bait·​fish | \ ˈbāt-ˌfish How to pronounce baitfish (audio) \

Definition of baitfish

: 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

In the past month, large schools of baitfish — mainly anchovies — migrated into San Francisco Bay from the ocean. Tom Stienstra,, "Bay anglers score best catch numbers in a lifetime," 27 June 2019 The invasive mussels are filter-feeders, and feed on the zooplankton and phytoplankton the young game fish require before growing large enough to feed on baitfish. D'arcy Egan,, "Lake Erie walleye boom’s cause is a mystery, but no one is complaining," 13 July 2019 Many fish that were small then have grown into adults since, and the nearly endless food supply in the lake, made up of billions of gizzard shad and other baitfish, helps them to grow fast. Frank Sargeant,, "Lake Guntersville returns to glory in Bassmaster Magazine national rankings," 3 July 2019 Scott Kerslake of Okeechobee Just 4 Bass Guide Service, referring to the small baitfish that bass love to eat. Steve Waters, miamiherald, "Despite warm temperatures, bass are still spawning and creating some thrilling fishing," 1 June 2018 The reservoir, however, is experiencing a conflicting life cycle — loaded with some of the healthiest residents in its history at a time when an abundance of baitfish demands a re-adjustment of its hearty, historical expectations. Bryce Miller,, "Wildly-popular Lake Barrett adjusting its bass-catching expectations," 26 Apr. 2018 And the river is connected to Lake Pontchartrain, a large tidal bay that feeds it with baitfish throughout the year. Todd Masson,, "Personal-best bass on my home river," 17 Apr. 2018 Large schools of baitfish, juvenile anchovies and krill, have arrived. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Whales, orcas converge in Monterey Bay," 2 Apr. 2018 The area gets more productive as baitfish seem to sprout from every rangia clam shell in Lake Pontchartrain. Todd Masson,, "On a mission for more topwater speckled trout, redfish," 6 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baitfish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of baitfish

1755, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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The first known use of baitfish was in 1755

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