It's a peculiar proposition: You walk into the tackle shop and walk out with something living, or that was once living. Or something rubbery and artificial that smells like it died a while ago.
Buying bait is one of those aspects of fishing that can seem intimidating or mysterious to the casual fishermen. This week on The Fishing News, Kevin Blinkoff of On The Water magazine explains some of the more popular bait choices. There's squid, if you're bottom fishing for species like fluke, sea bass, and scup. There's chunk bait, if you're aiming to be patient and hoping for big stripers or blues. And there's that old fallback for when you can't get to the tackleshop before it closes: artificial bait.
We didn't have time in The Fishing News to touch on all the types of bait, so I'll mention a couple of others here, with links to earlier conversations. Sea worms are mostly used these days if you're fishing with tube-and-worm tackle. Eels can be a great option if you're looking for bigger bass, but they can be tricky. And green crabs are the go-to bait for tautog, which is typically an early spring and fall target.
Also, be sure to check out this video of a striper fisherman off Chatham inadvertently providing bait to a great white - the shark rises up to snatch the fish just as the angler gets it near the boat.
And of course, also in this week's Fishing News, we round up the local action, including the hot bluefin tuna bite. It's all in the audio below. Give it a listen.