"Always Have Backup Bait".
I paid attention to these wise words by Capt. Rick Ryals of Northwest Florida who writes for Florida Sportsman. Capt. Rick has been fishing for over 50 years for just about everything using just about every kind of bait.
Live bait is tricky business, with its ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and troughs, good days and bad days -- well, you probably already know this if you are a live bait angler. It is no secret that some areas just have it better than others and even those where live bait is all but a guarantee, take fishing in Florida for example, there are still days when live bait simply can't be had.
Capt Ryals posts that in Northeast Florida, anglers can throw a net and catch a livewell full of live and kicking pogies. Some spots in the world would call this very lucky. And, this is great... for a short while. Live bait (and well, fish in general), are delicate once out of their natural habitat. Overcrowd the livewell and you can see how long that livewell stays, well, lively (hint: not very long.)
They also fumble with the question: "What if there's no bait?". This happens to us all: you get gassed up, ready to get on some big fish, but you gotta make a bait stop. Well, this stop can take up a majority of your fishing time if the bait aren't around. Seasons, tides, moon phases, water temperatures, and more can all have an impact on how many baits can be caught and how quickly.
There are ways you can improve your live bait game for sure. Proper water temperature, oxygen, and being careful not to crowd your bait are sure ways to increase the longevity of your bait. Keeping the livewell out of direct Summer sunlight will help as well. Also, once fish die, they release ammonia, so remove them immediately to prevent contamination of the other baits.
Even still, live bait can take hours to get with no guaranteed return on investment. Why do this to yourself?
So how do you go about with your Plan B? Capt. Rick's plan is to pre-rig some frozen ballyhoo and troll or just stick to frozen dead bait (in NE FL, cigar minnows are in demand and popular).
There's now another way to keep your bait lively, and that is with Zombait lures. Think of it as "live" bait on-demand. No more waiting. We have designed Zombait to fit inside dead bait 8" and up to keep them swimming long after they have expired. While we prefer the freshly-dead kind, it is not uncommon for us to thaw out bait that has been in the freezer for months or even years. Live bait is best, period, but it can certainly be a hassle. Simplify your bait experience and start catching your trophy fish.
Heading offshore with Zombait. See what Zombait can do for a Bluefin Tuna trip. "Live bait can take hours".
Remember those live wells we mentioned earlier? Those are great if you can afford them and have a boat to lug it around. Fishing from a kayak, shore, smaller boat? Live wells just simply are not possible or practical. We've also made Zombait for you. Get a good cooler (we love our Kula 5 gallon!), some ice, and throw some frozen bait in there. Thaw only what you need and keep the rest on ice to use when you are ready.
Waterproof to 200 feet, durable, corrosion resistant, rechargeable, and most of all, lively. This is what Zombait is. Now see what it can do for you.
Look Alive Out There.
The article used for reference in the blog was "Always Have Backup Bait", by Capt Rick Ryals of Florida Sportsman Magazine, pulled on July 24th, 2017 from the following URL: http://www.floridasportsman.com/2017/07/19/always-backup-bait/.