Catching Predatory Fish Using Fishing Lures (Guides For Beginners)

Predatory fish is a term to describe fish which are carnivorous in nature and their primary source of food is other fish or aquatic wildlife. The difference between fishing for predatory fish such as perch or bass, compared to minimally predatory fish such as carp, is that predatory fish will be much more likely to attack a fishing lure than any other type of fish.

Whether fishing for bass, or perch, or trout, or even pike, it doesn't matter so much about the target species, as they all have this highly predatory nature to them, this is what makes them great sporting fish to target. Before we begin to dive deep into the guide, we need to step-by-step set up a place (get a spot and be aware of the weather forcast), find some good gears (get your finest spinning reel ready, your best rod holder, fishing lures, ... everything), make some baits and then lastly, apply the tactic to catch predatory fishes. Let’s go!

Setting Up

I don’t have to say how important it is to set up for a fishing trip. A well-prepared fishing trip will absolutely do good for you at the right time, the right place and the right tackles. Now, let’s take a look at these simple steps:

#1. Weather Conditions

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You can’t bait fish successfully without an appropriate weather condition. There are many kinds of weather conditions and different tips for each of them so I will list out some common examples to give you some hints:

Some Typical Weather Conditions Need to Be Awared

  • The sunny day: If the water area is clear, the fish will reduce their feeding activity. The predatory fish are smart, they knows that the sun will expose their camouflage so that they are visible while baiting fish. The predatory fish will save the energy for the more suitable time. If you want some predator fish during the daylight, this is not the right time to do it.
  • Cloudy and misty weather: This kind of weather is ideal for some “hungry fish hunters”. The bait fish are usually attacked by the predatory one because of invisibility. The chance is some predatory fish might bite your lure because they are short-sighted and they can’t see well.
  • At dawn and dusk: Cloudy and misty weather is quite occasional. We do not often see that kind of weather more often than dusk and dawn. At dawn or dusk, the predatory fish usually attack cause they are searching for food. It’s obviously the best time of the day to catch some predatory fish as those fish are quite eager.
  • Short rain: After a short rain in spring or summer, you will expect to see some good weather condition. This time, the fish’s habit is usually to come up to the surface or swim around the edge of the water area. It’s time for you to feed them with your lure.
  • Heavy rain, thunderstorm, etc: In harsh weather conditions, not only the fish can’t handle that but also the humans do. You should find some good shelters rather than going out fishing. It’s very dangerous.
  • Note: An important factor for the fish is the moon. Such fishes will never work under the full moon. They will find a place to hide and build a cover there. At the last quarter of the moon phase, the frequent feeding process of predatory fish makes that the best time for fishing.

#2. Choose a spot

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You can easily find some predatory fish if you know their habits. There some common types of predatory fish like: the Northern Pike, The Yellow Perch, The Largemouth Bass and The Pike-Perch. Here are some advices on how to choose the right spot for fishing:

Predatory Fish Types & The Right Spot To Catch Them

  • The Yellow Perch & The Largemouth Bass: These two have the same habits. They usualy look for food (like roaches or bleaks) and refuge around deadwood, sea grass or tree roots so those places are great place to prospect for predatory fish. The Largemouth Bass start to spawn at the opening season so the best time to fish is at the end of June so that The Largemouth Bass can complete their spawning season in good condition.
  • The Northern Pike: The Northern Pike love to wait the prey in those deeply obstructed areas such as submerged wood, bushes, river banks, ... or anywhere which look like great camouflages for the northern pike. If you are at the port, you may want to take a look around your fishing boat. When there is a pond, you can prospect near the bank, the submerged branches or pontoons, … If you are planning to catch some predatory fish on the river/canal, you’d better look for areas like backwaters & eddies as well as covered spots such as stumps, roots and sea grass bed.
  • The Pike-Perch: This type of fish like wandering around in nightfalls and of course, they prefer to hide in secret places shoals & banks. In daylight, they love the deep water which not only keeps them warm but also provides a good cover to bait smaller fish. If the area is a little bigger, like a lake, The Pike-Perch usually happen to be around shady banks or backwaters. If the area is even bigger, like a river or a canal, there are deadwood, sea grass beds, shady areas near the bottom, lily pads. The recommended season is from April to June if you want some traditional Pike-Perch.

In general, predatory fish usually stay in shallow water near the shore but in winter, they tend to find the bottom of the water area cause it’s darker and warmer. In summer, fish love to go up on surfaceso fisherman can feed them with some lures easily.

#3. Choose the right peak time

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This means you should know the fishing season which fits your purposes. For predatory fish, you can spend the whole day chasing it but as mentioned above, the predatory prefer to move around the early morning or the late afternoon so you should consider the time to fish. This tip will increase your chance to catch a big predatory fish for a main course.

Right Tackles For Catching Predatory Fish 

Catching these fish isn't only for experts, in-fact many beginners often are able to target these fish as their first catch, to do this however you need to know which type of fishing lures to use. There is a range of lures which work well, and fishing online stores selling fishing lures are easy to come by, cheaper lures are often fine for all these species and work great, however for the beginner it is best to start with some easier to use lures.

Fishing lures that work well for predatory fish are spin lures, spinner-baits, hard body diving lures, and soft plastic lures.

#1. Spin Lures

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Spin lures are fairly easy to use, they are a little heavy, so they sink fast, and when retrieved they spin around in circles, this fast spinning action is what makes the target fish attack the lure, if the lure is not spinning fast enough in the water, almost no fish will even pay any attention to it. It is the bright flashes of light reflected off the lure that turn predatory fish crazy and into an instant strike mode.

#2. Spinner-Baits

Spinner-baits are similar but they contain two top spinners and a body or skirt below, around this skirt is where the hook is located. These lures are designed to look like two baby fish above and a mother / parent fish below, to predatory fish in murky waters, this appears like a small school of fish moving through the water.

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Fishing with these lures is a little difficult compared to regular in-line spin lures, as they are heavier and bulkier, you will need deeper water and a fast retrieve, try to keep the lure off the bottom of the water if there is snags, as these lures easily get caught around logs and sticks. Beginning fishermen I would advise to skip this type of lure until you gain more experience.

#3. Diving Hard Body Lures

For diving hard body lures, these lures are shaped like a fish, and have a clear plastic piece on the front angled downwards. This clear downward slope forces the lure to dive into the water when retrieved, the weight of the lure along with the angle and size of this diving 'bib', determines how deep in the water it will dive, to lower this dive depth just retrieve slower.

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The best lures to start out with are cheaper diving lures as you will no doubt snag off every so often, once you have mastered using these lures and can navigate underwater logs and sticks, along with grasses well, you may want to try more expensive hard body fishing lures.

#4. Soft Plastics

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Soft plastics are a beginners first choice usually, these are often grub or long tube shaped silicone lures with a tail on the end, these glide through the water and with it's moving tail, attract predatory fish. When starting out however these have a tendency to get caught in weed beds, so looking up how to rig a soft plastic so it is weedless is important. These lures do best when moved fairly slowly through weed beds, as predatory fish often hide here and attack anything that moves.

Make Sure Your Catch Can’t Run Away

One tips to make sure your catch never run away is to use a good wire. In this aricle, I recommend you to use leader wire. The leader wire is tough and hard to be cut by normal fish teeth so you don’t have to worry about losing the fish either your tackle if that is a real monster. You should avoid some hand-made wires which are folded loosely or made of unstable materials.

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There are different sizes of leader wire with different weights or diameters but I recommend you to use the wire with diameter form 0,2 – 0,24 mm which is equivalent to the weight of 10-20 gram. Of course, you need to try the product and decide which to use according to your own assessment.

Final Words

Hope that the article about catching predatory fish on MB Sport Camps helps you with some fundamental keynotes and tips. Wish you all have a great time fishing outdoor and catch a whole school of fish. If you have any comments, leave it in the section below and if you have any other question, feel free to contact me! Cheers, mates! 

Kevin Smith

About the Author

Kevin Smith

Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. The outdoors has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know when it comes to camping, hiking etc. and I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby as me. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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