Anglers Reveal the Strangest Baits They’ve Ever Caught Fish With

As hardened anglers know, there’s no single scientific approach when it comes to securing a catch and sometimes, only a french fry will do.

To better understand how anglers have adapted to unconventional baits, Fishbrain, the social media app for people who love fishing, called on its seven million US users to share the strangest baits they have used in the past, and what they managed to catch with their sanguine casts.

From Gummy Worms to hot dogs, to salad leaves and apple slices – the strangest and most ingenious responses have been curated by the Fishbrain team.

Johan Attby, CEO of Fishbrain, comments: “The odd slow day on the water is an unfortunate reality of some fishing trips, but the beauty of fishing is how successful improvisation can be! The most primitive fishing rods need only a stick, string, and bait, so you may be surprised with what you can catch when you have to adapt to missing gear.”

The top five improvised lures and what they can catch, as suggested by Fishbrain users, include:


    • “Bass on red Gummy Worms” john.womack, North Carolina
    • Starburst and Gummy Bears” _Saggy_boi_, Virginia
    • Bluegill on a Twizzler” DakDoll5, Kansas
    • Sour Gummy Worm and a big fallfish” mmaurer4159, Pennsylvania 

Cured Meat

    • “I used hot dog for a 6lb bass” The_Catfish_King23, North Carolina
    • “I used a raw bratwurst and caught a 36-inch bowfin” maxwelljesse, Minnesota
    • “I’ve been catching catfish in the lake in my neighborhood with Sam’s Club Corned Beef lunch meat” BrechtelFishingFamily, Florida
    • “Bass on hotdogs” botte12, Wisconsin

Chips and Crackers

    • “Barbecue-flavoured Ruffles caught me some little brookies and a cutthroat” ldubangling, Alberta, Canada 
    • “Balsamic Vinegar Triscuits for carp” MattBuell3, New Mexico 
    • “My dad once caught bluefish on Doritos” WesternMassFisherman, Massachusetts 
    • “I put a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto on by the Brownsville Ship Channel and said to everyone (laughing) I was gonna get the catch of the day. Ten minutes later, I had a 17-inch speckled trout” jwolf23, Texas

Fruit, Plants and Leaves

    • “Bluegill on pieces of watermelon” gracemccoy, Florida
    • “Leaf for a 3lb bass” Ecookin, North Carolina 
    • “Caught a 30lb cat on an apple slice” tre.ken

Fast Food

    • “Caught bluegill on a french fry” holtgonzalez, South Carolina
    • “I was in Key West not too long ago and caught Atlantic Spanish mackerel on a Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich” Brodypassman, Louisiana 
    • “I used McDonald’s McNuggets and caught channel catfish, all three were around 3-5lb” precilianocorona, Texas
    • “Used burger and hotdogs and caught sunfish and bluegills” RedClover, Hawaii 

Fishbrain is the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love to fish. Bringing fishing into the digital age, the free-to-use app, with more than ten million users worldwide, helps create the best possible fishing experience by providing everyone – whether beginner or pro – with the tools, insights, and support to fully enjoy the world’s most popular sport.

In March 2018, Fishbrain raised a $13.5 million Series B round led by B Capital Group (set up by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin) with participation from SoftBank Ventures Asia and existing investors Northzone and Industrifonden. Fishbrain has to-date raised $28 million.

Fishbrain, twice named by WIRED as one of Europe’s Hottest Startups, was founded in Stockholm in 2012, with the app launching in 2013. The startup has fostered a passionate and collaborative community, by helping them take their technique to the next level, arming them with the tools and gear needed to succeed. In May 2019 Fishbrain won the Best App award at the Yahoo! Sports Technology Awards.

Fishbrain CEO Johan Attby has worked in Silicon Valley and Boston, but is now based in Stockholm, Sweden. He is an experienced serial entrepreneur and previously founded Tific, a software company which was acquired by technology services solutions company PlumChoice Inc in 2011.

Fishbrain currently employs over 80 people and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.