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Why I Use Salted Baits And You Should Too


Surf Fishing can be unpredictable. You never know what the fishing will be like. Of course you plan your trips around the best opportunities to catch fish but it doesn’t always work out.

Sometimes you just want to go out and try your luck. I do it myself. That’s one of the reasons I like salted baits. They’re ready to use on a moments notice. After they’re salted I keep them in a container packed in salt. They do not go bad but there is a little odor. So I keep a cover on the container. All I have to do is put some in a baggy and head out. I love the convenience factor.

My Two Favorite Salted Baits

My two favorite salted baits are clams and shrimp. Once they’re salted properly they stay on the hook pretty well. They stay on the hook longer because they’re more firm than fresh bait. The clams stay on especially well. After the salted bait hits the water it’s hard to tell the difference between them and fresh bait.

I like to hit the beach with Fishbites, salted clams and salted shrimp. Once I’m there I might scoop up some sand fleas (mole crabs) if they’re available. By having a variety of bait I can see if there’s something particular that is going to work better than anything else.

This Is How I Like To Bait Up

My preference is to put a piece of Fishbites on with the salted bait. If for any reason the bait comes off I know the Fishbites will still be on. By the way, I love Fishbites. They’re also a very effective bait just by themselves. Without the Fishbites you could have your rig sitting in the water with a bare hook and never know it til you check your baits. No need to keep checking your bait  if you do it this way.

Each of my two poles are normally setup with a two hook dropper loop rig. With four hooks and three or four different baits it’s easy too see if one of the baits are going to be hot that day.

Whether I buy fresh bait or harvest it myself it doesn’t have to go to waste if I don’t use it all. As long as it’s not to far gone I’ll just take it home and salt it.

Fresh Bait vs. Salted Bait

Most experienced surf anglers would probably say fresh is always better. They’re probably right but how much better is hard to say. If the fish are biting it’s very rare that they won’t take a salted bait just as well. So for that reason and the convenience factor I’m a huge fan of salted baits. Although the baits in the video didn’t look like fresh bait, once they’re in the ocean they look and work pretty close to fresh bait.

Even if you were fishing with fresh bait wouldn’t it make sense to have salted baits on hand as a backup if you run out. There’s nothing worse than slammin one fish after another and then running out of bait. Wouldn’t you agree?

One Response to Why I Use Salted Baits And You Should Too

  • Hi Randy,
    I live in Pa and get to Delaware to surf fish as often as I can. Your info has been very helpful. Bunker is a popular bait in Delaware and I try to get the salted bunker whenever I can. I agree with you that it stays on the hook much better and once it’s in the water a little bit it’s very similar to fresh bait. But, the bait shops don’t always have it so my question is, how do you make your own and how do you store it once salted?
    Thanks so much & keep the tips coming.