Its not just fishing tackle thats going hightech. Fishing bait is also being turned into a multimillion pound industry that employs some of the brightest minds in materials, ichthyology (the study of fish) and food science. In fact, trying to figure out what sort of bait is best for any given water or prey can seem nearly impossible to decipher, especially given that just about every socalled expert seems to have his or her own endorsement deal and accompanying picture with a giant fish. How is the average angler to know?
Many old and young fishers alike recommend old, natural types of bait such as maize, worms, bread, bait fish and homemade "boilies." However, as well as many of these bits may work, technology continues to charge on ahead with pastes, pellets, nuggets, groundbaits and liquid scents, all purported to drive fish wild. Moreover, many are formulated for a very specific kind of fish, with carp, pike, barbel and salmon baits being some of the most popular.
One major and obvious type of fishing bait is the glowinthedark type. These are formulated to be seen by both you and the fish for hours after immersion in the dark water. The actively luminous ingredient can be used in just about any form of bait. These baits are usually rated by anglers by how long they hold their "shine" after a given amount of exposure to sunlight.
Of course, just being able to see the bait isnt enough. Since most fish find their prey by a combination of movement and scent clues, creating a bait that creates a hefty scent trail in the water is imperative. This can be done naturally though using live bait that bleed a lot (such as lamprey) or with artificial scents created in a lab. Such scents may or may not smell very much like more traditional fish foods, with some research showing that dissimilar scents with the same component chemicals can have an even greater effect in the water.
The other thing that hightech fishing bait are made to do is behave and reliably disintegrate in sea, moving or still water in a very specific way. For instance, carp baits are designed to remain stable but palatable for hours at a time. Sea bass baits are formulated to stand up for an hour at a time in saltwater and surf. This means they are made of spaceage materials that are also biodegradable and nontoxic. Often its advantageous to have one bait type for warm water and another for the cold.
Its not easy to choose the right fishing bait but if you dont want to make your own and know exactly what sort of fishing youll be doing, you can narrow down your choices considerably and make an informed decision. The fish will do the rest of the choosing for you by leaping onto your hook or not.