On a Quest to make the Best Bait

Its funny, I never considered myself a bait fisherman until later in life. Sure, I’ve used cut bait, like frozen mackerel, to catch catfish at the local concrete pond, but I’ve looked down my nose at bait fishing as overly blue collar and/or cheat fishing. “I’m a finesse angler, tried and true,” I’d say to myself. I prided myself in catching big bass with 2lb test throwing a drop shot power worm on a #8 mosquito hook.

Fast forward decades, I have kids.

If you’re in the same boat as me, getting your kids to go fishing isn’t as magical as you’d imagine. Most of the time spent is untangling knots, asking them to not throw rocks into the water, driving an RC truck, finding a bathroom, eating snacks, or settling the crying. Time on the water, rod in hand, is few and far between.

In comes Plan Bait to my life. I started making my own natural bait from squid so that I could soak a hook and catch fish while entertaining a toddler. It worked. Both were successes.

How Salted Squid is Made:

The Best Bait for Anglers

I made Plan Bait for the Angler who doesn’t often bait fish. It’s the best bait for anglers that don’t grab the grocery bag of squid and shrimp from the local grocery store before hitting the lake. Its packaged small, has a really long shelf life for a natural fishing bait, fits in your pocket, and is made for a few uses. Some packaged fishing baits out there sit in liquid, come packed with too much for a single fishing trip, and end up spilling all over the backseat of your mom’s Corolla.

Plan Bait, however, sits in salt as a natural preservative. The dehydrated fishing bait is meant to be rehydrated before using, and catches fish – think squid jerky. This formula will pretty much last indefinitely outside of refrigeration when sealed. I’ve kept a few packs in my fishing backpack for years now when I first started making this bait. The same can be said for the salted squid and salted mussel baits. I’ve had a few of these sitting in my pack since the prototype days and they’re still there, not driving my wife crazy and ready to fish with.

Is Bait Fishing Fun?

While dry fly fishing by sight is more engaging, I’d say that bait fishing is no less fun, however a different kind of fun. With dry fly fishing, you’re engaged in the act of dancing with a fish and getting it to eat. However, you’ve already identified your target, know what it is, and how you’re going to approach feeding it. On the other side, bait fishing is like a white elephant gift you didn’t know you were getting. You can be doing something unengaged to your tackle and as soon as that rod tip starts to dance, the excitement sky rockets. If I likened it to racing, fishing with artificial lures is like racing go-karts while bait fishing is like riding shotgun in someone’s drag strip toy.

Here’s the thing: I’m an angler. My oldest kid is 4 now and we’re starting to cast. He’s caught his first bass all on his own at this point so we’re doing more active fishing. However, I do love the surprise of keeping a few lines in the water to see what bites. Bait fishing is no less fun than active fishing. To me, it’s all fishing.

salted bait and dehydrated bait

What’s Next?

At this point, I have a line of products that I believe in. I’ve removed a few products that didn’t perform as well for me, like dried mussels. The rehydration process on mussels and hook baiting was hit or miss when handling on higher gauged hooks. Squid works great for this and is an amazingly tough bait. When I salted the mussels instead, they were a world better than the tried ones. By no means am I done experimenting and I have a few things in the hopper.

The next formula will still be all natural, tough, and effective on fish.