The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Fishing Bait

This entry was posted on by

The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Fishing Bait

 How to Choose the Best Baits


Experienced or a beginner, the right fishing bait can help you hook your next big catch. Finding and using the proper kind of bait is essential for successful angling - learn more about all fishing bait available and how to use them effectively to maximize success in this article.

What is Fishing Bait and How Does it Work? 

In its simplistic definition, fishing bait is food which you put on a hook or in a fishing trap in order to catch your target fish. The edible item can be a natural bait such as worms, snails, nuts, sweetcorn or even smaller, dead fish. 

Some fishing baits are artificial and offer longevity compared to natural fishing baits. The different types of baits made will be discussed below. You can learn between artificial and natural baits in our dedicated article.

How fishing baits work is they draw the attention of fish in the area where they have been placed. Some baits, like fish food pellets, are given freely with no hook to gain the trust of the fish and welcome more, closer to the angler in hopes of capture.


Types of Fishing Baits

There are a variety of fishing baits available for coarse & match and carp fishing. Below are some of the top bait types for freshwater fishing.



Small and round, fishing boilies sink in water and are packed with nutrients and attractants to attract carp to your swim. It is ideal as hook bait or as feed when chopped. Shelf-life boilies and freezer boilies are the two main types.

Get the most out of your boilie fishing with the tips shared in the video below.


These boilies are impregnated with a floatation material, usually cork, that allows them to float slightly over the snag-prone ground. 


The ideal solution for anglers looking to bridge the gap between a striking pop-up and a classic boilie. With their irresistible aromas, these little wonders make sure your surface bait is second to none!


 A unique barrel-shaped boilie that could give you the winning advantage, giving fish an attractive and delicious choice.


Great for feeder fishing, pellets for fishing come in all shapes and sizes, are soft to the touch once submerged, and completely dissolve into a tasty mush that fish find irresistible!


This refers to bait that has been milled into a fine, almost powdery consistency. Can be thrown into the swim or mixed with additives or particles to form balls that when immersed created a cloud of free bait.


Particle baits cover items usefully added to a groundbait mix to enhance attractiveness and nutrients. Particles include hempseeds, corn and nuts.


Bait glugs, goos, bait dips, and flavour sprays can be used to enhance bait potency, enhance flavours, or simply add to the water to attract fish.

Artificial Baits

 Otherwise called ‘fake baits’ these can be anything from imitation maggots to foam bread and even include fishing lures. A great benefit of artificial bait or lure is that it can be used repeatedly and is a top bait for catfish fishing.

 What is the most common fishing bait? 

A natural type of bait; maggots and worms are best for freshwater fish. Carp can easily identify live hookbaits and this type of bait can be devastating in the winter months, thanks to its wriggling movement and aroma.


How to Choose the Best Bait For Your Next Fishing Trip

Match its prey

Consider what fish naturally eat. Whether it's snails, bugs or berries, you can match similar baits such as crunchy nuts, artificial flies or berry-flavoured boilies.

Does it fit in the fish’s mouth?

The fish you are targeting has a certain-sized mouth. Consider the size of your bait to eliminate attracting the wrong fish.

Best bait colour

This can vary on the season due to the clarity of the water. Ideally, choose natural colours in the summer months like browns, beige, dark reds and brighter baits in the winter and murky water for them to easily spot them.


Pick an ideal bait selection

There is no knowing what the fish will go for on any given day, so be sure to pack a bit of a selection of baits. Prepare sea fishing baits such as sea worms, eels, crabs, shrimp, squid strips, and cut-up fish pieces if you're targeting saltwater fish. Take a selection of boilie flavours and sizes for carp, grab pellets and particles and groundbait for coarse!

Fishing Bait Rules

Be sure to check your fishing regulations for legal bait in your fishing area. Some venues ban certain types of baits to protect their stocks of fish. It is not only the venue rules but closed seasons too, for example targeting coarse fish on rivers during the closed season.

Location of Fishing Bait

The venue you are fishing is something to consider when picking your bait. Think about the clarity of the water, the structures nearby, other anglers, the flow of the water, islands, overhanging trees and more. Your fishing tackle and bait choice will make help with your success.

Does Weather Affect Bait Choice?

Consider the weather when stocking up your bait bag as this will change the feeder habits of most target fish. Oddly enough, the wind, rain and cold are all things that get fish like carp more intrigued to feeding, so you can pick more nutritional baits.

What are the Best Ways to Store Fishing Baits? 

How you store your fishing bait does depend on the bait type and how you wish to present it to the fish! Frozen boilies for example can be stored in a coolbox or left in an air bag to dry out before use. 

For fresh baits like live bait (maggots, worms or homemade boilies) try to keep them in a bait box in the fridge until your fishing session. Other dry baits are best stored in a cool, dark area, out of direct sunlight.

Fishing Bait Boxes


Some baits are best purchased on the day of your fishing session at your local Angling Direct! Visit our dedicated page or search online for Fishing Bait Shop Near Me to locate your nearest AD store.

Fresh or Frozen? 

There are many differences between fresh and frozen baits and reasons why one may suit you better than the other. The Fresh vs Frozen Fishing Baits article will help you find the right bait product for your target fish and style of angling.

What is a Fishing Bait Boat and How Does it Work?

Bait boats are a perfect solution for any angler looking to enhance their results. With sophisticated technology, they can accurately distribute bait on both large and small bodies of water—meaning more catches than ever before! For an in-depth analysis of bait boats and why you may need them, check out our article. 


What bait do I need for carp fishing?

As we have established in the ‘How to Choose The Best Bait’ section of this article, your choice of carp fishing bait can depend on multiple factors. Worms and maggots are always a reliable bait choice but many venues have a limit or ban on them.

Consider all the carp fishing baits in our Carp Bait series of articles. 

Best Selling Carp Fishing Baits

To top