Trolling with Live or Dead Bait: 5 Tricks from Fishermen

Written by Boatsetter Team
January 4, 2018

Last Updated on September 2, 2021 by Boatsetter Team

Long before the word “trolling” was associated with the Internet, it referred to what fisherman have been doing for countless generations, cruising the waters as the best method to catching fish. Most of us tend to underestimate the intelligence of fish or at least the strength of their natural instincts.

Simply put, a dead fish will not attract as much attention to other fish as a living swimming one. This article will help you understand when you should use live and when you should use dead bait so you can be sure to have the best time out on the water possible.

1) Dead Bait

Dead bait has generally been a preferred method for a very long time for obvious reasons. It is much easier to handle a dead fish, and get things properly attached so that you know the fish will stay on the line. While you can learn to rig the fish pretty quickly, getting it to actually “swim” can be a lot trickier.

2) How to Use Dead Bait

Dead bait is best used with you have an experienced mate and a captain who is good at trolling. If you are an amateur fisherman, you might not have these skills just yet. A good mate will always watch the line to make sure things are working. Not only this, but they can usually tell what kind of fish is biting just based on the nature of the strike. From here, they can help you use the right technique to reel one in.

3) Live Bait

Live bait has gained a lot of popularity these days. They just make plain sense when it comes to fishing, but they require a little more time and patience. In this case, you are less reliant upon trolling because you already a fish moving in the water. Essentially, the fish is doing all the work for you, but you still have to be on your guard. You don’t want some larger fish just taking a bite out of your bait, leaving you empty-handed.

4) How to Use Live Bait

Live bait is best when it is fresh. Ideally, you actually catch these bait early in the day and then just apply it. There are all kinds of fish that you can use depending on where you are fishing. Ballyhoo is popular in the Keys and Bonito is popular in Costa Rica, for example. These fish are also easy to catch and depending on the season you may run into whole schools of them! With one of them on the line, you will be ready for the big haul in no time at all.

5) When to Use Live and When to Use Dead Bait

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these baits. Many people are preferring to use live bait these days, but it will come at the expense of speed. Larger fish require faster trolling which often kills your live bait.  The best thing for you to do is talk with your captain and some local fishermen and see what they are using.

Final Thoughts

Every area is different and you might find some unique places where dead bait or live bait works better despite what everybody else might be saying.  This is why you need to experiment and find out the best technique for you to catch the fish of your dreams!

If you think you have what it takes to be a great captain, then read this short guide and maybe you soon you will be behind the wheel of your own fishing expeditions!

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