Fishing for bass with live bait can be an experience of its own. Often you can go down to small creeks, ponds, and lakeshores to hunt for crayfish and frogs to get you started.

You will need to get down to the local bait shop and pick up as many minnows or shiners as you can carry. Live bait fishing will require its own techniques and a certain amount of patience. We will share some of the best bait information possible.

Bait Choice is a Preference. Finding the best bait for you is what matters.

Why Choose Live Bait?

There is one straightforward answer to this, and that’s because it’s what the bass would eat if left undisturbed. Remember that largemouth and spotted bass don’t find Rapala lures in the wild. They find minnows, frogs, insects, and crayfish.

Recreating a realistic scenario for them is optimal when angling because it helps to eliminate the tension between fish and fisherman. Furthermore, many anglers don’t care to have a lure with three treble hooks jammed down a smallmouth’s mouth. This could cause a line to break and mean a slow end for the fish.

Live bait fishing has been around for hundreds of years and has produced its fair share. From trolling live bait or throwing a frog near some lily pads, there is a different level of excitement when using live bait.

Which Bait Should I Choose?

In general, the bass will eat almost anything including thy neighbor. Some bass will do anything for a fresh crayfish, and others prefer to eat small fish like minnows; none of these nine subspecies of the Black Bass will pass up on any of these live baits. It’s best to switch it up and test all kinds of baits to see what is working for you.


This bait is best in the eyes of many anglers as bass love to eat them. You can get them at most local bait shops, but make sure that they are kept in a well-aerated tank and look healthy before purchasing.

You can hook shiners through the tail end of the fish or the lips as you would a minnow. Fishing with shiners can be up to the angler as there are and have been so many learned techniques over the years. The concept is relatively the same across the board. Get the shiner in front of the bass!


As with crayfish Shad is best collected at night with lights and nets, but most prefer to buy what they need for the next day.

Shad is arguably the best live bait for more open water fishing, so don’t plan on a day of largemouth angling with just these in hand. Fishing with shad is best known to be paired with an egg sinker that will keep the bait a few feet off the bottom of the lake or river and let the bass do the rest.


The significant part about fishing with worms is they are easy to find, especially during the rainy months. They like to surface as the ground becomes too saturated.

You can also pick a few dozen for a low price at the bait shop. Hook your worm through the hook a couple of times to make sure it doesn’t wiggle off. With a little weight and a bobber, you’ll have one of the basses’ favorite things right in front of them. 


Fishing with minnows is as simple as live bait fishing can get. Place an appropriate size hook straight through their lower lip and into the upper one. Then attach a small split shot weight near the hook. Place a bobber a few feet above the bait, cast it out into bass territory, and wait for your fist hook set. Simple enough.


These tiny entrées for bass are freshwater lobster, and the bass can’t say no to them. Some bass species live on mostly crayfish and certainly won’t turn one away.

You can fish for your crayfish at night by using a net and a flashlight. After collecting what you need, put them in a small cooler and save them for the next day.

Fishing with crayfish is as simple as piercing them through the tail with an appropriate-sized hook. Then cast the bait over rock piles, near docks, or downed trees where you know the bass should be.

Remember to keep your bait in well-aerated water even when in a cooler on the boat or the shore. Also, when fishing with live bait, they tend to outweigh the artificial bait, so make sure to use a beefier pole such as a seven-foot medium action.

Also, you need to use a line that’s a bit stronger than you may be used to. A twenty to thirty-pound test is a great place to start. Having the best rod will also help. When fishing with live bait, remember to check on your bait from time to time to make sure it is still alive.