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The best bait for black sea bass is disputable because they eat many kinds of crustaceans, mollusks, and baitfish. Squid is the most popular bait because it is easy to find, inexpensive, and can be trimmed to strips. Black sea bass will also eat clams, crabs, bloodworms, and sandworms.
Whole small fresh fish (sprats) or fish strips are great, with mackerel, herring and squid being the preferred choices. Sandeels, shrimps and hermit crabs with the claws removed can also work very well. Crabs (peeler or soft back), prawns and shellfish are more good examples of fresh bait which work for catching bass.
Bass like to ambush wounded prey, so a beat-up worm is perfect to use, especially in shallow water. In shallow cover—wood, stumps, clumps of grass—I like to use a spinner bait with a red or pink head, and a crank bait with red hooks. The red makes the fish think the bait’s injured, and they’ll bite at it.
When properly stored and maintained, your artificial bait will last 3, 5, 10, even 20 years without going bad. However, the air that will dry them out, high heat, or mixing with other types of artificial bait can be their nemesis.
The plastic worm even killed more fish than the 25 percent that died after taking live shiners rigged on floats. Even artificial lures with treble hooks (Rebel Pop Rs, Rat-L-Traps and Bomber crankbaits for fishing different depths) at 18 percent mortality had a higher death rate than Carolina-rigged live bait.
Now onto the five best all around bass lures.
Bass is among the several fish species that is a bottom feeder. Halibut, snapper, eel, cod, flounder, catfish, and other shark species are bottom feeders. Are bass bottom feeders? Yes, bass are deemed to be bottom feeders.