Old Hickory Lake Fishing Guides
Old Hickory Lake Fishing Guides

The Best Baits for Sea Bass Fishing

the best bait to catch sea bass

It is crucial to choose the best sea bass bait for you to catch fish. Matching the local fish diet with the bait you use for fishing is key. You can use both live and dead baits. There are many bait and tackle shops in the area that have the knowledge and supplies you need, no matter where you fish. We have listed the top baits for fishing sea bass.

What is the best bait to use for sea bass fishing?

Many baits work well for sea bass fishing. These are the best baits for fishing black sea bass.

Strips of Squid

Squid is a popular fishing bait among ocean fishermen. Sea Bass love squid so this bait is a must-have for any wreck fishing trip. Squid can be bought fresh or frozen from saltwater bait shops located near coastal towns and waterways. You can either use the whole squid or cut them into strips. The strips can be fished on either plain hooks or colored bucktail jigs.


Sea bass lovers love clams as a bait of choice. There are two options: you can either buy clams, or you can dig for them yourself. There are a few tricks to help you catch clams. Fishing with clams is easy using a top-and-bottom sea bass rig and a heavy sinker. This will get your bait down to the bottom in front of hungry fish. You can try fresh or frozen clams to find the best one for you.

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Green Crabs

The ocean would not be the same without crabs, and sea bass fishing without them would be impossible. The small, but powerful green crab is a popular bottom fishing bait. These crabs are small and easy for you to catch. Once they have been hooked, from them to bottom and keep on. These little creatures are loved by sea bass. They are available at most local bait shops throughout the fishing season. They can also be used on Tautog.

Cut Bait

You can cut bait exactly the way it sounds. You can use larger whole fish such as bluefish, mackerel, and sardines to cut bait. These long, cut bait strips dangle from your hook and shine in the water to entice bottom fish like seabass. I sometimes use cut bait as my top hook and another type of bait like clams at the bottom.

Minnow Bait

The same minnows that we use to catch flounder are also great for sea bass fishing on the reefs or wrecks along the coast. Minnows can be purchased at local bait shops, or you can trap them if you live close to creeks and back bay areas.


When fishing from shore, or bridges, wrecks, and other areas along the coast, shrimp are a popular bait. Fishermen use both live, frozen, and dead shrimp. There are many ways to hook shrimp and present them to fish, whether they are sea bass, flounder, or other nearshore species.

Sand Fleas

Sand fleas, which look like small crab-like creatures, can be found on beaches all over the world. They are also known as mole crabs. They can be purchased at a bait shop, or you can catch them yourself. The best way to catch them is to use a rake to remove them from the sand. Once they are removed, place them in a bucket filled with wet sand. Don’t add water to the bucket. These beach creatures are a favorite lunch option for tautog, sea bass, and other inshore fish.

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Menhaden are also known as bunker fish in certain parts. They are flat and have soft flesh. These fish can be used as baits for inshore fishing. They can be frozen, fresh, or dead. Fresh dead bunker is preferred by most fishermen, particularly those who are going after Striped bass. They are excellent for wreck fishing and bottom fishing if you chop them up into small pieces.

It’s a lot of fun to catch sea bass. Light tackle is possible, and they can be quite tough to catch, especially if you have them reeled up from 50 feet or deeper. Check your local regulations and catch limits.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.