If you want to catch fish, you need to choose your bait wisely. So what bait is best, when?
As you may have guessed, the main difference between live bait and artificial lures is the fact that plastic baits are made to look like and mimic baitfish; while live bait looks and moves like real fish because… well…it IS a fish. Certain movement in the water (that seems like it may turn out to be a tasty meal) is enticing to a fish. So, if you are using plastic bait, you need to know how to make the motions of your lure alluring. Of course, there is no training required with live bait.
Also keep in mind that fish like to eat all sorts of things, from grasshoppers, to worms, to shedders and the ever-popular minnows, so artificial bait comes in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. That means that if you decide to use plastic bait, you also need to learn what type of lure will work best in which situations. However, once you do find out what works when in your favorite fishing holes, there may be some very good times in your future!
There is also another huge benefit to fishing with live bait – scent. Scent, along with movement and appearance, will attract fish to your hook. You can apply fish scent to artificial lures, but the effect is more of a masking of smells that may deter fish, as opposed to a smell that actually attracts fish.
On the plus side, artificial lures are a very inexpensive way to fish because, once you purchase them, you can use them over and over again. Plastic fishing baits can also be a lot less messy than live bait (and dead bait, such as cut strips of fish which can be a nice, stinky way to draw fish in as well). However, catching fish can be a little messy, what with the fish slime and blood and all, so…