Sometimes fitting in is better than standing out.
As an angler out on saltwater, attracting fish is half the battle. In order to hook into the trophy catch you’ve been tracking all day, you need to entice them with an appetizing bait option. A great and easy way to appeal to your targets is by throwing a lure that matches the bait fish around you. You want to match the lure to the conditions you’re in. Pro saltwater angler Captain Blair Wiggins has a few tips on how to best “match the hatch” and to get the right bait in front of your desired saltwater fish.
“What I like to do when I get out to the flats is look around in the water and try to see what type of bait is out there at the time when I’m fishing,” Wiggins says. “If I see a bunch of finger mullet around, I’m going to throw an imitation bait that looks like a finger mullet.”
Paying attention to fish finders as you’re travelling to your spot can help you match the surrounding bait fish. This is especially true in clear water. Your intended targets are going to be able to see best in this water condition, so mimicking the live bait is going to be even more desirable. (You can usually get away with more neutral colors in murkier water.)
There will be times on the chop when you can’t find bait fish to mimic, however, which might lead you to think your fishing day is over. Thankfully, everything has a common favorite food, and that’s exactly what you should serve up in these conditions, according to Wiggins.
“Everything eats a shrimp in saltwater,” he says.” “So, my suggestion to you, if you get out to the flats and you don’t see anything at all around there, tie on a D.O.A. plastic shrimp, because it imitates what all of the predator fish out there love to eat.”
Artificial lures can help keep saltwater fishermen active and excited as they look to land their next trophy catch. Make sure you match the hatch effectively and hook into a good day on the water with these saltwater fishing Pro Tips.
Want to try your luck using live bait on your next saltwater trip? Find out how having a trusty cast net on your boat can help you effectively stock up on your catch’s next meal.