Bass Fishing – 4 times live bait isn’t cheating.

Defending the use of Live Bait

Recently one of my buddies posted a status on Facebook that said straight up, “Using live bait when your bass fishing is cheating.” While I agree with that in some circumstances, there are four instances where it’s perfectly acceptable to use live bait.

Live Bait is perfect for the kids.

There are two things that almost every kid loves to do when they go fishing: 1. Cast 2. Catch Fish. Casting can be great fun when you’re young, but it will lose its appeal somewhat quickly if they aren’t catching something. Whats the best way to ensure you little fishing buddy catching something? Say it with me….Live Bait.

Whether your live bait is red worms, night crawlers, or shiners, they all catch fish. They also double as entertainment when the kid’s attention span reaches its limit. My son spent as much time playing with the worms and “letting the minnows go home” (throwing them in the water) as he did fishing. And that’s the way it should be.

Fishing trips should never be solely about the fish, but especially when you’re that age. They should be a tactile adventure that involves throwing rocks in the water, playing in the mud, worm slime, fish slime, junk food, and lots and lots of hand sanitizer.

Relaxation vs challenge

Live bait fishingThis is where people will probably start to disagree with me.

For those of us who thrive on the challenge, we obsess over equations.

Cloudy skies + light wind + stained water / by the season = what I should throw.

What we fail to realize, or rather what we forget, is that some people just want to catch fish. It doesn’t matter what size it is, what kind it is, or what bait it was caught on…they just want to catch a fish!

Here’s a great example. I went fishing with a guy one time on the Brazos River. It was early in my river fishing career and I wasn’t catching anything. So I asked him, “How many have you caught today.” He replied with, “oh…man, I have no idea. Well over 100.” My eyes bugged out of my head. I couldn’t believe it. Come to find out he was catching bream on a small popper from his fly rod. Nothing wrong with that, but he and I had very different goals.

For the angler that just wants to catch something, live bait is the perfect option.

Catching the bug

Ever heard someone say this? “I’ve been fishing a few times, but I never catch anything.

Guess what? You better put them in a kayak, drag them to your closest honey hold, put a minnow on a hook and sit back and enjoy the show! That person clearly wants to bass fish, but they have no idea how to do it.

I will admit that what I’m about to say is a horrible comparison, but it’s the most accurate one I can think of. How does a drug dealer develop a “customer base?” He first gives them a taste of how good it feels…then expects them to pay for it going forward.

We have to take the same approach with the person in this situation. First, show them how good it feels to catch all those fish… then…and only then will they want to know the intricacies of how to truly target a bass with a plastic lure.

Tight on time

The final scenario where live bait isn’t cheating is when the person simply doesn’t get to go fishing very often. Trade places with this person for a minute. You have a kayak and enjoy fishing, but life gets in the way and you only get to go for 1-2 hours at a time or once every other month. Getting skunked is always painful, but especially so in this scenario.

For the angler who is tight on time, and just wants to enjoy their time on the water to its fullest, there is nothing wrong with using live bait to catch bass.

In general I have no problem with people using live bait, and I’m sure there are other scenarios where bass fishing with live bait isn’t cheating, but those are my top four. What are your thoughts?

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