When it comes to attracting fish, there are two primary methods: lures and bait. Fishing lures, which come in all shapes and sizes, have many advantages over live bait. Lures, however, are much cleaner than bait and are easier to change out between casts. Specific lures can be designed or purchased to attract certain species of fish, making lures more specialized than live bait. Most importantly, lures are less likely to gut hook a fish. Gut hooking occurs when a fish on the line bites too deeply on the hook; when using live bait, a fish can even swallow the entire hook.
The primary drawback to fishing with lures is cost. Spinners, soft plastic baits, jiggers, and most types of quality lures cost more than live bait. Lures can sometimes get caught and lost in trees or under rocks, requiring replacement that adds up in the long run.