The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: Comparing the Best Baits for Deep Sea Ocean Sport Fishing

In Fishing Gear by admin

Welcome to, where we take you on an exploration of the best baits for deep sea ocean sport fishing. Choosing the right bait can make all the difference in your fishing success. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll explore four popular baits and provide well-thought descriptions, along with their respective pros and cons.

1. Live Bait (Mackerel, Sardines, and Squid):

Description: Live bait is the go-to choice for many experienced deep sea anglers. It involves using live fish such as mackerel, sardines, and squid, which are often available at local bait shops or can be caught using cast nets.


  • Natural Movement: Live bait provides an authentic swimming action that can entice even the most cautious predator fish.
  • Strong Attraction: The scent and vibrations from live bait are powerful attractants, drawing in a wide range of species.
  • Versatility: Different species prefer different live baits, making it easy to target specific fish varieties.
  • Big Game Potential: Using large live baits can attract trophy-sized predators, creating an adrenaline-pumping experience.


  • High Maintenance: Keeping live bait alive requires the right equipment, such as bait tanks or aerators, which can be cumbersome.
  • Limited Shelf Life: Live baits have a short lifespan and may not last an entire fishing trip.
  • Availability: Depending on the location, finding the right live bait can be challenging, and they may be expensive to purchase.

2. Cut Bait (Mackerel, Bonito, and Skipjack):

Description: Cut bait involves using sections of fresh fish like mackerel, bonito, or skipjack, which are often caught or purchased whole and then sliced into chunks.


  • Scent Trail: Cut bait releases a strong scent trail, attracting a variety of predatory fish from a distance.
  • Ease of Use: Cutting bait is more straightforward than handling live bait, making it a convenient option for beginners.
  • Longer Lifespan: Cut bait can last longer than live bait, allowing for extended fishing sessions.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to live bait, cut bait is generally more affordable.


  • Limited Movement: Cut bait lacks the natural motion of live bait, potentially reducing its appeal to some fish.
  • Attracting Undesirable Species: While cut bait can attract target species, it may also lure unwanted bycatch.
  • Messy Handling: Preparing and using cut bait can be messy, requiring attention to keep the deck clean.

3. Artificial Lures (Jigs, Poppers, and Soft Plastics):

Description: Artificial lures encompass a wide range of options, including jigs, poppers, and soft plastics, designed to mimic the appearance and movement of natural prey.


  • Versatility: Artificial lures offer a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes to suit different fishing conditions.
  • Reusability: Unlike live or cut bait, most artificial lures can be used multiple times, making them cost-effective.
  • Precision: Anglers can target specific species with the right choice of lure and presentation techniques.
  • No Live Bait Needed: Using artificial lures eliminates the need for live bait, streamlining the fishing process.


  • Learning Curve: Effective lure fishing requires mastering specific techniques, which can take time and practice.
  • Lesser Scent Attraction: Artificial lures do not emit the same scent trail as live or cut bait, potentially reducing their appeal.
  • Dependent on Angler Skill: Success with artificial lures relies heavily on the angler’s ability to work the lures convincingly.

4. Dead Bait (Ballyhoo, Mullet, and Squid):

Description: Dead bait involves using whole or rigged dead fish, such as ballyhoo, mullet, or squid, which are prepared to simulate natural swimming actions.


  • Scent and Movement: Dead bait provides a combination of scent and subtle movement that can attract various gamefish.
  • Convenience: Preparing and using dead bait is easier compared to live bait, while still offering good results.
  • Availability: Dead bait is often readily available at bait shops, and some anglers can prepare it themselves.


  • Lesser Attraction: While it has some movement, dead bait may not be as enticing as live bait or artificial lures.
  • Shorter Lifespan: Dead bait may not last as long as cut bait during extended fishing sessions.
  • Rigging Requirements: Certain dead baits require rigging to enhance their movement, which can be time-consuming.


Each bait type has its unique advantages and disadvantages, catering to different fishing scenarios and angler preferences. For an authentic and versatile approach, live bait is a top choice. Cut bait offers strong scent attraction and is more convenient, while artificial lures allow precision targeting and reusability. Dead bait strikes a balance between convenience and effectiveness.

Ultimately, the best bait for deep sea ocean sport fishing depends on factors such as the target species, location, and individual angling skills. Consider experimenting with various baits to determine the most suitable option for your next thrilling fishing adventure. Happy fishing!