If you were to ask an experienced fisherman about the best type of lure for bass fishing, the answer would invariably be that nothing catches bass faster than live bait. Leaving aside the controversy regarding the lack of a sporting attitude when using live bait, the efficiency of this category is questionless. Also, using natural bait comes with a few advantages in what the comfort of the angler is concerned: it exists in nature, so you can find it and catch it without spending money for store profit. You will find a worm pretty much anywhere you start digging. In addition, a live creature already has the odor, shape and color that attract predators, so you won’t be wasting any time preparing the lure.
It is only natural for the live bait to consist of the natural prey of the bass. For both smallmouth and largemouth bass, the favorite live baits are baitfish such as minnows and pretty much any type of shiner, or crustaceans like crayfish. Some anglers prefer salamanders, frogs, leeches and insects, but the first two categories are almost always stealing the limelight as far as bait efficacy. Another high profile live bait is the modest worm. Although any specie works, the commonly used for bass fishing are the nightcrawler and the red worm. The nightcrawler is known for generally helping when fishing for big, strong fish, and it perfectly works for smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Other than the speed with which the attract the fish, these categories may be useful to one angler and hinder the other depending on their maintenance requirements. Baitfish is one of the most difficult to take care of, since it will always need water replacement and a cool and steady temperature, while you will also have to feed them and give them air in order to keep them alive. Besides, as they take up more room than the worms or leeches, you can only accommodate a limited number of fishes in a bucket, and you also have to be careful not to overcrowd it.
On the other hand, worms can be kept in an insulated, cool carrier, being able to survive in a chilly, moist environment without any additional care. Leeches, for example, require little to zero care, and they can survive in a bucket of water for a long time without even being fed.
In conclusion, you have to make your decision based on the amount of money you are willing to spend, the time and means you have at your disposal to take care of the bait and especially, the whereabouts of your fishing trip. There is no point to buy a big bucket of minnows for pond fishing.