Cut Bait Fishing Tips (For Redfish, Black Drum, Snook & More)
By: Tony Acevedo on June 25, 2020
It’s cut bait time!
Predator fish, such as redfish, black drum, snook, and even tarpon can’t resist a stinky chunk of ladyfish or mullet sitting on the bottom.
The smell attracts them from yards away and the innocent piece of meat looks like an easy meal for these big, lazy fish.
However, there’s a lot more to cutting up bait than you might think.
If you cut it the wrong way, or rig it the wrong way, you might be missing out on a lot of fish.
In this video, I’ve got a few different sized mullet and I’ll demonstrate six different ways to cut and rig them.
Plus, you’ll also learn:
- A simple trick for hooking cut bait to disperse more scent
- The biggest mistakes people make when cutting up baitfish
- How to catch more redfish (and fewer catfish)
- And much more
Check out the video below.
How To Cut Up Cut Bait [VIDEO]
There are several ways to cut up baitfish, but how you cut them up depends on how big the fish is.
How to cut up small baitfish
Small fish, like pinfish, or smaller mullet can be fished whole, or cut in half.
If I fish them whole, I’ll sometimes cut a slit in their belly to release more scent, and I’ll rig them through the lips.
This is a great option for if there are a lot of catfish around — they won’t be able to fit the bigger bait in their mouths.
The other option is to cut them in half.
If I do that, I’ll cut the tail off of the back half so that it’s more hydrodynamic and doesn’t spin in the water.
I’ll put the hook through the meat where the tail was and out of the skin.
Putting the hook through the skinny portion where the tail was also helps it to be more hydrodynamic.
When using the front half, I put the hook through the lips.
How to cut up larger baitfish
I usually cut up larger baitfish, like bigger mullet or ladyfish, into thirds.
Making sure the chunk is hydrodynamic is still important here, so I’ll hook the head part through the lips and the back part through the tail (after cutting off the tail).
As far as the middle section goes, if you want to keep the stomach contents in the chunk to release more scent, then put the hook through the side where the stomach is.
If you want to make the middle section more aerodynamic, you can slice off the stomach to create what’s called a plug, which will still catch a ton of fish.
And with all sections of all sizes, make sure the hook point is exposed and there are no scales blocking it, otherwise, you’re more likely to miss a hookset.
Cut bait is a great way to catch big fish and if you rig the cut bait right, you’ll increase your chances even more.
Whenever you rig cut bait, make sure that the hook is going through the skinnier side, so it’s more hydrodynamic.
And if you want to catch more big predator fish and fewer catfish, here are two tips:
For one, use a bigger piece of cut bait.
They won’t be able to get their mouths around it.
And two, make sure you’re fishing where big, hungry predator fish are feeding.
It doesn’t matter how stinky or good-looking a cut piece of mullet is, if there are no predator fish in the area, you won’t catch any.
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