When deciding which bait to choose for fishing, there are a few tips to produce the most bites. In general, fishing enthusiasts can find most live bait in the same waters they choose to fish. However, if you want to go straight for the jugular, live bait, such as shrimp or croaker, can be purchased from local bait and tackle shops. Marker 37 bait-house manager Ayden Smith breaks down the most common types of live bait and artificial lures Marker 37 provides.
According to Smith, this time of year is when guides tend to use croaker and shrimp for inshore fishing, attracting the likes of trout, flounder and redfish. “Typically the pros know how to use croaker properly, and the laymen [fishers] use shrimp. Guides usually switch [to live bait] in the summertime. They use five-gallon buckets of the same water we use in our tanks, so the water follows the fish on the boat,” said Smith. “When you throw croaker, you’ll want to use a chatter weight. Throw it out and let it swim, and when you feel it stop, you just twitch it to make it start swimming again.”
Shrimp are among the most common live bait, because nearly every fish species eats them. However, if you want to fish like the pros, Smith says juvenile croaker is the choice for catching trophy fish like trout and redfish. Marker 37 offers a wide selection of live bait and artificial lures, including ribbonfish and offshore trolling lures, which are best for catching kingfish.
Lures come in various shapes and sizes, each uniquely designed to catch a wide variety of fish species. Some of the most common include spoon, soft plastic and topwater lures.
Spoon lures were originally actual spoons with the handles cut off. Now they have evolved to a much more efficient concave shape, which makes them glimmer through the water to resemble injured bait fish.
Soft plastic lures
Soft plastic lures are small rubber baits resembling various sea critters, from worms to minnows, to help anglers fish effectively without using live bait. The color of soft plastics should blend in with the natural surroundings.
Topwater lures mean the lure floats on top of the water, allowing anglers to work with a twitching action to make it walk on top of the water. Smith recommends using this lure in the early morning, as redfish and trout love to bite this bait when the sun is coming up.
Local Bait & Tackle Stands
133317 S. Padre Island Dr • 361-949-4750
7613 S. Padre Island Dr • 361-992-2960
1902-A S. Padre Island Dr • 361-334-2171
10557 S. Padre Island Dr • 361-353-4599
11645 S. Padre Island Dr • 361-939-7513
13304 S. Padre Island Dr • 361-949-8845