Using fresh live bait is excellent way to catch more fish whether it be in the sea or in freshwater. Today I am going to cover four interesting ways you can collect live bait for river fishing. Ideally you want to collect live bait that can be found in the river and surrounding area to where you are fishing.

When you are fishing in lakes or targeting carp you will want to use different selection of bait. It takes considerable effort to collect your own live bait but it can be enjoyable and save you money. Often using live bait will catch you the most fish.

If you are angling for carp it is still worth using corn as bait. But also try live bait and you increase yoru chances of catching more carp.

Consider Starting your own Worm Farm

  • You may think this is an over the top carp fishing tip. However it is really handy having plenty of worms available when you go fishing.
  • Sure you could go down to the shops and buy your worms and this is fine for those who fish occasionally.
  • Earth worms are abundant in the garden if your soil is off good quality. Also after prolonged heavy rain you can often see earth worms crawling on the surface which can be collected and used in your work farm.
  • Buy the worms you would like to fish with and use them to begin your worm farm. Then you will have bigger worms and more worms for when you go fishing.
  • A word of caution before deciding to buy a worm farm it may be best to speak with your partner if they live with you. Not everyone enjoys the thought of having a worm farm in their back yard or balcony.
  • Owning your own worm farm can be a great way to dispose of vegetable leftovers such as skin from vegetables and fruit. Also you can feed the worms with tea bags, leftover ground coffee, crushed egg shells. You can even add small amounts of bread and pasts.
  • So you can be environmentally friendly, save money buying worms and always have worms available for fishing. Plus the soil is great for those who enjoy gardening.
  • Tiger worms area particular good for catching carp and they also like regular earth worms.
  • This is a picture of a basic worm farm. Hopefully you will be inspired to buy your own worm farm.


Collect Freshwater Mussels

  • If you are located in Australia the best way to collect freshwater mussels is in the River Murray. Wade out into the water and using your toes to sift through the mud. If you are adventurous you may like too dive down and use your hands to search for mussels.
  • Also mussels can be found in the sediment of lakes and rivers across Europe.
  • Some species such as the pearl mussel is endangered and it is illegal to remove these mussels form their habitat.
  • Try searching around three meters from the shore at varying depths. Normally the mussels are found several inches under the mud, part of the mussel sticks out of the mud.
  • If after searching for a few minutes you have no luck try searching in a different section of the river.
  • Normally you can open them by placing your finger nail in the opening. You may also need to use a knife as sometimes the mussels are tightly shut. In this case take great caution not to slip and cut yourself whilst opening the mussel.
  • This a picture of a freshwater mussel taken from the River Murray in Australia.


Shrimp Net to Catch Shrimps

  • Carp and other species such as Callop (Golden Perch) love live shrimps. It is a good bait to use as it is always interesting to see which fish species you catch on shrimp. Plus it is always interesting pulling up your net to see whether you have caught any bait.
  • So you need a shrimp net and to attract the shrimps you place either soap, fish or meat inside your net.
  • If you use meat in the net you also have the opportunity of catching yabbies’ which are found in Australian rivers (similar to small lobster) which can also be used to catch a variety of fish species. Many people also enjoy eating Yabbies’.
  • Hook the shrimp through the tail so they are alive which will entice the carp to bite. You can also use try say two or three shrimps on your hook to further entice the fish to bite.
  • This image is a popular style of shrimp net which should enable you to catch plenty of shrimps. If you also want to catch Yabbies it is best to use a shrimp net which is made of metal.


How to find Wood Grubs

  • Wood grubs look similar to worms and can be found in dead trees.
  • Try finding a dead tree that has fallen over and split it open with an axe or log splitter. If you can see holes in the wood it is a good chance there will be wood worms inside the log.
  • Examine the chopped wood closely and you may be able to see these worms. Carp and other freshwater fish love to eat this bait. So it can be worth the effort to collect some of these worms.
  • Take the section of wood which contains the worms and then break open the section of wood with your hands to expose the worms. You may need a small hand axe to op the wood, although the wood may be brittle enough to be broken with your hands.


Please let us know of how you collect live bait for freshwater fishing, you can post comments below.

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