Live Bait vs Artificial? Why Neither Matter If You Know This…

By: Joe Simonds on June 12, 2017
Found In:

tony redfish

So which one is better?

Live Bait?

Artificial Lures?

Or is the trick to catching more consistent fish due to high-end fishing gear/equipment?

While everyone has their own preferences on what they use to catch fish, or the type of equipment they may use, the single biggest factor that is going to help you consistently catch inshore fish is NOT live bait or artificial lures…

What is it then?


No, we’re not talking about the latest fashion essentials or the hottest topic on the fishing forums.

We are asking ourselves the following questions when it comes to finding feeding fish (to identify trends):

  1. Where are the fish feeding depending on the time of the year?
  2. Season?
  3. Time of day?
  4. Weather conditions?

These are just a few factors that will influence where various species of inshore fish will be on any given day.

It takes a lot of time, patience, and trial and error to become a master at figuring out these trends.

But once you get a grasp on knowing where fish will be holding at certain times of the year, you can apply this knowledge to different locations.

Are you sick and tired of getting SKUNKED while inshore fishing?

Then click here to apply to become a Salt Strong Insider.

Catch more fish or it’s free!


Let’s look at redfish as an example.

These fish can be found anywhere from Northern Mexico all the way along the Gulf Coast, and up the East Coast of the U.S. up to Maryland.

inshore fishing for redfish

What does a redfish from Texas have in common with a redfish from Florida?


A redfish will always be a redfish… no matter where it may be located.

They feed on shrimp, crabs, and baitfish.

They change their location throughout different times of the year because of the changes in water temperature.

They are cold blooded just as the baitfish are that they feed on, and fish seek warmth in the winter and cooler water in the summer.

Structure is also key for finding these fish, as structure gives them a place to hide to ambush their prey, and also gives their prey somewhere to hide from them.

Just this simple knowledge and understanding can help you locate fish throughout various times of the year, or even different times of the day. 

You don’t have to fill your tackle box with all of the latest and greatest lures, or spend a day’s pay on various types of live bait for your trip.

Knowing where to find these feeding zones that hold fish is what is going to separate the ones who go fishing, and those who go catching.

jacinda rose with a huge redfish

Salt Strong Insider Member Jacinda Rose With a Beast of a Redfish

Salt Strong Insider Member Jacinda Rose With a Beast of a Redfish

In the following video, I demonstrate how location is key as I caught multiple species of fish in one day and in one general area.

The type of lure really didn’t matter because fish were caught on a fly rod, and various types of soft plastics. 

The key is that the fish were there and they were feeding.

How To Catch Inshore Fish Using Trends [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!


The next time you have a debate about which one is better, live bait or artificial lures, remind yourself that it’s really all about ONE thing…


Fish are very predictable once you understand their biology and where they go during certain parts of the day, month, and year.

And once you figure out the trends of inshore fish, your fishing game goes to a whole new level.

Need more help understanding trends for inshore fish?

Then click here to apply to be a Salt Strong Insider.

In the meantime, what do you like to use the most?

Live bait or artificial lures?

Let us know in the comments.

Are you sick and tired of getting SKUNKED while inshore fishing?

Then click here to apply to become a Salt Strong Insider.

Catch more fish or it’s free!

Related Post: How To Find The Best Inshore Fishing Spots Anywhere In Florida

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
John EngleRicki DeeSteven FreeLuke SimondsAnonymous Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Notify of
John Engle

Cool Video!

Richard Devereaux

Q: Artificial lures vs. natural baits for inshore saltwater kayak fishing?
A: Both!

No doubt artificial lures catch fish. Artificial lures are made to mimic natural baits (action, color, shape), some even pre-scented with attractants. Other artificial lures can be supplemented with an attractant. All artificial lures and supplementary attractants cost money.

Natural baits (if purchased) also cost money. However, if one gathers their own natural baits, its cost can be minimized to the initial investment in a cast net and an aerated bait bucket. Regardless of variable conditions inshore saltwater species’ survival is dependent on and hence most accustomed to natural prey (baitfish and crustaceans). By gathering one’s own natural baits one learns what and where the prey are. Chances are when one finds the prey the predators are not far off. Knowing what the prey are can help make better choices of artificial lures’ colors, shapes and sizes.

There are downside and upside aspects of kayak fishing. On the downside, range on the water is comparatively less than that of motorized craft. On the upside, a kayak can often fish in places prohibitive to motorized craft. With secure and well-mounted rod holder(s) and loosened drag(s) on reel(s) the pace of paddling/peddling a kayak can be ideal for trolling: why not use that time to fish?

My fishing kayak is rigged with several dependable, stout rod holders. Typically I take along 4 rods (at least 2 of which are pre-rigged for artificial lures). My limited space is well-organized to take along a small bait bucket with aerator and a small cast net for natural bait (I prefer mud minnows). All my tackle neatly fits into a small soft-sided bag with 3 plastic trays 7”x11” and 1 plastic box 4/12” x 71/2” (a variety of Gulp! Saltwater artificials). My artificial lures include an assortment of soft plastic jerkbaits, paddletails and shrimp. Also a few topwaters, sub-surfaces and spoons.

Virtually all artificial lures need to be “actively” fished (cast and retrieve) to be effective. A natural bait can be “passively” fished (a lively mud minnow on a circle hook tied with a loop knot under a slip float rig “fishes itself”).

Why BOTH artificial lures vs. natural baits for inshore saltwater kayak fishing? Commonly I will “passively” fish a natural bait on 1 rod (in a rod holder) while “actively” fishing an artificial lure on another rod. Doing so enhances the opportunity for hook-ups. Also, artificial lures can be very effective when trolled. And sometimes, baitfish just aren’t readily available. An inshore saltwater kayak angler who is familiar with and prepared to fish with artificial lures and/or natural baits is “well-rounded”.

Steven Free

Wow nice video Tony I noticed you guys release all your fish man I can’t do that I love fresh reds and especially flounder on the grill but your right trends are the most important in finding the fish now recently its not finding them but getting them to hit I have tried topwaters soft stickbaits like the gulps hard stickbaits everything but livebait which I never use because my confidence is nill on that but I did watch your video on deadsticking baits maybe that’s my answer I’ll soon find out here in st Augustine area there are a lot of fish letting themselves be visible but they seem to be very finicky eaters I think it’s either there choice in my baits or there is just to much baitfish making to much competition not sure thanks for the tips though you guys know your stuff and I’m so glad I joined your insiders club and am a proud platinum member as well keep it up😁


I started fishing on a kayak 4 yrs ago with live bait but ended up switching to basically big gulp and top waters. It simplified the ease of me getting out there in the morning and I rarely get skunked ( but it does still happen). Usually that’s all I take, some big gulp and a few top water. I saved for 3 yrs and just a month ago got a hobie outback. This has really made a change for distance and it’s great. I watched your videos on knots and it helped me and on artificial and I’m going to change some of my tackle from jig head to weighted hook and see what happens. I like your videos, keep it up. Thanks ??

Luke Simonds

Glad to see that you’re enjoying the site. Keep us posted to your results as you switch over to the weighted hooks. I’m confident that you’ll find them to be more effective for fishing water that is less than 3 ft deep. Fish On!

Ron Collins

I have agree with all. Luremin is my handle. Love the top water crash and have a few soft arties I prefer. Run and gun is the way to cover and catch.


I have been having more luck with artificial than live or cut bait, maybe because of covering more water and moving bait creates an urge to strike. I will use anything if needed but Gulp shrimp have proven to be great

Luke Simonds

I’ve been catching more fish per hour with artificials too… my theory is that it’s all a numbers game, and using artificials ensures that you’ll be able to cover more water which means you’ll get in front of more fish. And as long as the lure is being presented properly, the strikes per hour should go up.


I like artificials because it feels more rewarding when catching fish because I got it to eat something that wasn’t reel.