I use artificials now. After hauling a cast net, bait bucket and the rest of my gear and then spending time netting mullet for bait, I have decided that it has not helped me catch more fish in my area (NC). I have caught as many flounder on jigs or other artificials as live bait and have certainly caught more trout and redfish using lures. I fish from shore or wade, so taking the time to get bait is not that worth it for me. One exception may be getting crabs for big redfish during certain times of the year...but I go to a local seafood restaurant and ask for the dead crabs they cull in the morning since they can't use them for dinner (easy).