bait·​fish ˈbāt-ˌfish How to pronounce baitfish (audio)
: a small fish (such as a golden shiner or menhaden) that attracts and is a food source for a larger game fish
also : a fish used for bait

Examples of baitfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other baits that mimic baitfish beneath the surface work well, too, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and squarebill crankbaits. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 6 June 2024 Again, when bass are focused on small baitfish, especially in the fall in particular, a 1/4-ounce spinnerbait works really well. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 23 May 2024 These hard-plastic and wood baitfish imitators have been fooling freshwater predators for decades. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 9 May 2024 In my opinion, the wacky rig represents a dying baitfish. Derek Horner, Outdoor Life, 9 May 2024 During this early spring period, pike will move into shallow coves and bays looking for everything from baitfish to ducklings kicking across the surface. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 18 Apr. 2024 After the storm rolls in, fish are less likely to suspend in the water column and will move around with the baitfish. Don Wirth, Field & Stream, 4 Apr. 2024 How to Fish for Crappie When a Front Is Coming Before a storm, crappie school up to bird-dog wandering baitfish. Don Wirth, Field & Stream, 4 Apr. 2024 In lakes that are clear, such as the Great Lakes and natural oligotrophic lakes of the north, baits that emulate the natural color of the baitfish in the system should be tried first. David A. Rose, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'baitfish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1755, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of baitfish was in 1755

Dictionary Entries Near baitfish

Cite this Entry

“Baitfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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