How To Use Cut Ladyfish For Redfish, Snook, Trout, & Sharks
It’s cut bait time!
If you’re looking to have a relaxing day on the water and catch some big fish, it’s tough to beat fishing with cut bait.
You can just soak some smelly chunks on the bottom and hang out until you get a bite!
It’s also great for kids or beginner fishermen because it’s so easy, you don’t need any fancy lures or equipment, and you don’t need to troll around making perfect casts to points, docks, or other structure.
And best of all, it’s still really effective even when conditions are bad for fishing.
Check out the video below where I’ll walk you step by step through my recent trip cut bait fishing trip.
- Where I fished (and why I picked that spot)
- How to catch fewer catfish on cut bait
- The best way to rig cut bait for more strikes
- And much more
Using Cut Ladyfish As Bait [VIDEO]
The day after a cold front with cloudless skies and clear water can be tricky to fish…
And when you time that with the bottom of the tide when the water is barely moving, it can be downright frustrating!
But we don’t always get perfect conditions on the days when we can fish, so I powered through to show you that even on bad days you can still catch fish and have some fun.
Here are the five steps to catch fish with cut ladyfish:
Step 1: Catch ladyfish
Ladyfish are aggressive feeders and you can catch them on many different types of lures around points with depth change.
Once you’ve found them, slow down your retrieve and do sharp, erratic twitches to get them to strike.
But finding and getting them to strike is just half the battle.
They’re masters at spitting the hook, so when you do have them on, keep the rod tip low and then sling (or net) them into the boat when you get them close.
Step 2: Find a fishy spot
When you’re looking for where to fish, wading birds and bait are great signs that there are gamefish around.
You also want to be fishing near structure.
In this case, there was a mangrove shoreline nearby and I was fishing along a dropoff.
Other types of inshore structure include docks, oyster bars, points, seagrass, seawalls, and others.
And once you’ve found your spot, be sure to approach it slowly and quietly to not spook off any fish in the area (this is one of the biggest mistakes I see anglers make).
Step 3: Prepare your bait
Here’s the big problem with using cut bait: catfish!
Catfish love cut bait and it’s just one of the hoops you’ll have to go through to enjoy this type of fishing.
However, there are a few things you can do to catch fewer catfish.
One is to use big chunks.
Two-inch chunks of ladyfish will be too big for many catfish to get in their mouths, so all they’ll be able to do is peck at it.
Another thing to do is use fresh ladyfish.
Frozen ladyfish seems to attract more catfish and fewer gamefish.
Once you’ve got your chunks, rig them up on a circle hook (I used these 5/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hooks) through the belly.
Hooking them through the belly and cutting off any pelvic fins will make them more aero and hydrodynamic, so they’ll cast farther and won’t tumble around in the water and get all tangled up.
Finally, use weights as necessary.
Since the water wasn’t that deep and there wasn’t really any current, I was able to freeline these chunks.
If you’re fishing in deeper water with strong current, check out this rig for cut bait.
Step 4: Cast out your baits
On this trip, I was near a dropoff so I tossed out three baits at three different depths.
The baits in the deeper water were getting hit, while the one in the shallow water was left alone, which helped me identify where the feeding zone was on this day.
Once your bait is in place, make sure the drag is set properly, set the rod in the rod holder, and relax!
Step 5: Catch Fish!
You’ll likely see your rod tip dance as catfish and other tiny trash fish peck at your bait, so it can be tempting to try to reel it in, but don’t do it yet.
Small fish pecking at your bait can attract bigger fish, so wait until you actually have a fish on before you start reeling.
Also, when you’re using circle hooks you don’t need to set the hook.
When the fish grabs the bait and swims away, the circle hook will stick in the corner of their mouth, so all you need to do is reel.
If you want to have a relaxing day on the water, but still catch fish, it’s tough to beat cut bait fishing.
Redfish, black drum, tarpon, snook, sharks, and trout will all pick up a piece of smelly cut bait on the bottom, and you don’t need any fancy lures or equipment.
Have any questions about using ladyfish for cut bait?
Let me know down in the comments.
And if you know someone who wants to get better at catching fish with cut bait, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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