Fishing with Live Bait…
Nearly every species of fish that we target off Miami & Miami Beach can be caught
with live bait. For some live bait fishing style is better & others even Trolling with live bait though they can be caught on live bait other methods can be more successful.
When we are trolling with live bait we must move the boat a head a a very slow pace. The baits must be pulled at a slow speed so that the baits swim along naturally, not spinning. Small Pilchards and Sardines can be trolled at 1-2 knots while Bonitos & Speedo’s can be trolled at 3+ knots. When trolling dead bait or lures we can troll at 6 – 10+ knots depending on the baits and the conditions. Live bait trolling is better to work a concentrated area, where traditional dead bait trolling is more effective where the fish are spread out & covering a wide area is needed.
Bottom fishing with live bait
The most aggressive of the bottom fish respond well to live bait. Amberjacks will attack a live bait with ferocity, while they are very difficult to catch on a dead cot cut bait. Groupers will readily eat a live bait, but will also attack a dead bait. Both work well although I think a live bait will entice the larger grouper to bite.
Kite Fishing with live bait
You can suspend a live or dead bait from a fishing kite, but the live bait will out fish the dead for most species most of the time. The only exceptions that we have found are some sharks can find the dead bait better & do not realize the bait is not alive by the action of the kite. Tuna will also be fooled by a dead or rubber flying fish suspended from a fishing kite.
Casting live bait
When casting into a school of Dolphin (mahi) or Mackerel, live baits are very effective. The schooled fish will compete with each other for the live baits, when this happens the bites are aggressive and quick. While dead bait will get eaten, the live baits are attacked.
Chumming with live bait
A very effective fishing method is to chum with live bait. We will through out smaller live baits free to swim around. The baits will run off, but when they realize there is no safety for them they will return to the boat and hide. After some time we will have a school of live fish circling the boat and swimming with our hooked baits. The mass of bait in the water will attract predators from a long way away. We use this style of live bait chumming with slow trolling, kite fishing, casting, some bottom fishing & other fishing methods. It really works !