How to Hook a Bait Fish

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There are also numerous ways to hook bait fish. Bait type, size and fishing conditions all play a role in the way to hook your bait. There are many ways to bait fish. Some ways work better than others and it is worthwhile to learn the most popular of these techniques. Follow the steps below for an introduction to hooking bait fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Assorted bait fish
  • Hook the bait fish through the back, just in front of the dorsal fin. Insert the hook through the fish making sure the hook penetrates enough flesh to provide a sturdy attachment. Done correctly, the bait will live for quite awhile and will swim lively. This may the most popular way to hook bait fish. This method works well with large pinfish and mullet, although any size or type of bait may be hooked this way.

  • Hook the bait fish through the lips. Grasp the bait by the body and insert the hook up through the lips, from the bottom to the top. If the bait has thin lips that tear easily, move the hook back into the fish, closer to the eyes. One variation of this is to run the hook through the eye sockets. Hooking through the lips is another popular method, probably ranking just behind hooking in the back. Hooking through the lips works well with white bait, ballyhoo and other delicate fish.

  • Hook the bait fish through the tail. Placing the hook through the underside of the tail, just behind the anal fin, will often cause the bait fish to swim toward the bottom. The hook can also be placed through the top part of the tail, allowing the fish to swim strongly. This method works well with pinfish and mullet.

  • A variation of Step 1 and Step 3 is to use a stinger hook. This works great for kingfish, which commonly hit the rear of the bait. Wire a trailing hook from the main hook with a piece of wire. Make the stinger length about 6 inches long, and then hook the main hook through the back and the stinger through the tail. This rig is great for hitting those short striking gamefish. This set-up will work with most types of bait fish, as long as they are of sufficient size.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure your hooks are sharp, and touch them up with a stone if needed.
  • Use caution when working with hooks.
  • Photo Credit All Images by Daniel Ray
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