Artificial Fishing Lures vs Natural Fishing Bait

No matter if you’re new to fishing or you’ve been at it for many years, you know that you need either bait or a lure to attract and catch a fish.

Like every other fisherman, you want to catch fish. After all, spending all day out on the water without a single catch makes for a long, frustrating day. 

The debate over whether live, natural bait or artificial fishing luresmakes for a more fruitful and successful fishing day has been a long-standing one. 

The reason this debate continues is that both live bait and fishing lures have pros and cons and neither has the overwhelming, clear advantage over the other. 

Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of fishing lures and natural bait:

Fishing Lure Pros

Can be reused.Artificial fishing lures are usually made of durable materials such as plastic. With these fishing lures, they won’t go bad and won’t fall a part after every cast. 

Don’t rot.Artificial fishing lures are, well, artificial and not real. They aren’t living bait that needs to be kept alive or else they will die and decompose. Because fishing lures aren’t real, they can conveniently be stashed in your tackle box for your next fishing trip. 

Fishing Lure Cons

Don’t give off scents to attract fish.Fish have very good senses, especially the sense of smell. Fish are also predatory, eating other fish. With live bait, fish can smell lunch many yards away and will come to enjoy a free meal. This isn’t the case with fishing lures. Artificial fishing lures don’t give off any scent, which means you’ll have to get creative in how to get fish interested and bite. 

Can be expensive.While you won’t have to pay a visit to your local bait shop each time you go out fishing, there are new and improved styles, color and shape of lures regularly coming out that you may want to try to improve upon your fishing success. 

Require knowledge about where the fish are at.Since artificial fishing lures don’t give off any scent to attract fish, you’ll need to know where the fish are atand then make the lure interesting to the fish. 

Natural Bait Pros 

Fish’s natural food.Fish are predators, naturally eating other organisms including smaller fish. Using live bait will naturally kick their appetite into gear and will easily attract fish looking for a free meal. 

Give off scent that quickly attracts fish.As noted above, fish have a great sense of smell and can smell live bait over a great distance. The fisherman doesn’t have to do much more than casting their hook and live bait into the water and wait for the fish to come. 

Natural Bait Cons

Can’t be reused.Using live fish as bait can be messy and they need to be handled with care. Being too rough in putting the hook in the fish can result in quite a mess of blood and potentially fish innards. Each time the bait is cast in and out of the water, the bait can gradually disintegrate, requiring the use of another bait. 

Need to be kept alive and will quickly perish.Live bait are, well, living fish that either need to be kept alive during your fishing excursion, or be stored in a freezer to keep them fresh a little longer.

Can be expensive.Live bait, especially the fresh, high-quality kind can be pricey. Since live fish are perishable, you must either use all your bait on one fishing trip or have a way to freeze and store it for the next trip. You can end up having to get your live bait right before each fishing trip, which will add up. 

Both types of bait can yield numerous successful catches under different circumstances. This is why it is important to experiment with both to see which one works best for you.

Generally, live, natural bait is better for novice, beginner fishermen while the skill involved when using artificial lures are a better option for experienced fishermen. With bait, the fisherman doesn’t have to know the best fishing spot or know how to attract a specific type of fish. More experienced fishermen who know where fish hang out and the specific behavior of the fish they are trying to catch will be able to use artificial lures to their advantage. 

Whether you’re looking for live bait or artificial lures, Kiehberg can help. Contact us with any questions you may have or browse our inventory of artificial lures