Are lures better than natural bait? Or is it the other way around?
Are lures better than natural bait? Or is it the other way around? Mark Wilton

Lures V bait - which is better?

IT'S the age-old de-bait among the men and women on the water: which is better, lures or natural bait?

The answer is as simple as it is complicated, according to fishing guru and owner of Mooloolaba's Odyssey Charters Adam Austin.

Simple because there is no definitive answer, but complicated as there can be a better option for the type of fishing you do, and your skill level.

"Some days you can throw out the bait and the fish won't bite, but as soon as you start throwing soft plastics they all start biting," Mr Austin said.

"Other days it's the opposite."

So just how do you know what to cast when the fish are feeling fussy?

Mr Austin said the best tactic was to have both options in your tackle box ready to drop when you get a feel for what mood the fish are in.


His personal favourite, is live bait.

"A lure or dead bait will never imitate an actual live fish no matter how hard you try, so live bait wins for me hands down," he said.

But if you're not familiar with how to use live baits, the dead or fake option are for you.

Mr Austin said natural baits were best for beginners and once you've got your skills up you could give lures a crack.

"Bait is a lot easier because of the action you need to do with the lures to get them to swim right," he said.

"If you pick a lure, it's more about the accuracy of the casting. All lures will catch fish, it's how you throw it.

"Always throw at least 10 casts into the same spot if using lures to ensure you get it accurate."


He said it was important to drag the lure past the nose of the fish to make them want to bite, which meant multiple casts to have it land in precisely the right spot.

But dead bait will always appeal to a hungry fish.

So there you have it… Live bait is the best, but only if you know how to use it. Dead bait and lures are both as good as each other, but lures will only work if you can cast properly.

And then of course all this can get thrown out of the water depending on what the fish feel like munching on that day…

Lucky for you we're giving away a FREE packet of lures with your paper this Saturday! Just cut out the token and hand it to a participating newsagency.

Good luck, anglers!