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Best Bait for Fishing in Lakes

Best Bait for Fishing in Lakes

Lake fishing is easily one of the best and most accessible outdoor sports. And people love lake fishing. Almost anyone – regardless of fitness level, age, and income level – can enjoy this activity. Do you know that fishing is good for your overall health too? Although it might sound like an excuse a guy will make to his wife in order to let him skip something very important to go chase trout on a Sunday, it is a valid claim. Fishing is a healthy activity. So, it is not just a popular recreational activity; fishing also contributes to your mental and physical well-being.

However, every fisherman, whether amateur or professional, needs good fishing bait for lakes in particular. Some examples of excellent natural freshwater baits include leeches, worms, minnows, crickets, crayfish, and grasshoppers. 

Different kinds of fishing baits have their unique benefits. For example, live bait fishing has several advantages. You will fish with what the fish are feeding on, which is great. Fish like to consume natural bait, whether it is insects, worms, or minnows.

When going lake fishing, you should keep in mind that certain fishing baits that tend to perform incredibly well in some water bodies, such as lakes. This reason is why we will look at baits that perform well when fishing in lakes.


Top Baits for Lake Fishing

One of the best parts of lake fishing is that you can use a variety of baits. For example, fishing in a lake with something like minnows can allow you to catch many different lake species. Note that there are several different types of fish that like to feed on smaller minnows, which makes this the perfect bait for lake fishing.

Remember that sometimes, live bait can get a little nasty, but anything for more fish, right? This is because aggressive fish species love to attack squirming insects. So, if your target fish species refuse to hit a soft plastic, you should consider a natural change in tactics.

lake fishing baits

The following are some of the best baits for lake fishing.


Do you know that leeches are ideal live freshwater bait for species, such as walleye and northern pike? They are also easily available at bait shops. And that is not all as Smallmouth bass love leeches as well. This is why anglers catch tons of bass and walleye on a yearly basis, in shallow and deep waters from spring through fall on leeches. Leeches tend to swim much better as the water warms above fifty degrees.  

You should hook the leeches through the sucker in the tail when fishing in the lake. While leeches have suckers at both ends, note that the tail sucker disk is much bigger than the head disk.

And if you are looking for great catfish bait, then you should look no further than leeches. They are great and will do the job. For some reason, catfish love to eat them, which makes them ideal catfish bait!

When using leeches as live fishing bait, you should follow this simple rule of thumb. Never fish them faster than they can swim naturally. This is because the main attraction is their swimming motion.

You can find leeches in various types of farm ponds, lakes, and streams as well. Leeches are also easy to keep alive since they are not as sensitive to temperature fluctuations as minnows are. Plus, they require relatively less oxygen.


Most fish usually like bugs and insects the way kids love candy. Fish cannot resist these 6-legged temptations and their larvae. Beetles, ants, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and crickets are great to use as live freshwater bait for catching sunfish, panfish, and trout.

The great thing is that many bait insects and bugs are actually free for the taking, provided you invest some time to catch them. However, do not be surprised if your bait collecting activities are as memorable as fishing itself. Gathering bait can be an adventure in itself. Do you know that ants presented on a fly attract brown trout? Large trout and smallmouths like immature versions of stoneflies, mayflies, caddis, dobsonfly larvae, and hellgrammites.

Dough Balls

While the name may sound fancy, dough balls are simply prepared fishing bait. You can find commercially made dough balls conveniently, but you can also make them at home. They are available in cans, labeled for specific fish, like panfish, trout, and catfish. With enough experimentation, you will likely find that plenty of different fish eat dough balls.

You will also find that different anglers tend to use a variety of flavors. They may alternate between a couple of different recipes.

When fishing in a lake, you can mold them easily all the way around your fishing hook, including the barb. You can also use it on treble hooks with a bait holder attachment.


One of the main facts of life in the marine world is that big fish eat small fish. Bass, pike, stripers, catfish, crappies, walleyes, rock bass, white bass, trout, and pickerel are notorious in the aquatic world for their fish-gobbling tastes. And that is not all; even fish like redbreasts and bluegills will grab minnows sometimes and this makes them ideal bait. Minnows are baby fish and excellent all-around freshwater bait.

You can find minnows at bait and tackle shops in your area, or you may catch your own if it is legal in your area. Also, note that minnows come in many different sizes. You can use larger 'shiners' for pike and bass fishing.