Top 3 Ways to Hook Live Bait

A well-rigged bait can mean the difference between catching a fish and watching one swim by. Learning how to hook live bait seems self-explanatory until you realize the anatomy of a fish can reveal a lot about the results you’ll receive. Here are our top 3 ways to hook live bait. 

# 1 of the Top 3 Ways to Hook Live Bait

When observing mullet anatomy, you’ll find a hard spot right in front of their eyes. This cartilage lies just behind the top lip where their ‘nose’ would be. By piercing your hook through the lips, you’ll avoid their brain while securing them to your line. Be sure the barb of your hook is exposed, or you may lose your bait and your fish at the same time. 

For a video demonstration, click here

# 2 of the Top 3 Ways to Hook Live Bait

Next, you’ll search for the anal fin. You can find the anal fin by tracing the bottom of the fish back toward the tail. They call it the anal fin because it sits right behind their butt. By threading your hook around the anal fin and through the body of the fish, you’ll secure your hook while still allowing the fish to swim around. This is an excellent method for fishing the beaches. 

For a video demonstration, click here

# 3 of the Top 3 Ways to Hook Live Bait

The third and equally important way of hooking live bait is to hook the dorsal fin. To locate the dorsal fin, trace the top of the fish back toward the tail. The dorsal fin is the first fin you’ll come across on top of the body. The dorsal fin usually has a nasty spine to help prevent predators. 

Underneath the dorsal fin lies a chunk of cartilage where your hook can thread securely. Similar to how you thread the hook around the anal fin, you’ll thread just around the dorsal fin avoiding any scales on the tip of your hook. And you’re set! 

For a video demonstration, click here

Many of you may now be thinking, what’s the difference? Will it matter if I put my hook in these three places versus other places on the fish? 

The difference (and there is a difference) will reveal itself when you try threading your hook through another part of the fish body. If you want to test the difference, we encourage you to do so and pull on your line as if you are a big fish. There’s a good chance the hook will rip right through the flesh without much force. That’s because, without the cartilage to hold your hook in place, you’re left with scales and flesh—an easy bait for fish that know better. 

For more tips, tricks, and BIG fish stories, please subscribe to our blog, or visit us for a weekend or two! We have free fishing clinics every Saturday with our very own Captain on deck to answer your questions – compliments of

We look forward to seeing you and your big catch! 


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