Hey everyone! This entire website is written to help you catch more fish! So be sure to browse around! In this article I’m going to give you a basic overview of some of the most popular species.
You will learn what they like to eat naturally, which baits work best, and where to find the fish. These are all key to getting more fish in your net.
The first step towards catching more fish is knowing which fish you want to catch. But you gotta keep it real. I’m not going to catch a great white shark while fishing lakes and ponds in Arizona.
If you don’t know what kind of fish are in your area, then do a quick google search. You could also ask a friend who knows, or your local fishing store.
If you are in the US the most popular fish to catch are trout, bass, panfish, catfish, carp, and suckers. But there are hundreds of different fish species in the US and thousands around the world.
Now if you want to catch more fish then it is best to target a certain species. Different fish eat different foods. For example carp like corn, but bass prefer something bigger and more lively like a shiny minnow thrashing around making noise.
Lets start with trout…
Catch More Trout
You can catch trout in all 50 States. Trout are the most common fish to be stocked in lakes, ponds, and even rivers. They like cold, clean, oxygen rich water.
You are more likely to catch trout if you live in the upper US, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them in hotter climates. Arizona and New Mexico have some great trout populations!
What do trout eat?
To catch more trout, you first need to understand what they eat.
Wild trout mainly eat bugs and smaller fish. This is why fly fishing is such a popular method for trout. If you want to use bait to catch wild trout, then you should use grasshoppers, crickets or live worms.
Wild trout can me tricky to catch. The bigger ones have survived through survival of the fittest. They have grown big because they know how to be cautious.
If you throw a ball of bright orange colored Powerbait, your chances of catching that big wild trout is slim. You’ll have a much better chance using a grasshopper or worm.
Stocked Trout on the other hand, have been fed fish pellets their whole life.
They have been raised in special ponds that are fenced off from predators like birds. And they are kept separate from bigger fish that could eat them.
All this pampering leaves them with only one focus in life… Eating!
This is good news for beginners and people who want to catch some easy fish.
Don’t run out the door yet! Just because I say “easy fish” doesn’t mean they’ll eat anything you throw at them. Keep reading to learn exactly what to do to catch more trout.
What’s the best trout bait to catch more fish?
As I hinted to above, it depends. Are you fishing for wild trout or stocked trout?
The best baits for wild trout
This would have to be worms, grasshoppers and crickets. Worms are probably the easiest to use, and can be very effective.
If you are fishing a river or creek for wild trout, I recommend using about 3-4 inches of worm with a splitshot about 18 inches up the line. This is a fishing technique for the more advanced angler. Beginners should use a bobber to avoid getting so many snags.
If you are fishing a lake for wild trout, then I recommend using a bobber and worm. Trout don’t really like digging around on the bottom of the lake for food.
Their main diet would be tiny insects rising from the bottom of the lake to the surface where they then stretch their wings and fly away. So trout look for food in different depths of water, and on the surface. They’ll also usually be in less than 20 feet of water because that’s where the most insect life is. So no you don’t need a boat to reach the fish!
The best bait for stocked trout
This would be worms again, or Powerbait, salmon eggs, or small jigs like the Trout Magnet. You could also use mealworms or (one of my favorites) bread! For in depth information on how to use these baits check out this article Best Trout Fishing Bait
In truth, stocked trout aren’t too picky about what they eat. what will set you apart is using thin leader (4lb test), razor sharp size 12 hooks, and the smallest bobber you can get away with.
Catch More Bass
Bass are another one of the most popular fish to catch in the US as well as many other parts of the world. And their aggressive behavior makes them a ton of fun to catch! They prefer warmer waters like those all throughout the southern US. But they can be found in any of the states.
The two main species of bass are largemouth and smallmouth. Smallmouth bass prefer rocky rivers and lakes. And can tolerate colder waters. Large mouth bass like still waters such as lakes and ponds, but can also be found in very slow-moving streams.
What do bass eat?
To catch more bass, you first need to understand what they eat.
Bass love crayfish, worms, bluegill, and just about anything bite-sized (and remember they have big mouths!)
A better question to ask would be: how do bass eat?
Bass are ambush predators. This means they like to sit and hide, then when an unsuspecting prey swims by… they spring out and attack!
This characteristic should change the way to approach bait fishing for bass. It is less likely that a bass will swim by and find our bait, so it is best to put our bait right in front of their nose (or at least pretty close).
Whats the best bass bait to catch more fish?
I’d have to say that live minnows or small bluegill would be your best bet for catching bass with bait.
Hook a minnow through the lips and cast it out a couple feet under a bobber (big enough that the minnow can’t pull it under).
Cast as close as you dare to vegetation and underwater tree branches or over rock piles. Anywhere you think a bass could be hiding waiting to ambush. Then watch for that bobber to go down! Bass hit hard!
Remember, bass generally aren’t out looking for food. They are waiting for food to come to them. So if you aren’t getting any bites after about 5 minutes or so, reel in and cast to a different spot. (Even just 5-10 feel from the last spot could make all the difference!)
When your minnow or bluegill gets worn out replace it with a fresh lively one.
If there is a light breeze or current moving your bobber around, use this to your advantage to cover more water. But keep it near those rocks, branches and vegetation.
You can definitely catch bass using worms, but make sure they are nice and wiggly.
So just to recap, fish lively minnows or worms in and around thick cover where bass may be hiding.
Catch More Carp
Carp are found all over the world. Chances are pretty high that you have access to carp fishing not to far from your home. If you really want to get hardcore into carp fishing checkout carp fishing in the UK. They have gone all out on techniques and gear, and have broken it down to a science.
Carp are big, beautiful, and powerful. For most people who want to catch a real big fish, carp is going to be their best bet.
fishing for carp can also be much more relaxing than fishing for other fish like bass. This is because carp actually swim around looking for their food.
So bring your favorite fishing chair, some drinks and kick back!
If you want more in-depth info specifically on carp, check out my article on how to fish for carp.
What do carp eat?
To catch more carp, you first need to understand what they eat.
For the most part, carp eat vegetation. In fact they are often stocked into ponds, and canals to help prevent weeds from taking over. They also love small fruits and berries that fall into the water.
Although they mostly eat vegetation, you can also catch carp on worms and insects.
Unlike bass, carp will swim around in search for food. The goal of the angler is to intercept that path with a delicious treat. (And if it is legal in your area, keep the fish around with chumming techniques.)
The key to catching carp is knowing where they’re going. A lot of the time, carp will swim right up along the bank eating vegetation.
It can be a little difficult to catch carp right here because the water is usually shallow and the fish will see you before you see them.
Another good place to find carp is right along a drop off. You are looking for a spot where the water stays shallow out at least 10 to 30 feet out then suddenly gets a few feet deeper.
Fish feel safer when they are close to deep water (birds can’t swoop down and get them). However food is usually found in shallower water. Therefore carp will swim along these drop offs looking for food but staying close to safety.
What’s the best carp bait to catch more fish?
I’ll give you a few to start with but for someone just getting into carp fishing I’d say corn and bread are your best bet.
Fishing with corn
Open a can of regular sweetcorn, drain out the water and pour the kernels into a zip-lock bag. Next, dump in a pack of flavored jello powder. Any fruity flavor is good and you can experiment with different ones if you’d like.
Put two or three jello covered corn kernels on a size 12 hook then use a sliding sinker rig to fish it on the bottom.
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, How the heck is a carp going to find my little kernel of corn in this big pond…
This is why it is key to get that corn in the most likely spot for a carp to come swimming by. If you can get within a few feet, then he’ll probably notice it, investigate it, and eat it. (The Jello flavor will help convince him.)
If it is legal in your area then I highly recommend chumming. Chumming with corn is as easy as taking a handful of corn and chucking it out as close to your hook as possible.
This way when a carp comes swimming by he is more likely to notice the scattered corn and spend some time sucking up every kernel he can find. Eventually, he sucks yours up and… FISH ON!!!
Fishing with bread
You’ll hear a lot of people in the US say that bread is a good carp bait, but it’s so difficult to keep it on the hook. it always wants to crumble off. Well there is a trick to it…
Stick it in the microwave.
- Find a good moist loaf of bread.
- Take out a slice and peel off the crust.
- Put the crust-less slice in a plastic bag and microwave it for 5-10 seconds. Careful when you pull it out, I’ll be hot!
- Use a rolling pin, or the palm of your hand to gently smash the bread flat inside the bag.
- Take it out of the bag right away and let it cool for 20-30 seconds, then put it back in the bag to stay moist.
Microwaving the bread gives it a more rubbery texture so it wont crumble off the hook.
When you’re ready to put the bread on the hook, open the bag, break off a piece the size of a penny and poke your hook right through the center, and cast it out. (remember to seal the plastic bag so the rest of the bread doesn’t dry out.)
As the bread sits in the water it’ll puff back up to it’s normal thickness and become an irresistible treat. You just have to watch out for smaller fish who can easily pick at the bread until it’s gone. I’ve also caught a lot of channel catfish this way.
One of the fun parts about carp fishing is you can experiment and make your own bait. you can find lots of different recipes online, and after you know some of the main ingredients, you can come up with your own secret bait!
For more, check out this article on carp bait.
Catch More Catfish
Do you specifically want to catch catfish? Check out this article that goes more in depth on how to catch catfish.
There are many species of catfish around the world, but the ones we’ll focus on here are channel catfish, Flathead catfish, blue catfish, and bullheads.
Each of the three species have slightly different eating habits and bait preferences. Start by researching your local area to find out which one you should focus in on. Most stocked ponds that have catfish will be stocked with channel cats.
What do catfish eat?
To catch more catfish, you first need to understand what they eat.
Most catfish, like carp, swim around in search of their food in the evenings, but during the day they tend to find a safe comfortable spot stay put. They love eating smaller fish, either catching them live, or eating them dead as they are lying on the river/pond bottom.
They will also eat worms, or really anything else that seems eatable to them.
What’s the best catfish bait to catch more fish?
The best bait for channel catfish
If you are going to fish a pond that has been stocked with channel catfish, use corn or bread in the same method I described above for carp.
These aren’t traditional methods. Most people recommend chicken liver, or another stink bait sold at most fishing shops. but I don’t like the mess, or having my hands smell like rotten chicken livers for the next three days.
A great method to try is showing up at the fishing spot about an hour before sunset and fish bread under a small bobber. Keep your bait close to the bank (as long as it’s at least 2-5 feet deep).
In the evenings, catfish move into the shallower water to look for smaller bait fish to eat. When they see your bread sitting there like a free meal, they are sure to eat it.
The best bait for bigger catfish
To catch blues and flatheads, pay attention to what smaller, bite-sized fish are in the body of water you are going to fish.
Most common bait fish would be bluegill or shad. Bluegill can easily be caught with a fishing pole, small hooks and worms. Shad require you to use a casting net (make sure nets are legal in your area).
Generally the best way to fish live bait is along a drop off with a sliding sinker rig. I Use a sinker that is just big enough to hold my live bait down so it doesn’t swim off with it and get my rig stuck in a snag.
The same method can be used with dead bait or cut bait.
The best bait for bullheads
This would be worms. Bullheads are a smaller catfish, but can be plentiful and lots of fun to catch. They also make good bait if you are trying to catch big flatheads!
Fish for catfish in the same places you’d fish for carp. But since catfish tend to stay in one area during the day, if you don’t get a bite within 15-20 minutes, then move or cast to a new spot.
If the sun is setting, then you can expect catfish to move into the shallows, at which point you can intercept their path with your irresistible bait.