well as the guys who did mess with live bait. I can say I didnt get as many hits, but when I did it was fish on. There was also the factor that 1 Gulp minnow caught 10-20 fish vs one or less with the live bait. I can count on 1 hand the times I had a fish take the Gulp minnow off the hook without being caught.

There have been many times here in MN that I didnt get a bite unless I had a live shinner or rainbow on the hook. So I guess I try to bring both unless the conditions dont allow it.

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it all depending on the species and the size i want.

if i want BIG largemouth bass. i will freeline 6-8" shiners.

if i want BIG crappies. 2-3" shiners

if i want big pike, i go to castaic swimbaits or other large swimbaits.

if i want big bluegills, i use both, minnows, and small crankbaits.

if i want numbers of largemouths i will go with artificials.

and if i want numbers of bluegills, waxies or little atom wedgies are the way to go

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Only time live bait gets in the boat is if I am planning to fish for crappies or walleyes. Even then I will only use it if artificials don't seem to be producing for some reason.

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