Fishing is expensive whether you’re in Florida or Alaska catching salmon. Anywhere you are bait is expensive. Good hooks. Good line.
Rods and reels that you can rely on. And now, even transportation to your fishing spot is expensive with gas prices going vertical.
Save some money using these fish baits and artificial lures that you can find at home. Not joking. Fish are stupid. I mean, let’s be honest.
There’s not a fish out there that can resist a well-placed bait when the stomach (gullet) is rumbling. Heck, half of you can’t resist a bag o’ chips! (me too)
Read the following crazy bait suggestions and try them for yourself. Read further to see how this all came about and how I started trying the craziest baits to see if I could catch something in Florida’s waterways.
5 Crazy Fishing Baits and Lures that Work!
Bait #1 – Artificial Lure – Old Shoelaces!
It took me a while to come up with this one, but I was determined to create a new artificial lure that I could create anywhere, anytime. Finally it hit me.
My shoelaces! I had an old pair of running shoes I hadn’t used for months sitting outside the house. I pulled the laces off and cut one into 4-inch strips.
The lace was dingy grey, and used to be white. It probably smelled. It probably had salt in it from months of running.
I got two pre-tied hooks, and fastened them to my main 10 lb. braided line so the hooks were at slightly different lengths.
I think the difference between them was about 2 inches. I put each hook through 2 pieces of shoelace and had what almost resembled a bass lure of some sort.
I thought, yeah, this is for bass! I had no idea really, but I was anxious to try it out.
I threw that in the water about 30 times toward the center of a well-stocked bass lake. I may have got one hit, but it was suspect. I probably just snagged it on something briefly.
Then I moved to the cattails around the side of the lake a short walk away.
I quickly caught 3 bass on my shoelace lure and to be honest, I use that same idea EVERY TIME I go bass fishing because I want to blow my friend’s minds over it.
Most times I catch something and can make them laugh. Other times, nothing.
I changed up the color and used green, pink, yellow, and bright white to match the water and weather conditions and it seems to help. I remember thinking just about anything can be an artificial lure.
So I set out to prove it.
Bait #2 – Artificial Lure – Prophylactics?
Condoms. It hit me one night as I lay in bed contemplating getting up to go to the restroom to take care of the mess. I was like, hey… this could almost be a jellyfish.
I didn’t know any fish that ate jellyfish so I promptly forgot about the idea. Then it hit me later… a condom could also be cut up into something that resembled a squid or octopus or something.
I knew I was onto something!
I got out a box of condoms and went to work cutting the beginning part (where the roll is) into strips.
The round end I stuffed with cotton and put a hook through 2 sides of it and the cotton and while it didn’t seem at all like it was going to stay together, it did remarkably well for fifteen minutes as I towed it behind my kayak that afternoon.
I promptly caught a 28-inch red drum on this ridiculous creation and I had visions of creating a condom lure company because they worked so well! I spent the next 90 minutes trying to repeat the feat and could not.
Later that same year I doubled up the condoms which made them tougher and with more hanging ‘legs’. This worked much better and from then on I had packs of condoms and cotton balls in my tackle box wherever I went!
I tried this in freshwater for bass and they didn’t go for it at all.
I did wrestle one back from a bird trying to grab it off the pier as I fished.
Bait #3 – Canned Spam
I lived in Hawaii for a while and I must have seen 27 different ways to cook with Spam. You know spam, right?
That super-fatty meat-stuff that you can fry and put on a sandwich, mix with your rice, or mix with your dog’s food and he doesn’t know any better? Yeah, THAT stuff.
Spam is very effective for catching catfish in freshwater or saltwater. In fact, there are probably few baits more effective than Spam for catfish.
Spam is oily, fatty, salty, and smelly in or out of the water. This means catfish quickly smell it and can’t resist.
My friend Doug caught a catfish in less than 10 seconds using a chunk of Spam as part of a bet at a bass lake one time. He caught a 15 lb. freshwater catfish in seconds. It’s that good!
Bait #4 – Bare Hooks?
The shinier the better. This is no joke. I don’t know what a shiny gold or silver hook looks like in the ocean but I do know that I’ve caught all kinds of smaller fish on them.
The best presentation is to put the hook on a foot-long piece of mono or fluorocarbon line that is around #4 lb. test.
Even less if you don’t even need it that strong. A #2 lb. test line is even better if you’re catching real small fish without teeth to get through the line.
The problem is casting a line out when you’re free-lining, so this technique works best if you can fly-cast it out at least 10 feet or so.
It also works great for dragging behind your kayak as you cruise through the canals where the water isn’t so deep and fish will see it.
Bait #5 – A Slice of White Bread?
Some of you saw my post already about how to fish with BREAD on a hook.
It’s ridiculous that something cooked in an oven and made out of wheat flour, yeast, salt, eggs, milk, butter, and sugar can catch a fish that has only ever eaten marine life or plants in the water. It’s ridiculous really.
How Did this Random Bait Habit Start?
I was driving across the state of Florida to go down to Key West for some fishing the flats and a pier with my best fishing buddy, Andy. We had driven through Fort Myers and were headed east.
There were long canals along the road. I stopped to relieve myself at one. I said, “Hey Andy? Let’s throw some lures in here and see if there’s anything worth catching.”
That led to more than two hours of too much fun as we caught dozens of strong dark crimson/black fish called Mayan Cichlids. They were super-aggro (aggressive) and would strike just about anything.
There wasn’t enough meat on them to make it worth trying to fillet or even bake them whole in the oven so we didn’t bother to try to keep them to eat.
Catching fish has become too easy for some of us. Not all the time, but come on, most of us can be pretty much assured of catching enough for dinner and probably extended relatives and neighbors’ dinner too if we go out fishing for a day from a pier or boat.
Fishing with new baits makes fishing FUN AGAIN. It’s fun to tell your friends what you caught fish with when they really can’t believe it!
Get out there and CATCH SOMETHING… it’s SUMMER!
[Images from unsplash: shoes, spam, condom]