best bait for largemouth bassCatching big bass with crayfish

Crayfish are popular and considered a large part of the diet among adult bass like largemouth, smallmouth, white bass and redeye bass.


Crayfish is one of the best live baits and is considered more popular than worms and minnows.


While crayfish is popular bait for all bass, it’s especially popular with largemouth bass as one of their supper favorites.

How to Bait the Crayfish

Tip: Hook the crayfish through the spine of the nose for best results as they’ll stay alive through repeated castings. However, repeated castings in warm water will kill them.


Keep the size of the crayfish in line with the size of the bass offered in the lake. Too big and you’ll be less successful.

Catching Crayfish for Bait

Crayfish can be caught at night using a net and a flashlight. This is a lot of fun for kids learning to fish, but for those of us that have families and busy day jobs, we recommend using a crayfish trap.


Find a creek, stream or lake where crayfish can be found.


Tip:  They’re often located where there are rocky bottoms and can be found in water that’s shallow to quite deep.

Leave the trap in the water overnight and check the next day.

Keeping Crayfish Alive

Crayfish will kill each other unless given a piece of meat or fish to divert their attention so avoid keeping too many of them together. Keep them in cool water similar to their natural habitat. A large container with a few rocks, gravel and a good supply of weeds or grass works well.


If you only plan to keep them a short time, snip off their claws as you won’t need them anyway.

Top lure for bass, but I keep catching Perch

The top bait for fish in North America is crayfish. To put that in perspective for us humans, that would be equivalent to a good steak or lobster.


Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, redeye bass, and all other bass species see this as their top bait. However bass are not the only fish that love this bait. Perch, sunfish, rock bass and other fresh water species also go for this like a good steak and potatoes dinner.


Crayfish are also not cheap. To cut costs, you can purchase plastic lures. However, this should not be the driving concern.


Think like a bass, or someone that wants a good steak and potatoes dinner. Would you be interested in a single potato with a small bit of steak or would you go for a 16-ounce steak with 5 roast potatoes with gravy?


Bass are the same. They’ll go for the largest bait they can take on so if you want to focus on largemouth and other large bass, use large crayfish.

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