Live bait hook up

Below shows the best places to hook your bait when fishing different ways. From trout to grouper, inshore and off, hooking your bait right will help you catch more fish! Rigging a Live Bait. Mullet shown on bottom with the hook placed through the roof of the mouth.

Both of these methods ensure a lively bait and a good hook set. Hooking your bait this way allows your hook to be exposed for better hookups and can end in a visual bite that will get your blood flowing. This is the little black dot in the middle of the head.


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Place the hook in front of the brain for a long lasting bait. This allows the shrimp to swim freely. Some anglers opt to break off the horn of the shrimp to allow scent dispersion and to make easier for a fish to eat. This technique works great for delicate presentations to spooky fish in shallow water, schooling redfish being a great example.

Hooking a bait this way allows this bait to swim with ease.

How to Hook Live Bait

This method is preferred when free lining or pitching baits to cruising fish such as cobia. When looking at the bait, you will see a small hole in front of the eye of the bait.

You will want to run your hook through this hole. This method is preferred by most for slow trolling live bait for pelagic species.

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This works great when wanting to get a bait near structure on bottom but don't want to deal with hanging up terminal tackle in the rocks. How to rig a live bait.

How To Rig Your Live Bait

It's good to get your live baits ready before you hit the spot to drop, you don't want to waste half the drop time mucking around to rig a live bait on your hook. So once you've identified your drift and sign on the sounder before the drift begins hook your live bait on, put it back into the live bait tank and get ready to pull it out when your skipper calls for you to drop.

Rigging a Live Bait

However, it's not essential, especially if your live baits are getting bitten faster than they run out of puff. A nice soft bait net will make it easier too, those little live baits can be tricky to catch by hand! Hold the livebait jack mackerel, small kahawai firmly just behind the head so you can place the hook. Look for a clear patch almost white and gel looking between the eye and the nostril.

Put the hook through the soft clear patch.

Catch More with Live Fish Bait | Sport Fishing Magazine

With your circle hook, take care to roll the hook into a position so that the tip of the hook pierces and runs easily through from one side and out the other. You want the livebait to be able to swim as easily and naturally as possible. Check your hook position, does the tip of your hook point towards your leader line? Matching hook size to bait size is important.