The 7 Best Live Bait for Striped Bass in The Freshwater

Striped bass, one of the most popular and favorite gamefish of most anglers, is an anadromous fish. The term implies that this fish spends most of its being in the sea and migrates to freshwater to reproduce and spend time in the freshwater as well. So, anglers can taste the angling experience of the striped bass both in the freshwater and saltwater water bodies. It will not be too improbable that the type of the striper’s forage will change due to the water they are residing in.

Best live bait for striped bass freshwater would be a matter of discussion, hence. When you are angling in the freshwater, the most effective bait that attracted the striper the most in the sea a few days earlier might not even work. So, do not be too surprised if that happens to you. Hopefully, our live bait suggestion will guide you to get as many stripers from the freshwater as you angled in the sea. So, let’s start with our first and most favorite pick as live bait for the freshwater striped bass and then continue with the other effective ones.

The Top 7 Live Bait for Striped Bass in The Freshwater

Best Live Bait for Striped Bass in The Freshwater
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Ask us to name just one baitfish that a freshwater striper cannot resist. We will name the bunker. It’s the striper’s favorite forage. Thus anglers love to use it in their freshwater angling adventure. When you are fishing bunkers to use as baitfish for striped bass, make sure to keep them alive and as fresh as possible. That will be enough to attract the largest of stripers of freshwater. Hooking just one bunker is enough to lure the striper. But if you do not have much, use bunker pieces. The best is to keep them alive and let them swim in the water body and work themselves to attract the big striper.


Striped bass eats every fish that is smaller than it. But as we can see, it has its favorites as well. Another favorite of the stripers as live bait is the eels. Eels are known as the candy for the striper. The name already suggests how much the striper must love it to get the tag of striper candy. The only downside of the eels as a freshwater striped bass live bait is that they are a little expensive. So not all anglers want to bait the striper with it and try for the more affordable ones as they have many to catch.


We talked about the comparatively expensive eels and angler preferring the cheaper ones as live bait for freshwater stripers, and the one option you have will be the shad. Fresh shad, to be very precise. They say anything that looks like shad has to be striped bass’s favorite. Hence, when you use an artificial lure, most anglers prefer using those that simulate the shad. However, there is no comparison between a replica and a shad, alive and swimming in the water. Hook the big bait shad with the fishing hook in its anal fin and get your striper in no time. Shad is a little bigger than the bunker, so if you can use a chunk of bunker fish, you can use a chunk of fresh shad too.


We already have three in the striped bass favorite bait list, but herring has its own ground to stand when it comes to giving a solid competition to the above three. Herring or chunk of herring is as good of live bait for stripers, if not more. It works like a charm when you are angling stripers from the shore of any freshwater source. So, fish some herring and store them well to keep them as fresh as an alive fish, then use it to catch the biggest of freshwater stripers. Try the initial angling with the herring that are alive. The result will be super effective, too exciting, and one of a kind.


Big fishes love wriggly bait. You might struggle to keep a bigger baitfish alive or might hesitate to use a whole fish as your target is to catch quite a few stripers. But when it comes to staying alive, wriggling, and using as many baits as possible, no other live bait is better than wriggly worms. And for striped bass, it’s mostly the sandworms and the red worms, even the night crawlers, which they will hardly resist and take no time to get trapped in your fishing hook. Also, worms are easier to store and use one after another, even multiple in one fishing hook to target one big striper without worrying about getting it out of stock.

Live Minnows

Using live minnows to catch fishes has to be the most common and successful way of fishing. It’s like, compared to how standard the live bait is, yet it works so well. Though you cannot make all the anglers agree that minnows are an excellent freshwater striped bass live bait, many will promptly agree too. And this is the most thrilling part about angling fishes. The same trick that worked for others to catch multiple big stripers might not work for you even once after trying for many days. So, when you have live minnows to bait the striped bass, please do not presume that it will fail in luring the prey. It will, of course. You just need to troll them up and down and wait for the upshot patiently. The simple minnows might surprise you with the biggest freshwater striped bass.


Many anglers love to use completely out-of-the-box live bait to lure their prey. If you are one of them and want to catch your striped bass with a not-so-common live bait, we will suggest you manage the anchovies. It’s hard to get, and it’s not like you will get it from tackle shops like a few other live bait for striped bass. However, if no other bait works for the freshwater striped bass and you are determined to try something totally different as a final and desperate try, anchovies are the best choice for you to lure and the freshwater striped bass to be lured.

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Depending on the availability of the live baits and your preference to use them, choose any of your favorite. To increase the chance of angling more freshwater striped bass, try as many live baits as possible and use one by one, replacing one with the other. Using different live baits in the same freshwater will make your angling tactics foolproof because due to the variety of the offered forage, the stripers are bound to get hooked.

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