Difference Wiki

Lure vs. Bait: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 14, 2023
A lure is an object used to attract something, often an imitation used in fishing, while bait is a substance used to entice and capture prey, like fish or animals.

Key Differences

A lure is typically an artificial object designed to mimic something attractive to fish, often colorful or moving to catch attention. On the other hand, bait is usually a natural substance, like worms or small fish, used to attract and catch fish or other animals.
Lures are often reusable and come in various forms, including plastic or metal imitations of prey. Bait, conversely, can be live or dead organic matter and is often consumed by the target animal.
The effectiveness of a lure depends on its ability to visually attract the target, often requiring motion or specific fishing techniques. Bait attracts animals through its scent or taste, making it a more passive approach.
In fishing, lures are chosen based on the type of fish and water conditions, requiring skill in their use. Bait is selected based on what the target fish naturally eat and often requires less technical skill to use.
Beyond fishing, the concept of a lure can be metaphorical, referring to anything designed to attract, whereas bait typically maintains its association with a tangible substance used for attraction.

Comparison Chart


Artificial object, often mimicking prey
Natural substance, often food

Use in Fishing

Requires skill and technique
More passive, relies on scent/taste


Generally reusable
Often consumed or single-use

Attraction Method

Visual appeal, motion
Scent, taste


Used in various fishing conditions
Specific to the natural diet of the animal

Lure and Bait Definitions


An artificially designed object to attract fish.
He used a bright lure to catch the bass.


A substance used to attract and catch fish or animals.
She put worms on the hook as bait.


Something used to tempt or attract a person or animal.
The display was a lure for potential buyers.


Something, especially food, used to entice.
They used cheese as bait for the mouse trap.


An enticement or allure.
The lure of the big city attracted many young professionals.


A means of allurement or temptation.
The special offer was bait to attract new customers.


A decoy or imitation used to draw attention.
The shop's window display served as a lure to customers.


An attractant used in hunting or fishing.
The hunter used a scent as bait for the deer.


A tool used in hunting or fishing to attract prey.
He selected the best lure for trout fishing.


Food placed on a hook or in a trap to catch fish or animals.
He carefully placed the bait on the fishing line.


Something that tempts or attracts with the promise of pleasure or reward
The lure of the open road.


Food or other lure placed on a hook or in a trap and used in the taking of fish, birds, or other animals.


An attraction or appeal
Living on the ocean has a lure for many retirees.


Something, such as a worm, used for this purpose.


A decoy used in catching animals, especially an artificial bait used in catching fish.


An enticement, temptation, or provocation
He did not take the bait by responding to the taunt and getting drawn into an argument.


Is bait always food?

Bait is often food, but it can be any substance that attracts fish or animals.

What is a fishing lure?

A fishing lure is an artificial object used to attract fish.

How do I choose the right lure?

Choose a lure based on the type of fish you’re targeting and the water conditions.

Can bait be artificial?

Bait can be artificial, but it's commonly natural, like worms or insects.

Is it easier to fish with bait?

Fishing with bait is often considered easier, especially for beginners, as it requires less technique.

What is bait in fishing?

In fishing, bait is a natural substance used to attract and catch fish.

Can lures be used in all types of fishing?

Lures can be used in many types of fishing but are selected based on fish type and conditions.

Can I use bait in catch-and-release fishing?

Bait can be used in catch-and-release, but lures are often preferred to reduce harm to the fish.

Are lures more environmentally friendly than bait?

Lures can be more environmentally friendly as they are reusable and don’t involve live bait.

Can I make my own bait?

Yes, you can make your own bait, such as dough bait for carp fishing.

How long does bait last?

The longevity of bait depends on its type; live bait can perish quickly, while artificial bait can last longer.

Can I use lures in saltwater?

Yes, there are lures specifically designed for saltwater fishing.

Do professional anglers prefer lures or bait?

Professional anglers may use both, depending on the fishing situation and personal preference.

Do lures require maintenance?

Lures require some maintenance, like cleaning and proper storage to maintain their effectiveness.

Is using bait more traditional than lures?

Bait fishing is often considered more traditional, but both methods have a long history.

What is the best bait for freshwater fishing?

The best bait for freshwater fishing depends on the target species, but common choices include worms and minnows.

Can the same lure work for different types of fish?

Some lures can attract multiple types of fish, but specific lures are more effective for certain species.

How do I store bait?

Store bait in a cool, moist environment to keep it fresh, especially live bait like worms.

Do lures work at night?

Some lures are designed for night fishing and can be effective in low light conditions.

Are lures expensive?

Lures range in price, with some being quite affordable and others more expensive due to design and materials.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons