One of the most common and basic types of bait are worms. You can collect worms on your own, so they are very inexpensive. The best time to search for them is at night. Using a flashlight and a small shovel, you can find many earthworms and nightcrawlers right in your own backyard. Worms are good for catching a wide variety of fish. Nightcrawlers and earthworms are good for catching bass and walleyes, while manure or red wriggler worms are best for catching sunfish and trout. When using worms, do not put the whole worm on the hook, just a part. Otherwise the fish will just nibble off part of the worm without getting hooked.
Leeches are also good for catching walleye and pike. Leeches are usually purchased in a bait shop since they aren’t as easy to catch on your own. Leeches can keep for many days if refrigerated. To effectively use a leech as bait, do not move them faster in the water than they can naturally swim, or else the fish will be suspicious.
Minnows are a great live bait to use when fishing for trout. You can buy minnows fresh at most bait shops. These small fish can also be caught if you come across them.
Power Bait is also good for trout. Test it out by seeing how many bites you get, and if it doesn’t work well switch back to live bait. You can also ask around and see if fish in the area are known to bite with power bait. Power bait can be a bit more expensive than other kinds, but can pay off handsomely.
If you want to save some money, using lures is a good idea. Lures are designed specifically to attract certain fish. There are lures for trout, bass, and all different kinds of fish. You can use them over and over since they are not actually eaten by the fish. You must keep the lure moving usually for it to actually work. Most lures reflect light, spin, or are designed to look like things the fish eats.
Lastly, Insects are a very useful bait to use. Ants, grasshoppers, and crickets are all effective baits for certain fish like bluegills. You can buy insects at any pet store.
Always research which type of bait to use on the fish you will be fishing for. If you actually catch something, be sure to come prepared with electric fillet knives so you can cook them quickly before they spoil.