Rigging a Live Bait

By Brenton Roberts

There is a long list of great baits found throughout Florida. One thing that can stump many anglers after catching your favorite game fish candy is, how to rig it?

Hook placement is one key to success when fishing with live bait. Knowing where to hook the bait in multiple places for different situations can make a day. Always observe the area you are fishing before rigging your bait. Ask yourself these questions. Is there bait around? If so, what are they doing? Are they schooled on top or marking on the fishfinder down low? What is the tide or current doing? Take a mental note of the answers to these questions, because they should play a major role in helping you decide how to hook your bait.

The health and longevity of life of your bait is also dependent on where your hooked is placed. Allowing a bait to be dragged in the current due to poor hook placement doesn’t look natural and the bait will end up drowning. Majority of the time a fish will pass on a bait if something doesn’t look right, especially when they have another option for food. Refusals from fish can become very frustrating, leaving you scratching your head. I personally have seen many fish such as snook and tarpon follow a bait for 30 seconds or more inspecting the meal, to then turn away, leading me to question, “What if I hooked it in the nose, would I have gotten the bite?”

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!

Check out Florida Sportsman‘s Baits, Rigs & Tackle book for more information on rigging your favorite baits.