There is a very simple logic behind why we like restaurant food. The taste is unbeatable but along with it the presentation is also very appetizing. Perhaps the same dish can be cooked by mum at home but when the plate arrives on the table, it somehow looks so yummy. The bottom line is that ‘presentation' matters. It holds true when it comes to fishing as well. No matter fish you are targeting, how you present a bait matters.
When you are out fishing say in a lake or a river or any other water body, you are hoping to make the best of all the efforts you have taken to make it to the fishing spot. You have carefully selected the lures, baits, lines, rods, reels etc. You would nit want to go back home empty handed after fishing for an entire day. If you are into trout fishing, this is a must read. Trout are intelligent; a tiny dry fly can hardly be seen by the human eye whereas it can be spotted by a trout from several feet away. So, you cannot get away with just about anything. You have to make sure that the bait you are presenting is as natural looking as possible. In other words this where bait presentation comes into the picture.
When you have decided to present bait, you need to consider a few things. Hooks sizes, the number of hooks that should be used, what you are presenting as bait, the current present in the water, and the amount of weight you should ideally use. These sound a little intimidating all together no doubt but if you break the down one by one, they will not be so difficult. In order to make bait as natural as possible, take a closer look at it when it is alive. If you can do that, the fish would find it hard to resist your bait.
You need to match the bait with the size of hooks being used. This is because only larger fish takes the entire bait whole, whole the other smaller ones will only bite the head, tail or belly. So you have to use a hook that not only holds the bait secure but at the same time looks as real as possible. If you happen to use too small a hook, it will look like a bunched up mess and the barb will not allow the fish to bite but still you won't be able to catch fish. On the other hand, weakly hooked baits will fall off the hook and have to re baiting again and again.
In other words the small baits will need small single hooks while the big baits will need larger and multiple hooks. Agreed that fish has good eyesight, yet you need not take the idea of ‘natural bait presentation' thing to the extreme. You can trim your bait if you think it is necessary to mimic a natural food item. It is going to be a little difficult to be fishing with all these in mind - the bait, the hooks, the size, the bait presentation etc but with a little practice and experience it will become second nature. Tight lines!
Allan Simons is an avid fisherman from Australia. He writes various articles on fishing, fishing trips, knots and bait presentations, tips and techniques etc to make it a little easier for all the fishing enthusiasts out there.