Do you know how to find bait in your own backyard?
We’ve all heard it a million times: the economy is still in rough shape and most hunters or anglers are still being forced to get by on tighter budgets than are ideal. As far as fishing is concerned, there are some areas that are difficult to work with on a low cost basis – fishing rods, boating trip budgets, etc. – and others that are easy to do on no budget whatsoever.
In the latter category is fishing baits, which are, quite simply, not worth paying money for when you can simply march out into your backyard and find bait that will get the job done just fine.
Indeed, any experienced angler will know how to wrangle some bait from his or her backyard, whether he or she is looking to save a few bucks or just finds that homegrown baits are more effective anyway.
The big ones, obviously, are worms, which are easy to locate anywhere, from your backyard compost pile to your driveway or a town sidewalk. Worms tend to come out after rainstorms, so if you are looking to replenish your bait supply, use rain as your signal to hit the outdoors. After a spring or summer rain, worms should be everywhere, easy to find and free for the taking as fishing baits.
Sure beats paying for bait at your favorite fishing supply store.
Of course, you can’t always count on rain to refill your bait box. Sometimes, you need baits right away and rain is simply nowhere to be seen in the weather forecast. With that said, rain isn’t the only way to find worms on your property.
Head to your backyard or venture into the woods with an eye out for substantially-sized rocks. Many types of worms and bugs will often camp out underneath these boulders because the environment – dark and moist – is ideal for them.
Flip over a few rocks with an eye out for worms. Chances are, you won’t find as many as you would out in the open after a rain storm, but you should still be able to locate some that can tide you over well until a spot of rain comes through and flushes the little creatures out of their hiding spots.
If you are having no luck finding worms, you may need to switch your game and go after a different kind of bait. Grasshoppers, while harder to catch and harder to keep in captivity until you need them for a fishing trip, are perfect as baits because their erratic movements catch many a fish’s eye in the water.
Similarly, butterflies make for beautiful baits that can substitute for more conventional fly fishing baits. Using a butterfly net can make ensnaring elusive baits like grasshoppers or butterflies an easier task, especially since live baits are optimal for all fishing activities.
Once you’ve wrangled up your baits, make sure you are doing all you can to keep them alive for when you need them on the fishing boat. Worms are easy: all you need is a “worm bed,” or a nice clump of moist soil, which you can store in an enclosed wooden container.
Other baits will require different care processes – look up different methods online – just make sure that you are always keeping your different types of baits in separate containers. This will result in healthier bugs and insects and will make organization of baits easier.
Do have other free bait sources you’ve used in the past? Comment below with your tips.