Field Test: Bio Bait Water-Soluble Lures

Bio Bait claims that its patented, water-soluble lures are a safer alternative to soft plastics, but do fish like them?

Field Test: Bio Bait Water-Soluble Lures

The author tested Bio Bait water-soluble lures head to head against his favorite soft plastics for largemouth bass. The results might surprise you.

As a diehard multi-species angler, I’m always interested in trying out new lures. The opportunity to field test Bio Bait during 2019 came about when a friend of mine, Brad Petersen, sent this Facebook message my way: “Dave, I’ve been having great results on bass this spring with Bio Bait. I know the owner of the company and could hook you up with some samples. Interested?”

Of course, I bit like a starving smallmouth.

What Makes Bio Bait Different?

Bio Bait is a selection of patented, water-soluble lures designed to be a safer alternative to soft plastics. The company claims its lures break down 99 percent more quickly than standard soft plastics. 

I didn’t test out this claim, but if it’s true, then there’s no doubt that Bio Bait is safer for fish and the environment.

Quote from the company website: “Bio Bait is infused with fish oil during production so the scent lasts as long as the bait. No more dipping your lures in scent just to be lost after the first cast. Bio Bait never dries up and only smells better the longer it’s in the water. Open up a pack of industry-standard plastics and then give Bio Bait a smell. Bio Baits scent is infused in our secret sauce to attract fish, not to mask the unnatural smell of industry-standard plastics."

Bio Bait DNA series lures feature ultra-realistic colors and patterns.
Bio Bait DNA series lures feature ultra-realistic colors and patterns.

Fishing Career Rewind

Brad Petersen, the friend who contacted me about a Bio Bait field test, and I worked together in the early 1990s for Al and Ron Lindner at In-Fisherman’s Camp Fish, an instructional fishing camp for kids and adults. Brad and I, as well as 20 other fishing instructors/guides, spent springs and summers in northern Minnesota giving seminars on everything from limnology (the study of freshwater lakes) to how to rig and fish Texas-rigged worms.

Our No. 1 lure presentation on the clear-water lakes surrounding Camp Fish was a plastic worm fished along a deep weedline, either on a mushroom jig or Texas-rigged. While the local largemouths could often be caught on a wide variety of soft plastics, some inexperienced anglers had trouble detecting the subtle strikes of bass on lightweight presentations in 10 to 20 feet of water.

I can remember the day at Camp Fish when Berkley Powerbait samples showed up in our staff tackle room. We didn’t have a lot of it, so our camp director was clear about its use: “Guys, we want all our guests to catch bass, lots of bass, but break out Powerbait only if you have a client who can’t catch ‘em any other way. We have to ration it. Everyone understand?”

That Was Then, This Is Now

I provide this fishing flashback because I had the same thoughts this summer as I headed onto the water with my 16-year-old son Elliott. For 30 years I’ve relied on Powerworms. In fact, I buy 100-packs of my favorite colors (pumpkin and black/blue) to save money.

In addition to Powerworms, however, I also packed a decent selection of Bio Bait. The way I figured it, Bio Bait vs. Powerbait was the ultimate test for this new lure. And frankly, I had my doubts. After all, nothing had ever compared to Powerbait in terms of putting bass in the boat, but I kept an open mind.

Elliott and I pushed away from shore in our 12-foot jon boat. It had been a couple weeks since we’d fished this 200-acre lake with a carry-in access, and I figured with the consistent high temperatures of late June and early July that some largemouth bass would have abandoned shallow-water cover. Specifically, I wanted to check out a deep-water sand/gravel/rock spot that I’d found with aid of an Aqua-Vu underwater camera during the previous ice fishing season.

As we slowly approached our destination with the trolling motor, Elliott grabbed a pack of black/blue 12-inch Powerworms and rigged one Texas-style. I’d never fished with worms that big, but knowing the size of bass in this lake, I figured he’d have a decent chance of getting strikes. I chose a 7-inch pumpkin Powerworm and rigged it on a weedless J-Mac jighead.

Watching my fish finder to identify the hard-bottom area in 11 feet, I moved the jon boat slow enough that Elliott could cast and work his giant worm.

“There’s one,” he yelled. With Elliott’s 7-foot 4-inch medium-heavy baitcasting rod flexing enough for me to know he had a good-sized fish, I waited to identify it as a bass and not a northern pike, then I tossed an old-school marker buoy.

Son vs. Father — Powerworms vs. Bio Bait. Call it a tie in terms of fish preference.
Son vs. Father — Powerworms vs. Bio Bait. Call it a tie in terms of fish preference.

“Just a touch over 20 inches,” he said with a smile. After setting down his tape measure, he weighed the bass. “Nice fish: 4 pounds 9 ounces.”

We took a couple quick pictures of Elliott’s deep-water largemouth and then let it go. By then we had drifted 50 yards from the hotspot, so I slowly slipped back into position with the jon boat.

“Carefully drop the anchor when we get 10 yards right of the marker buoy,” I directed. “That way, we’ll be in perfect position to cast the entire hard-bottom area.”

For the next 15 minutes, Elliott and I hammered big bass from the depths on Powerworms. It was time for my Bio Bait test.

First Impressions

I ripped open a bag of 5-inch Bio Bait Stinkos in color Dark Magic (black with blue fleck) and threaded one onto my 1/4-ounce J-Mac. The soft worms were very slippery/greasy, and they smelled like minnows. In fact, I reached for a towel before grabbing my fishing rod because it felt like I’d just rigged a 5-inch shiner.

Making a cast, I let the J-Mac/Stinko combo sink to the bottom. Only the lure never made it that far. My line was slowly moving to the right; something had already eaten the Bio Bait.

“That didn’t take long,” I laughed while setting the hook. Soon a 4-pound 11-ounce bass was in my grip as I posed for a photo.

Elliott and continued to jig the hard-bottom area for the next 90 minutes, pulling the anchor and repositioning slightly on three occasions to ensure our baits were covering the offshore hotspot fully.

By the end of our haul, we’d caught at least 25 bass, maybe 30, and the smallest one measured 16 inches; the largest, 23 inches. Some of the bass had big heads but small bodies, looking like classic post-spawn largemouths, while others were fat, meaning they’d already fully recovered from the rigors of spawning. Our biggest five weighed 24 pounds 6 ounces.

Elliott caught more bass than me simply because he casted at least twice as often. As a dad, I enjoy sitting back and watching him set the hook, and I knew the ridiculous pace we were keeping on big bass couldn’t last forever.

Left: Bio Bait AmeriCraw (5 inch) rigged on an All-Terrain Grassmaster Jig. Right: Bio Bait DNA SwimBait (3.75 inch) rigged on a Z-Man Chatterbait.
Left: Bio Bait AmeriCraw (5 inch) rigged on an All-Terrain Grassmaster Jig. Right: Bio Bait DNA SwimBait (3.75 inch) rigged on a Z-Man Chatterbait.

Bio Bait Takeaways

As I’ve explained here, Bio Bait certainly produced well for me during this offshore deep-water bass adventure. I also found it interesting that the whole “Fish bite and won’t let go.” thing (the original slogan for PowerBait) was true for both Powerworms and Bio Bait offerings. A couple times while using the Stinko worm, I purposely put some pressure on a largemouth with my rod tip to see if it would drop the lure. No sir. The bass thought Bio Bait was the real deal. Period.

During other outings, Elliott and I have had the opportunity to try 5-inch Bio Bait AmeriCraw (Colorado Pumpkin color) rigged on the back of an All-Terrain Grassmaster Jig, and 3.75-inch Bio Bait DNA SwimBait (Yellow Perch) rigged as a trailer on a Z-Man Chatterbait. In each case, Bio Bait performed as well as, if not better than, everything else we tried.

The only caution I should mention regarding Bio Bait has to do with durability. A couple times Elliott and I had large sunfish or tiny bass bite off the AmeriCraw’s pinchers, but this is a common occurrence with almost any soft-bodied lure unless it’s something super-tough such as Z-Man Elaztech. That said, I found Bio Bait to be even more durable than Powerbait, which certainly came as a pleasant surprise.

I look forward to future days on the water with Bio Bait rigged in various ways. Right now, I’m excited to drop-shot for bass with a 4.75-inch Bio Bait Squirm Worm, as well as try Carolina-rigging with a 6-inch Bio Bait Lizard.  

For more information on Bio Bait, visit www.biobait.com

Bio Bait 6-inch Lizard and 4.75-inch Squirm Worm
Bio Bait 6-inch Lizard and 4.75-inch Squirm Worm


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