Though I've spent way too much on lures to not use them, I will happily go back to live bait if I have no sucess. Though I'll only talk about certain types of bait, more information is supplied from a book called "Fishing with live bait" which is available directly from my site.Fishing with Live Bait
I assure you, all the information provided on this site is either from experience or from this book. This book has it all!
Baitfish come in a variety of shapes and sizes and each is best for a certain situation, species or climate.
Catching baitfish is easy, and saves you money. Depending on the target species, almost all baitfish can be caught with either one or more of the following, dip-net, trap, can trap, seins, umbrella and dip-netting or angling.
Minnow traps work great and are widely available. They can be made at home with screen for windows. But, it's worth a 20 dollar investment to buy a minnow trap. Bait the trap with bread, crackers or cheese to catch minnows and a single-hole can of cat food to catch crayfish.
Drop several cans in marshy river backwater. Attach all the cans by a cord. The next day, pull up the cans and remove the madtoms.
Srins are kinda like nets, only, you pull them throught the water where there are known baitfsh you could catch enough fish for months of fishing with a single pull of the seine.
This has two tecniques, you can cast it out with a throw, let it sit then pull or you could bait the fish into the net. It's pretty easy
I have caught many medium-to-large shiners with angling tools like bread, worms and roast beef. Angling s best for trophy fishing.
Sometimes, you'll go fishng and you can't finish off all your fish but you want to keep them for later. Or maybe you can't use live minnows in your area. Whatever the excuse, preserving minnows is easier than thought.
You will need the following :
First off, fill the jar with fish, not to the top, though. Then, about a half inch from the summit, cease putting in the Isopropryl alochol. Then, add two drops of anise oil and fill to the jar to the top with isopropryl alcohol. Cap tightly and store forever.
That is my favorite way of preserving fish.
Crayfish, like minnows may vary in size and color one from the other, lake to lake. Methods of trapping crayfish have already been mentioned and leaving your minnow trap in overnight generally means better chances of catching them.
A magazine article tells me that soft-plastic crawfish are often better than the real thing. The claws which for years was believed the triggering effect, is now in doubt and mutilated crayfis are now more popular than ever. Still, live bait outperfoems soft palstics if you are willing to dullen your knife. Take a knife of a pair of pliers and snap off the claws. If you wish, snap off some limbs as well. This will outperform soft-plastics taht are equally mutilated.
An easy way to fish for crayfish requires a medium sized stick and something to catch them in (a half of a minnow trap perhaps?) or a yogurt container. Then pull out the trap, snap the claws and put the crayfish on your hook and then voila, instant live bait!