Fishing Bait and Lures Chart for 250 Game Fish Species

The following chart provides recommended baits and lures for over 250 fresh and saltwater game fish species. Recommendations are based on input from recreational anglers and professional charter companies. (Disclaimer: Before using any of the baits or lures listed on this page check state fishing ordinances for bait and lure regulations in the area you’ll be fishing.)

Fish speciesBaitLures
African Pompano Sardines, Herring, Pilchard, Sand Fleas, Fiddler crabs, Shrimp, Slugs, Clams, Cut squid, Goggle eyesBanana jigs, Pompano feather jigs, Bucktail Jigs, DOA shrimp, Soft-plastic shat tails, Pompano flies
Albacore Preferred baits include anchovies and sardines. Mackerel, jacksmelt, topsmelt, herring, squid, threadfin herring, menhaden/pogies, blue runners/hardtails, and mullet.Small jigs (albacore trolling feathers), Venerable cedar plugs. Swimming plugs with contrast colors work the best. Preferred colors: black/purple, Mexican flag and zucchini work the best.
Alewife Cured fish roe, minnows (often caught with cast or dip net)Flies, spoons, jigs, sabiki rig, small lures
Alligator Gar Live bait (Shiners, Suckers, Perch), Cut bait (carp, gizzard shad, mullet)Crankbaits, Topwater plugs (with treble hooks), Spoons, Jibs
Almaco Jack Shrimp, squid, live bait, cut baitSquid tail jigs, spoons, plugs
American Eel Nightcrawler, dead minnow, maggots, insect larvae, herring, shiners, chicken liver(artifical lures not recommended)
American Shad Small worms, minnows and grubsBest to use small, artificial lures including jigs, spinners, flutter spoons. Chucking lures and shad darts. Attracted to shiny or brightly colored lures.
Apache Trout Cured fish roe (salmon eggs), minnows, worms, insects,Larger wet flies (wooly buggers, wooly worms, streamers, and muddler minnows). Spinner baits, spoons, lures in colors purple, black, brown, and green work best.
Arctic Char Cut bait, freshwater live bait, saltwater live bait, cavier (many anglers recommend boiled salmon cavier)Spoons, spinners, flies, plugs
Arctic Grayling Insects (primarily use flies)Dry flies (Royal Wulff's, Yellow Humpies, Chartreuse Trudes) and imitators (Mosquito's, Black Gnats, Elk-wing caddis), wet flies (Wooly Buggers, Prince nymphs, Gold-ribbed Hare's Ears), Lures (Mepps Spinners, Roostertails)
Atlantic Angel Shark Crabs, shrimp, live saltwater bait, squid, herring, croakers, sardines, and perch (that are fastened to the hook by the tails or fins.)Saltwater jigs, bottom bouncers.
Atlantic Angelfish Clams, mussels, cut bait, squid, jellyfish, chumFlies
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Herring, squid, mackerel, herring, or skipjack. Cut bait. Saltwater live bait.Artificial squid, jigs, trolling with artificial lures using spoons, plugs, or feathers
Atlantic Bonito Mackerel, menhaden, silversides, pilchards, alewives, threadfins, squid. Cut bait. Saltwater live bait.Plugs, spoons, trolling lures, feather lures (typically preferred)
Atlantic Chub Mackerel Sand eels, sea worms, cut bait (strips of squid or fish). Live anchovies (very effective)Jerk bait, soft lures, artificial sandworms
Atlantic Cod Clams, saltwater live bait. Cut bait (squid, fish, crabs, sand eels). Lugworms and peeler crabs.Jigs (chrome diamond jigs), spinners, spoons, bucktails, and shiny metal squids
Atlantic Croaker Shrimp, nightcrawlers, clams, cut bait, squid, shedder crabs, bloodworms, peeler crabs, soft crabs.(Shrimp and squid typically being first choice).Jigs, spoons, synthetic blood worms
Atlantic Cutlassfish Shrimp, Strips of squid, Cut bait, Small live fishArtificial lures that imitate small fish
Atlantic Halibut Squid, worms, clam necks, eel, mussels, minnows. Cut bait.Small, flashy metal lures/jigs. Spoons. Spinners.
Atlantic Mackerel Clams, cut bait, saltwater live bait, crabs, shrimp, squid, mollusks. Jellyfish is most commonly first pick, Cannonball jellyfish is typically the best.Jigs, spoons, plugs, flies
Atlantic Salmon Cured fish roe, Live bait (minnows, worms, shrimp), Hoochies, Spinner baitsFlies, Plugs, Spoons, Jigs, Spinner baits, Streamers
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark Live or cut bait fish (squid, mullet, tuna, shrimp, mackerel, etc.), clams, mollusksPrefer bait
Atlantic Spadefish Small slices of clams; dead shrimp; jellyfishPrefer bait
Atlantic Sturgeon Crab, saltwater live bait, cut bait, stink bait, craw fish, mollusks, night crawlers. Sturgeon hate the smell of Pike meat.Plugs, spinner baits, flies, spoons,
Atlantic Torpedo Ray Live medium size fish (herring, mackerel, squid)Prefer live bait
Banded Rudderfish Live bait preferred. Shrimp, Squid, Cut fishJigs tipped with strips of squid, shiny spoons
Bar Jack Live shrimp, Small live baitfishSmall jigs, shinny spoons
Barndoor Skate Cut bait (mackerel, herring), Crabs, Shellfish, Ragworms, SquidPrefer bait
Bigeye Trevally Cut bait, saltwater live baits, squid, shrimp, small cubes of pilchard, skipjack,Jigs, soft plastics, flies, plug, spoons, trolling lures. Large surface lures like poppers and stickbaits
Bigeye Tuna Cut bait, saltwater live bait, squid, rigged mullet, herring, or skipjack. Live bait it most preferred.Trolling lures, jigs. Skirted lures, like Bullets, Christmas Trees and Jet Heads. Deep diving plugs.
Bigmouth Buffalo Grasshoppers, Crickets, Red worms, Night crawlers, Whole-kernel corn, Dough ballsJigs tipped with bait
Black Bullhead Night crawlers, Shad, Shiners, Minnows, Hotdogs, Dough balls, Cut bait, Chicken liver, Angel Worms, Bacon (prefer dead bait)Jig tipped with a worm, Scented wooly bugger, Boilies, Tiger nuts
Black Crappie Small live minnows, Worms, Insects, Small crawfishPlastic jigs, Lead jig heads, Curly tail grub bait, Small spinners, Beetle spinners, Plugs, Swimbaits
Black Drum Clams, cut bait, saltwater live bait, crab, shrimp, squid, mussels, blood worms. (Crab and shrimp typically preferred)Trolling spoons, casting jigs. Typically caught using live bait.
Black Grouper squid, chub mackerel, sardine, white crab, octopus pieces, shrimp, cut bait, saltwater live baitJigs (typically vertical jigs), jerk bait, large deep diving plugs
Black Marlin Tuna—yellowfin, blackfin or bonito typcially are best. Whole baits (mackerel, bonito, flying fish, squid and others).Trolling lures, skipping baits, large skirted marlin lures, rubber skirted lures
Black Sea Bass Crabs, shrimp, cut bait, saltwater live bait. Squid is the most popular bait because it is easy to find, inexpensive, and can be trimmed to strips. Clams, crabs, mussels, bloodworms, and sandworms.Leadhead jigs or bucktail jigs, which can be tipped with natural bait, soft-plastic trailers, or scented artificial bait. Stick bait. Spinnerbait. Crankbait. Tube bait. Curl tail grub. Lipless crank bait. Finesse worms. Swimbait. Jerk bait,
Black Skipjack Cut bait, saltwater live bait, squid.Jigs, flies, plugs, spoons, trolling lures, feathers.
Blackfin Tuna Cut bait, saltwater live bait, squid. Live bait is best (sardine, herring, goggle eye or pilchard).Plugs, spoons, trolling lures (small feathers, cedar plugs and ballyhoo rigs), jigs. Tuna worms (also known as a sand eel).
Blacknose Shark Live or cut bait fish (mackerel, bluefish, etc)Prefer bait
Blacktip Shark Cut bait (squid, mackerel, barracuda)Use lures with chum, Topwater plugs, Jigs, Underwater plugs, Large streamers
Blue Catfish Shad, Herring, Suckers, Cut bait, Chicken liver, Hotdogs (alternatives: blue gill, drum, perch)Scented lures, Crankbaits, Worm lures, Chatterbaits, Soft plastic crawfish
Blue Marlin Squid, blackfin tuna, bonito and skipjack. Ballyhoo and Halfbeaks. Dolphin, mullet, mackerel, bonefish, ballyhoo, flying fish and squid.Rubber skirted lures for trolling
Blue Runner Shrimp, crab, squid. Blue Runner is mainly caught to be used as bait.Small jigs, spoons. trolling lures.
Blue Shark Create chum slick using cut mackerel, herring, sardines, squid. Fish cut bait in chum slick. Whole or cut pogy, herring, mackerel, garfish, whiting, or other bottom fish.Use live or cut bait
Blueback Herring Prawn, pilchard, whitebait, shad, shrimp, fish eggs, herringHard-plastic jerkbaits or soft-plastic baits
Bluefin Trevally Small cubes of pilchard, skipjack, sardines, anchovies, small mackerel, crabs, shrimp and squid. Cut bait, saltwater live bait.Soft plastics, metals, vibes, divers, surface lures and flies
Bluefin Tuna Cut bait, saltwater live bait, mackerel, herring, mullet, or squid. Menhaden/pogies, and blue runners/hardtails.Trolling lures including spoons, plugs, or feathers. Jigs.
Bluefish Squid, saltwater live bait,eel, cut bait, finger mullet, small fish, Menhaden, MackerelPlugs, lures, feathers, spins, spoons, jigs
Bluegill Night crawlers, Worms, Grubs, Insects, Small minnowsFlies, Jigs, Inline spinners, Spinnerbaits, Spoons
Blueline Tilefish Squid, sea clam, crab, herring, clams, mussels, and cut baitOctopus style jigs
Bluntnose Stingray Clams, Marine Worms, Crabs, Small fish, ShrimpPrefer bait
Bonefish Live shrimp, cut shrimp, crabSkimmer jig
Bonnethead Shark Live salwater bait is best, Blue crab meat, Shrimp. Anchovies, Minnows, ScadArtificial shrimp rigged on a jig head
Bowfin Night crawlers, Minnows, Shiners, Suckerfish, Crawfish, Cut bait, Frogs, Salamanders, StinkbaitSpinnerbaits, Crankbait, Spinners, Soft plastics, Creature baits, Plastic worms, Large streamers
Brook Trout Cured fish roe, Earthworms, Mayflies, Fly larvae, Waxworms, Grasshoppers, Crickets, InsectsSpinners, Spoons, Jigs, Flies, Streamers
Broomtail Grouper Crabs, shrimp, squid, cut bait, saltwater live bait, any local large bait fish. * live fish is best.Large jigs, soft plastics, trolling plugs, spinners
Brown Bullhead Night crawlers, Angles worms, Cut bait, Bread, Dough balls, Leeches, Minnows (dead or alive), Chicken livers, HotdogsBaited jigs
Brown Trout Night crawlers, Earth worms, Grubs, Larvae, Waxworms, Crickets, Grasshoppers, MayfliesFlies, Streamers, Spinners (e.g. Roostertail), Spoons, Jigs
Bull Shark Cut bait (fresh water eel, mullet, stingray, amberjack, jack crevalle)Prefer bait for targeting Bull Sharks
Bull Trout Small bait fish, Cured fish roe, Salmon eggs, Night crawlers, Worms, Larvae, Insects,Jigs, Spooners, Spinners, Crankbaits (minnow), Streamer type flies
Burbot Cut bait (herring, whitefish, suckers, shinners, squit, smelt is best), Worms, Cure fish roe (Salmon eggs), Chicken liverGlow lures, Grub jigs, Tube jigs, Jigging spoons (tipped with a live minnow)
Butterfly Peacock Bass Minnows, Shinners (live bait best)Jigs, Crankbaits, Minnow plugs, Topwater plugs, Jerkbaits, Propeller lures, Bucktail jigs, Poppers, Large Streamers, Walkers
California Corbina Clams, cut bait, shrimp, crabs, saltwater live bait, squid, mussels, pileworms and ghost shrimpSmall patterned flies or tiny plastic grubs, but fresh bait is typically preferred.
California Halibut Live anchovies, shrimp, or queenfish. Clams, cutbait, saltwater live bait, crabs, squid, smelt, sardines,Jigs, metal jigs and plastic grub bodies, swimbait
California Yellowtail Crab, saltwater live bait, cut bait, shrimp, squid, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, whitefish filletsFlies, spoons, jigs,
Cero Mackerel Cut bait, saltwater live bait, shrimp, squid, pilchard, ballyhoo,Jigs, spoons, trolling lures, flies, plugs, typically small lures work the best. Hard-body lures like metal spoons and plastic plugs do the best job.
Chain Pickerel Chubs, Shiners, Suckers, MinnowsThin-minnow lures, Spoons, Spinners, Swimbait, Spinner baits, Soft plastics, Jigs, Plastic worms
Channel Catfish Worms, Minnows, Shrimp, Hotdogs, Chicken liver, Stink bait (bait most effective), Dough balls, Cut baitJigs, Crankbaits, Spoons, Scented lures
Chum Salmon ShrimpJigs (with shrim attached), Plain jig, Hoochies, Spoons, Spinners, Flies, Streamers
Clearnose Skate Cut baits (anything that puts off a scent)Prefer bait
Cobia Squid, crabs, small live baits, cut baits, and strip baits, shrimp, saltwater live bait, Pinfish, Marsh minnows, Cigar minnows and Spanish sardines, Ribbonfish, Menhaden, Eel, CatfishSpoons, plugs, and weighted feathers. Trolling lures, Bucktail jigs, Eel lures
Coho Salmon Minnows, Cured fish roe, Night crawlers, WaxwormsSpinners, Plugs, Spoons, Jigs, Tube jigs, Streamers, Flies (minnow patterns or wooly buggers)
Common Carp Sweet corn, Boilies, Bread, Dough ballsFlies
Conger Whole live fish (mackerel, whiting, pounting), cut bait (squid, herring, pilchards), crab, lobsterPrefer bait
Crevalle Jack Mullet, herring, or pilchards (sardines), crabs, pinfish, shrimp, grunts, pogiesHeavy silver spoon or soft plastic that looks like herring or sardine. Plastic minnows.Poppers, plugs, bucktail jigs.
Cubera Snapper Whole live baits, cut baits, crustaceans, lobster, blue crab, skipjack tuna, squid, shrimp, saltwater live bait, (lobster and blue crab typically being the best).Spoons, iron/larger metal jigs, typically attracted with lures with light/natural colours, darker silhouette colours and fluoro colours.
Cunner Sea worms, grass shrimp, squid strips, clam bits, canned corn kernels, grubs, mussels, and meal worms, insects.Small jigs and teasers. (bait works best)
Cutthrout Trout Night crawlers, Insects, Cured fish roe, Salmon eggsFlies, Spoons, Spinners, Streamers, Rooster tail lures
Dog Snapper Crustaceans, lobster, shrimp, skipjack tuna, crab, squid, mollusks. Small schooling fish such as croakers, grunts, and wrasses.Jigs, flies, spoons, feathers, plugs.
Dogtooth Tuna Bonito, Skipjack, and Rainbow Runner are the preferred bait. Squid, herring, mackerel, whiting, cuttlefish, mullet, and sandeel.Jigs, trolling lures (rapala type), stick-baits, poppers, feathers, plugs, spoons, and plastic lures.
Dolly Varden Cured fish roe (Salmon eggs), Worms, Cut bait (fish), Insect larvaeSmall silver spinners, Spoons, Streamers
Dolphinfish Flying fish, mullet, ballyhoo, squid - Ballyhoo and squid being the best to chunk. Pilchards, cigar minnowsBucktail jigs, spoons, plugs, bubblers, bullet head trolling lures, diving plugs, soft plastic jigs, lipped plugs
Escolar Shrimp, squid, cut bait, small live bait. Usually caught bycatch when fishing for tuna.Bobbers, floats. Usually not intentionally caught.
False Albacore Top bait is typically live Bluefish and Pinfish. Shrimp, squid, bay anchovies, peanut bunker, and butterfish.Jigs, flies, plugs, spoons.
Flathead Catfish Shiners, Shad, Perch, Goldfish, Crawfish, Night crawlers, Cut bait (prefer live bait)Scented soft plastics, Swimbaits
Florida Gar Minnows, Shiners, Gizzard shad, Cut baitSpinners, Spoons
Florida Pompano Live bait, typically worms or mollusks, work best. Shrimp, cut squid, sand crab, fiddler crabBrightly colored jigs, spinners. Bonefish-type flies that sink well—those with epoxy heads or lead eyes typically work best.
Flounder Best live baits are typically croaker, mullet, pinfish or menhaden. Strip bait (bluefish, squid or the belly of a gray trout or croaker). Sardines. Shrimp.Swimming mullets, spinnerbaits, soft plastics, poppers.
Four-Spot Flounder Baits including strips of squid and bucktails typically work best. Crabs, shrimps, mollusks, worms, smaller flounder, sardines, shad, mullet, and mud minnows.Spoons, jigs, bucktail jigs, spinnerbait, soft plastic curly-tail jigs.
Freshwater Drum Minnows, Shiners, Freshwater shrimp, Crayfish, Shad, Red worms, Crickets, Cut baitJerkbaits, Crankbaits, Spinners
Gafftopsail Catfish Small sand crabs, fiddler crabs, live shrimps, crayfish, squid, prawns, worms, mullet, sand eel.Jigs, spoons, plugs, soft plastic baits, spinnerbaits, artificial worms.
Gag Grouper Live bait (pinfish and mullet). Cut bait (squid, crabs, and octopus), shrimp, threadfins, pilchards, sardines.Jigs, plugs, big swimbaits, soft-plastic jerkbaits, imitator shrimp. Best colors include gold, bone, silver, and pearl white draw more bites.
Giant Trevally Live fish, mullet, herring, garfish, anchovies, cut/strip bait, sauri, fresh octopus, squid.Jet head, feathers, jigs, spoons, flies, plugs, soft plastics, poppers.
Golden Shiner Oatmeal, bread balls, minnows, insects, small pieces of worms.Flies, jigs.
Golden Tilefish Whole squid. Fresh cut strip baits (bonita, barracuda, ballyhoo or mahi belly). Shrimp, crabs, sea clams, herring.Jigs, glow in the dark artificial squid.
Golden Trout Cured fish roe, Salmon eggs, Night crawlers, Mealworms, CricketsFlies, Spoons, Spinners, Jigs
Grass Carp Cherry tomatoes, Sweet corn, Lima beans, Earth worms, Dog foodFlies (especially wet flies)
Gray Snapper Live small fish (pilchards, sardines, cigar minnows, pin fish and grunts), live shrimp, cut bait (squid, crab, fish). Frozen sardines. Minnow.Surface plugs, popping flies, small shrimp flies, jigs, streamers. Small gold or silver spoons. Soft plastic jerk bait and plastic shrimp.
Gray Triggerfish Stris of squid, frozen sardines, clams, oysters, octopusPrefer bait
Great Barracuda Mackerel, small bonito, sardines. Clams, mussels, shrimp, squid. Ballyhoo.Flies, plugs, spinnerbait, jigs, spoons. Lures that are shiny. Trolling lures.
Great Hammerhead Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel. Chum (sardines and anchovies). Jack, squid and other live, oily fish. pilchard, flatfish. wing strips of stingray.Trolling lures.
Greater Amberjack Cigar Minnows, Sardines, Mullets, Blue Runners, and Menhaden. Squid, crabs, shrimp, octopi.Plugs, spoons, jigs.
Green Sunfish Minnows, Worms, Meal worms, Night crawlers, Crickets, Insects, Waxworms, Blood worms, Semolina balls, Corn, Bread ballsJigs, Flies, Small spinners, Spoons, Spinnerbaits
Hammerhead Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel, cut bait, chummingPrefer bait
Hickory Shad Curl tail grub, shad darts, squid, minnows, worms.Small lures including jigs, spinners, spoons typically work the best. Shiny or brightly colored lures. Flies. Spinnerbait. Small darts. Bright colored lures typically are preferred. Lures that mimics sand eels, bay anchovies, peanut bunker.
Hogfish Small shrimp and/or sand fleasSmall baited jigs
Horse-Eye Jack Mullet, pinfish, crabs, shrimp, squid, shellfish.Jigs, spoons, flies, plugs, crankbaits. Moving jigs, noisy surface plugs, surface swimming plugs, or shiny spoons (casted or trolled).
Inconnu Typically not fished with natural bait.Typically gold or silver spoons. Jigs. Rubber tailed jigs. Inconnu are usually fished with silver spoons and other lures that imitate small fish.
Inshore Lizardfish Small crabs, shrimp, small cut bait, and invertebrates (live or dead)Prefer bait
Kelp Bass Live bait (anchoivies, smelt), cut bait (anchovy, mackerel, squid), bloodworms, mussels, ghost shrimpSwimbaits
King Mackerel Sardines, blue runners, mullet, smaller mackerels, pilchards, menhadenTrolling shiny spoons, big lipped diving lures
King (Chinook) Salmon Cured fish roe, Sand shrimp, Minnows, Scrub worms, Cute bait (sardines, herring anchoy, albacore belly)Jigs, Hoochies, Spoons, Streamers, Trolling plugs
Kokanee SalmonCured fish roe (Salmon eggs), Worms, White Shoepeg Corn, Maggots, Small shrimpJigs, Hoochies, Dodgers, Hoochie below a dodger, Spoons, Spinners, Squid baits, Artificial maggots
Ladyfish Live bait including shrimp and small bait fish/minnowsJigs, silver spoons, plugs
Lake Trout Minnows, Night crawlers, Salmon eggs, Large suckers, Gold shiners, Small baitfishBucktail jigs, Spoons, Soft paddle swimbait, Streamers, Swimbait, Flies, Jigs
Lake Whitefish Cure fish roe, Waxworms, Maggots (use small bait)Jigging spoons, Jigging minnow, Spoons, Inline spinners
Largemouth Bass Shad, Minnows, Shiners, Worms, Crayfish, Frogs, InsectsCrankbaits, Jigs, Plastic worms, Swimbaits, Spinner baits, Creature baits, Buzzbaits, Topwater lures, Tube baits, Jerkbaits
Leather Jacket Small oily bait fish. Shrimp, clams, stripy tuna, mussels, prawns, squid, pilchards, mullet. Soft bait balls using peeled mussels, prawns, worms, or strips of fish flesh.(not typically taken with lures)
Lemon Shark Mackerel, bonito, jack crevalle, amberjack, cut baitFlies
Lesser Amberjack Live bait (preferre). Shrimp, squid, mullets, spinach fish, cigar minnows, herring, goggle-eyed mackerel.Trolling lures, spoons, plugs, jigs.
Lingcod Cute bait (squid, hake, herring, octopus, other fish)Jigs (leadhead preferred), swimbaits (typically large),
Little Tunny Mullets, ballyhoos, pinfish, or bluefish. Shrimp, squid, scaled sardine, and pilchard. Mackerel, herring, blue runners, bonito.Flies, spoons, plugs, jigs, trolling lures, feathers, spreader bar.
Longbill Spearfish Cut bait (dolphin fish), bonito, squid, needlefish, pilotfish, and flying fish (illegal to target these fish)Trolling lures. (Note: this is protected species and should be released upon capture.)
Longnose Gar Live bait (Minnows, Shiners, Goldfish, Perch), Cut baitCrankbait (shallow running), Baitfish-imitation plugs, Jigs, Rope lure
Lookdown Anchovies, minnows, small shrimp, crabs (prefer live bait - often ignore dead bait)Small streamer flies, small crappie jigs, tiny plugs
Mako Shark Live or fresh dead bait including bonito, mackerel, small whole tuna, squid, or salmonPrefer bait
Mangrove Snapper Pilchards (typically first choice). Live/frozen shrimp. Small pinfish. Frozen ballyhoo. Crabs, squid, cigar minnows, and grunts.Small, gold/silver spoons. Flies. Jigs. Jigs that immitate shrimp.
Mirror Carp Sweetcorn, bread, worms, maggots, potatoes, fish eggs, musselsPrefer bait
Mountain Whitefish Cure fish roe (Salmon eggs), Mealworms, Maggots, Earth worms, Stonefly nymphs, Caddisfly larvae, GrasshoppersFlies (and flies tipped with small waxworms), Jigs, Spoons
Muskellunge Minnows, Suckers, Perch, Cisco (artificial lures work better)Bucktails, Glide baits, Topwater plugs, Swimbaits, Crankbaits, Jigs, Soft plastics
Mutton Snapper Pilchards, goggle eye, speedo mackerel, thread herring, squid, ballyhoo, crabs and shrimp.Jigs, ballyhoo plugs, flies, jigs, trolling lures.
Northern Kingfish Clams, mollusks, bloodworms, small pieces of cut squidPrefer bait
Northern Pike Minnows, Suckers, Ciscos, Shad, Perch (artificial lures work better)Spoons, Inline spinners, Large streamers, Swimbaits, Crankbaits
Northern Pikeminnow Worms, crickets, chicken liver, cheeseLipless crank baits, diving crank baits,
Northern Searobin Shrimp, peeler crabs, squid, small fish, bivalves, cut bait (peeler crab, bunker, mackerel, clam, squid)Jigs
Northern Snakehead Minnows, golden shinersSpinnerbaits, plastic worms, jigs, topwater lures
Northern Stargazer Cut fish bait, strips of squid, pieces of peeler crabPrefer bait
Nurse Shark Live or dead baitfish, cut fish, shrimp, squidPrefer bait
Ocean Triggerfish Small pieces of cut bait, clams, shrimp, or squidPrefer bait
Oceanic Whitetip Shark Whole mackerel or blue fish, cut fish bait; chumming requiredPrefer bait
Oyster Toadfish Pieces of squid, bloodworms, clams, and cut up peeler crab on bottom rigsPrefer bait
Pacific Bonito Live anchovies, small sardines, pilchards, silversides, squide or threadfinsBonito feather, Shiny spoons, Jigs, Small bucktail jigs, Minnow lures
Pacific Cod Whole or cut up: crabs, squid, capelin, eels, and smaller fish bait. Fresh clams, mussels, herring, clam worms, sand worms, shrimp, octupus.Jigs, flies, spoons, tube jigs, diamond jigs.
Pacific Crevalle Jack Crab, shrimp, squid. Large live baits such as mullet, herring, or pilchards (sardines).Flies, jigs, plugs, soft plastic baits, spoons, spinners. jigging spoons. Most bites occur at first light. Heavy silver spoons or soft plastics that looks like herring or sardine typically work the best.
Pacific Halibut Salmon bellies, salmon heads, squid, octupus, herring, pollock, pink salmon.Artificial squid, jigs, mooching slider, swim tail jigs, fluke ball jig
Pacific Sierra Mackerel Shiny silver baitfish like a sardine, shrimp, squid, and anchoviesShiny lures, flies with flashy streamers, jigs, plugs, skirted hoochies, small poppers, trolling lures.
Paddlefish *live bait not usedSnag hooks (large treble hooks)
Palometa Small pieces of cut bait, clams, shrimp, or squidSmall artificial lures
Permit Live crabs, shrimpPrefer bait
Pigfish Small cut bait or shrimpPrefer bait
Pink Salmon Cured fish roe (Salmon eggs), Sand shrimpFlies, Spoons, Plugs, Spinnerbaits, Spawn bag, Trout beads, Jigs (Marabou jigs, Squid jigs), Plastic worms, Spin-n-glo, Minnow lures, Snelled octopus hook with a tuft of pink yarn
Pollock Sea worms, bloodworms, clams, pieces of cut fish or squidNorwegian type jigs (tipped with pieces of squid)
Pumpkinseed Sunfish Minnows, Worms, Insects, CricketsFlies, jigs, small spinners
Rainbow Runner Live bait including small fish or shrimpFeathered jigs, shiny spoons
Rainbow Trout Powerbait, Insects, Cured fish roe, Worms, Night crawlers, Salmon eggs, Nypmphs, Kernel cornFlies, Spinners, Roostertail spinners, Spoons, Jibs, Streamer, Plugs
Red Drum Croakers, menhaden, spot, pinfish, cut mullet and small scaled sardines, shrimp, crabs, and blood worms.Silver spoon, jigs, spoons, flies, plugs, grub & jig.
Red Grouper Sardines, squid, squirrelfish, octopus, crab, lobsters, mantis shrimp. Live pinfish.Baits and jigs (typically along the bottom using a bouncing technique). Jerkbait. Crankbait.
Red Hake Clams, strips of squid, cut pieces of fishPrefer bait
Red Porgy Pieces of cut fish, strips of squidPrefer bait
Red Snapper Ballyhoo, squid, cigar minnows. Bonita strips/cut bait. Fresh mackerel, fresh kahawai, pilchards, squid, skipjack tuna, mullet, shellfish and crabs.Soft baits, jigs and flasher rigs
Redbreast Sunfish Worms, Crickets, Waxworms, Meal worms, Insects,Small spinners, jigs, flies, mini spoons, mini crankbait
Redear Sunfish Worms, Red worms, Meal worms, Waxworms, Small worms, LeechesJigs, Small crankbait, Flies
Redeye Bass Worms, Minnows, Gizzard shad, Crayfish, HellgrammitesSpinners (small), Topwater lures, Nymphs, Jigs, Soft plastics, Spinner baits, Spoons, Flies, Creature baits, Bucktail jigheads, Minnow baits, Roostertail
Redfin Pickerel Small minnowsSmall artificial lures that mimic bait fish or aquatic insects, small in-line spinners
Remora Small live fish or pieces of cut fishPrefer bait
Rock Bass Night crawlers, Waxworms, Hellgrammites, Small minnows, Leeches, InsectsJigs, Plugs, Spoons, Flies, Spinner bait, Streamers
Rock Hind Cut pieces of fishJigs
Round Whitefish Small snails, clams, fish eggs, scuds, small wormsBaitfish-imitation plug
Roundscale Spearfish Sardines, squid, flying fish, other medium-size fishSkirted trolling lures
Sailfish Blue runners, cigar minnows, goggle eyes, large pilchards, speedos, large sardines, squid, mackerel, herringSpoons, feathers
Sauger Minnows, Nightcrawlers, LeechesBlade baits that mimic shad and shiners, Jigs, Spoons, Plastic worms, Crankbaits, Spoons, Jigs, Spinner baits, Plugs
Saugeye Minnows, Nightcrawlers, LeechesSpinners, Spoons, Jigs, Crankbaits
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Whole bluefish, mackerel or other fish; chumming requiredPrefer bait
Scamp Grouper Cigar minnows, threadfins, croakers, grunts, scads, and sardinesPrefer bait
Scup Blood worms, strips of squid, pieces of clamJigs
Sea Bream Small pieces of shrimp, squid or clamsPrefer bait
Sea Raven Strips of squid, pieces of cut fish, clams, pieces of crabsPrefer bait
Sea Trout Mackerel strips, pin fish, live threadfin herrings, live shrimpSpinners, topwater plugs, jerk baits, spoons, plastic tail grub jigs, plastic shrimp.
Sheepshead Clams, mussels, shrimp, fiddler crabs, blue crabs, sand fleas, ghost shrimp, oysters.Artificial lures are not recommended. Stick with bait.
Shoal Bass Minnows, Worms, Leeches, Insects, CrayfishTopwaters, Small crankbaits, Plastic grubs, Creature baits, Plastic crawfish, Soft plastics, Soft plastic worms, Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits, Swimbaits
Shortbill Spearfish Mullet, squid, tuna, mackerelPrefer bait
Shortfin Mako Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel (trolling with whole squid or mackerel)Prefer bait
Shorthead Redhorse Nightcrawlers, worms, clams, shrimpMulti-colored sponges
Shortnose Gar Small bream, minnows, shinersSpoons, spinnerbaits, flies, baitfish-imitation plug
Shortnose Sturgeon Crustaceans, insects, and mollusks. Salmon eggs, stink bait, crawfish, crabs, night crawlers, lamprey.Plugs, flies, spoons, spinner baits
Silver Perch Squid, shrimp, cured fish roe, shrimps, small live yabbies, worms, aquatic insects.Plastic worms, slip bobbers, jigs, flies, plugs, spoons, soft plastics, tube jigs,
Silver RedhorseNightcrawlers, wormsFlies (Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear)
Skipjack Tuna Chum, squid, anchovies, sardinesFeathers, ballyhoo, jigs, flies, shiny metal spoons, small plastic skirts, spinners.
Smallmouth Bass Minnows, Worms, Leeches, Insects, CrayfishSoft plastics, soft plastic worms, Jigs, Soft-plastic Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits, Topwater poppers, Finesse worms, Plastic grubs, Large streamers, Crankbaits
Smallmouth Buffalo Boilies, Tiger nuts, Dough balls, Nightcrawlers, Crickets, Corn kernelsArtificial lures are not effective
Smooth Hammerhead Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel, cut bait, chummingPrefer bait
Smoothhound Squid, peeler crab, soft-backed crab, lugworms, shellfish, ragworms, mackerel, herringPrefer bait
Snook Shrimp, finger mullet, pinfish, ballyhoo, minnowsJighead with soft bait (e.g. jig with white paddle tail)
Snowy Grouper Whole squid, bonito stripes, crab, mackerel, octopus,Jigs, chicken rigs.
Sockeye (Kokanee) Salmon Cured fish roe (Salmon eggs), Sand shrimp, Minnows, Insects, Waxworms, Night crawlersFlies, Spoons, Hoochie (hoochie rig), Plugs, Spinnerbaits, Spawn bag, Small squid imitations
Southern Kingfish Small fresh shrimp (or pieces of shrimp), sand fleas, cut squid, small crabs, fishbites, gulp baitPrefer bait
Spanish Mackerel Chum, shrimp, herring, mullet, minnows, sardines, squid.Nylon jigs, feather lures, gold spoons, trolling lures, dappers, plugs.
Speckled Peacock Bass Shrimps, minnows, worms, small golden shiners (typically first choice), panfish.Spoons, poppers, streamer flies, spinners, plugs, propeller lures.
Spinner Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel, chumPrefer bait
Spiny Dogfish Strips of squid, cut pieces of fishPrefer bait
Splake Salmon eggs, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, worms, shrimp, salmon eggs.Silver spoons with colors (red, orange or chartreuse), crankbaits, plugs, flies, spinners, spoons, swimbait. Tubes and Worm Imitators.
Spot Bloodworms, squid, shrimp, peeler crab, sea clams. Fishbites (squid, crab, and clam).A double drop, bottom spot rig
Spottail Pinfish Small pieces of shrimp, bloodworm or squidPrefer bait
Spotted Bass Minnows, Crawfish, Insects, WormsJigs, Tube baits, Poppers, Soft plastics, Plastic worms, Swimbaits, Creature baits, Crankbaits, Tube baits, Spoons, Jerkbaits, Stick baits, Poppers, Large streamers
Spotted Gar Live bait (minnows, small bream, shiners, shad), Cut bait (live bait is best)Inline spinners, Rope lures, Topwaters, Baitfish imitation plugs
Spotted Hake Clams, cuts of fish, and squid strips, mussels, shrimpSpoons, flies, plugs, jigs, popping floats, slip floats, topwater lures. Jig heads with plastic trailers, grubs, or imitation shrimp. Pink/chartreuse recommended
Spotted Seatrout Live shrimp, mullet, pin fish, dead shrimp, menhaden, porkfish, and greeniesTopwater plugs, Jerkbaits, Spinner baits, Bucktail jig, Paddle tail jigs
Steelhead Cured fish roe, Worms, InsectsSpinners, Spoons, Trout beeds, Plugs, Crankbait, Spin-n-glo, Artificial trout eggs
Striped Bass Bunkers, Alewife, Eels, Blook worms, Squid, Mackerel, Sand worms, Clams, Squid, Cut baitTopwater lures, Poppers, Chuggers, Jigs, Bucktail jigs, Plugs, Spoons, Larger streamers, Flies, Umbrella rig
Striped Bass Hybrid Gizzard Shad, Shiners, Alewife, Herring, Chicken liver, Small baitfishTopwater lures and plugs, Poppers, Chuggers, Spoons, Jigs, Baited jibs, Large streamers, Stickbait, Jerkbait, Long shot bomber, Umbrella rig, Minnow shad jig, Bucktail jig, Diving crankbait
Striped Marlin Live or dead bait (mackerel, goggle-eye, herring, anchovies, sardines, etc.)Smaller skirted trolling lures
Striped Searobin Bloodworms, squid, clams, peeler crabsPrefer bait
Sturgeon Nightcrawlers, Crawfish, Shrimp, Anchovies, Cut bait (suckers, shad, etc.), Stink bait (rotting fish), Small carcasses Mollusks (clams, snails), Cured fish roe (Salmon eggs)Artificial lures and bait not effective
Summer Flounder Shrimp, crabs, smaller flounder, sardines, shad, mullet, sea worms and mud minnowsJigs and spoons. Soft Plastic Grub or Paddletail Jigs. Bucktail Jigs. Stick Baits. Shad Tails
Swordfish Squid. Tinker Mackerel. Live Blue Runner. Bullet Bonita. Spanish mackerel, eel, mullet, herring, and tuna.Artificial Stuffed Squid. Typically not fished with artificial lures.
Tarpon Mullet, crabs, shrimp, and pinfish. Marine catfishes, Atlantic needlefish, sardines. Chunks of ladyfish. White baits.Trolling lures, jigs, spoons, plugs, paddle tails. Pro tip: add smell to your lures (shrimp and mullet smells).
Tautog Green crabs, asian crabs, whiter leggers crabs, hermit crabs, clams, oystersPrefer bait
Thresher Shark Live bait (fish), pieces of cut fishPrefer bait
Tiger Muskellunge Minnows, Suckers, ShinersBucktails, Topwaters (ploppers, crawlers), Spinner baits, Crank baits, Soft plastic baits (bull dawg), Jointed swimbaits
Tiger Shark Whole bluefish or mackerel (chumming required)Prefer bait
Tiger Trout Night crawlers, Live or dead minnows, Sculpins, Leeches, Cured fish roe, InsectsFlies, Spoons, Spinner baits, Crankbaits, Wooly buggers, Nymph patterns
Tope Shark Whole bluefish, mackerel, herring or whiting (chumming required), squidPrefer bait
Tripletail Shrimp, pogie fish, finger mullet and bull minnows, clams, mussels, crabs, squid.Flies, jigs, plugs, artificial shrimp, bucktail jigs, soft minnows, hard switch baits, crab flies, shrimp flies.
Wahoo Goggle eyes, threadfin, pilchards, herring tuna, mackerel, and squid.Jigs, plugs, spoons. Typically black and purple, black and red, blue and white, and orange and black are the best color combinations for artifical lures.
Walleye Minnows, Shiners, Leeches, NightcrawlersCrankbaits, Jerkbaits, Spoons, Jigs, Spinners, Soft plastics (grubs), Jigs combined with soft plastics
Warmouth Minnows, Worms, Insects, Crickets, Small CrawfishFlies, Jigs, Spoons, Plugs, Streamers, Spinner baits
Warsaw Grouper Halved bonito, whole fish, squid, chub mackerel, sardine, white crab, perch, or octopus pieces.Artificial lures are typically not used.
Weakfish Grass shrimp, anchovies, bunker, blue claw crabs, bluefishJigheads with soft baits, bucktails (pink or purplish color patterns)
White Bass Minnows, WormsFloating jigs tipped with a minnow, Lead-head jig tipped with colored twisted plastic tails, grubs or minnows, Crankbaits (Lipless), Lures resembling damsel fly nymphs, Small spoons
White Catfish Shineres, Minnows, Shrimp, Chicken Liver, Menhaden, Crayfish, Clams, Night crawlers, Chunks of Herring, Cut baitDeep-diving crankbaits
White Crappie Small live minnows, Worms, Insects, Small crawfishPlastic jigs, Lead jig heads, Curly tail grub bait, Small spinners, Beetle spinners, Plugs, Swimbaits
White Grunt Small pieces of shrimp, squid and cut fishSmall spoons, jigs
White Marlin Squid, ballyhoo, mullet, bonefish, mackerel, anchovies, and herring.Feathers, small spoons, daisy-chain teasers, plastic squids, egg sinkers.
White Perch Worms, minnows and shrimp baits, squids, clams, mussels.Jigs, flies, plugs, spoons, soft plastics, tube jigs, curly-tail jigs and split-tail jigs. Small hair jigs and marabou jigs.
White Seabass Live squid, medium-size sardines or large anchovies. Small squid, fish and other crustaceans. Mackerel.Fast-trolled spoons, artificial squid or bone jigs. Small, flashy metal lures. Heavier spinning and baitcasting outfits. Soft plastics.
White Shark Whole bluefish, herring, mackerel and other fish; chumming requiredPrefer bait
White Sucker Meal worms, small nightcrawlers, worms, fresh water clamsPrefer bait
Whiterock Bass Live shiners and gizzard shadJighead, swimbaits
Windowpane Flounder Blood worms, strips of squid, grass shrimp, clamsPrefer bait
Winter Flounder Small pieces of clam, mussel, or bloodworm. Finger mullet, minnow, shrimp, mummichogs, dough ball, clam, mussels, crab, crayfish, cured fish roe, eel, grub and meal worms, insects, leeches, minnows.Jigs, flies, plugs, soft plastics, spinner baits, spoons, trolling lures.
Wiper Shiners and gizzard shad, minnows, crawdad tailsSpoons, spinners, lipless crankbaits, tube jigs
Witch Flounder Small squid strips, blood wormsPrefer bait
Wreckfish Cut pieces of squid or fish, wormsJigs
Yellow Bass Night crawlers, Angle worms, Cut bait, Dough balls, Minnows, BreadBaited jigs, Larger wet flies, bottom slip-sinkers
Yellow Bullhead Night crawlers, Shad, Shiners, Minnows, Hotdogs, Dough balls, Cut bait, Chicken liver, Angel Worms, Bacon (prefer dead bait)Jig tipped with a worm or piece of bait
Yellow Jack Natural baits preferred, strips of squid, small whoe bait fish, pieces of cut fishFeathered jigs, shinny spoons, bucktails, diamond jigs
Yellow Perch Waxworms, Worms, Leeches, Insects, Crickets, Larvae, Mayfly larvaeFlies, Jigs, Plugs, Spoons, Spinnerbaits, Streamers
Yellowfin Tuna Threadfin herring, menhaden/pogies, blue runners/hardtails, and mullet, squid, crustaceans, and small fish. Sardines and mackerel.Plugs, spoons.
Yellowtail Flounder Sardines, anchovies, squiddead squid, slabbed mackerel or whitefish fillets and stripped bait. Croakers, menhaden, pinfish, and finger mullets.Jigs, heavy metal lures, trolling swimming plugs.
Yellowtail Snapper Small pilchards, Sardines, Mackerel, Cut bait (bonito, ballyhoo, sardines, squid, shrimp), Silversides, Chummed up baitBaited jig heads