SAFE Tackle #4: Biodegradable Molded Baits

If you fish soft plastics, switch to the emerging biodegradable molded baits (best) or as another good alternative, the super-tough, shred and tear resistant plastics. Biodegradable molded baits - Recycled Fish

  • Soft plastic baits, such as worms, craws, lizards, tubes, frogs, etc., are commonly lost while fishing, either getting pulled off the hooks or jigs and ingested by fish during the catch, or falling off while fishing structure and various underwater cover to later tantalize fish and other wildlife and waterbirds and be eaten then. NEVER throw used plastic baits into the water!
  • Fish and other wildlife eating the discarded soft plastic lures are often unable to either digest or pass the soft plastic, many times causing a blockage of the digestive tract which then causes the animal to get sick due to malnutrition or poisoning, and eventually over time, dying. This has been documented in cases of fish and waterbirds by wildlife biologists upon autopsy, as well as anglers.
  • To prevent soft plastic lures from being torn from the hook or jig, a choice of a soft plastic lure made of tougher, more durable, tear-resistant material is generally suggested if plastics are being used to prevent littering and potential harm to wildlife. Tougher soft plastics as used in many saltwater fishing lures, pike and musky lures, and some freshwater lures that use stronger materials can be good choices. Commonly, those soft plastic baits with less or no salt and less additives such as heavy glitters, are a better choice as they interfere less with the structural integrity of the plastic.
  • If traditional soft plastics are chosen, it is better to look for plastics that don’t have phthalates or PVC, as these are currently under scrutiny in various governmental and scientific circles due to their potential harm to humans as well as wildlife. Our fisheries are also our water supplies!
  • Soft plastics devoid of salt additives are also recommended as it has been found that lost soft plastic baits with salt added to them have been found to expand and grow in size over time on the water’s bottom. This not only increases the volume of litter by lost soft plastic lures, but lures ingested by wildlife can often swell in the stomachs and intestines, increasing the likelihood of blockage within the digestive tract.
  • More and more companies are making bio-soft molded lures that are biodegradable, and many anglers are moving to using them for their scent advantages. Companies such as FoodSource Lures, Big Bite Bait’s BioBaits, Berkley’s Gulp! And Gulp! Alive, and FishBites are a few of the more common choices for freshwater and saltwater anglers. These types of baits are commonly substituting not only for anglers fishing with lures, but also for anglers who traditionally fish with live-, dead-, or cutbait.
  • Ironclads are now on the market, and these super-tough baits are much less likely to come off the hook unintentionally, but still have a supple feel like traditional soft plastics. Mann’s Hard Nose series of baits and Tube-X and Creature-X lures from Vertical Lures all offer tougher plastics than the typical softer plastics.


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