How To Catch Trophy Trout Using Live Bait (With Capt. Peter Deeks)


Want to catch your personal-best speckled trout this year?

Then you’ve got to tune into this LIVE podcast episode with Capt. Peter Deeks!

Capt. Peter is sharing his exact blueprint of how to go out and catch monster snook and trout early in the spring with his “live bait management” technique.

This technique has helped him catch several world records and become the fishing guide other fishing guides call up (including Bill Dance!) when they want to catch big inshore fish.

bill dance podcast interview

In this episode Capt. Peter is live and unedited and shares a TON of helpful information, including:

  • where to catch big trout and snook early in the spring
  • what to do when a big fish hits your bait but gets off (this will get you more trophy fish and fewer heartbreaks)
  • how to actively fish live bait to catch world-record fish (including one tip that nearly everyone does the opposite of, but that’s hurting their catches)
  • the exact equipment and rigging you need to land these monster fish

And much more!

I definitely recommend watching the video version of this podcast below, but you can also listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

How To Catch Trophy Trout Using Live Bait [VIDEO]

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How To Catch Trophy Trout Using Live Bait [PODCAST]

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How To Fish With Live Bait

One thing that a lot of people do wrong when fishing with live bait is tossing a bait out, setting the rod in the rod holder, sitting back, and busting out a sandwich.

I’m all for relaxing, but if you want to catch trophy fish, you’ll need to switch it up.

What we were doing was letting our bait swim freely and naturally to not tip off the fish that anything was different.

We had the bail open and were feeding the line to the fish so that it wasn’t slowing them down.

What most people want to do is keep the line tight to the fish so that they know exactly where it is and can feel the strike.

When they do this, the tension on the line pushes a lot of water, which spooks the fish because they can feel all the commotion in their lateral line.

Another advantage of fishing like this is that your bait can swim farther from the boat to where the predators are much less spooky and more likely to eat.

The Best Spots For Springtime Trophy Fish

As winter turns into spring, trophy trout and monster snook are the first fish to appear on the flats.

Most fish spend their winters in areas with deeper water, like residential canals, so shallow flats close to these areas are great springtime spots.

In this video, we were fishing a cove where the water was pushing up into the mangrove shoreline.

Now, what separates a good spot from a great spot is the wind and tide.

The wind and tide were both pushing up into the mangroves, so we were able to anchor up pretty far from the shoreline where the big trout were sitting and drift our baits to them.

This helped us stay farther away from the fish than if we had to rely on casting to them.

How To Rig Live Bait For Trophy Fish

how to hook live bait

When rigging live bait for trophy fish, it’s important that the bait looks as natural as possible, and that depends a lot on how its hooked.

If you want your bait to swim, then you need to hook it in the back near the tail.

This is great for times like how we were fishing on the flats.

Capt. Peter likes to use j hooks in this scenario.

Now, if you don’t want your bait to swim far, or if there’s a ton of current, you’ll want to hook your bait through the lips.

Examples of this time would be if you’re fishing docks or bridges.

Capt. Peter likes to use circle hooks in this scenario.

Check out this article to learn more about rigging live bait.

Setting The Hook When Using Live Bait

When you’re fishing your live bait like this, there is a lot of loose line out in the water.

So when you first feel the strike (and even though there’s lots of loose line, you will, as long as you’re using braided line), reel in all the slack as quickly as you can until you hear drag pulling.

Once you hear drag pulling, set the hook.

Now when you go to set the hook when using live bait, you’re not necessarily trying to set the hook into the fish’s mouth like most people think.

Instead, you’re trying to pop the hook out of the bait so that it can hook into the fish’s mouth.

And, yes, Capt. Peter recommends doing this with both circle hooks and j hooks.


trophy trout on live bait

I love these unedited formats where guys like Capt. Peter Deeks can just open up and teach.

I learned a ton about trophy trout and snook, as well as how to properly fish live bait, and I hope you did, too!

Have any questions about how to catch big inshore fish?

Or have any requests for captains, species, scenarios, or areas for us to do a live podcast in?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who wants to catch trophy inshore fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to the best fishing spots, tips, and exclusive gear and discounts? Click here to join us and +12,000 other anglers in the Insider Club!

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James Woodmansee
3 years ago

Joe, that was a great one! Thank you.

Ferdinand Alsina
3 years ago

great podcast/video. I love these type of live recorded videos. Keep them coming

Terry Reelitz
3 years ago

Great video Joe – can you recap rods/reels and line you were using?

3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Reelitz

We were using 20lb and 30lb Invisabraid by Spiderwire… Rods are Penn Battalion 7’6 medium fast action (Batin1017s76) and the reels Penn Slammer 3’s 3500 in size.

Glenn Acomb
3 years ago

Excellent video. I have often used a popping cork with live or cut bait to keep the bait in right depth (assuming the flats are even). Compare when and where you use the two different techniques.

David Polovina
3 years ago

If you didn’t learn anything from this lesson take up golf. Thanks Peter, look forward to seeing you on the water as again.

3 years ago
Reply to  David Polovina

Thank David! You the man!!!! ????????

George Layton
3 years ago

Seeing the technique was great !!

William Allison
3 years ago

Awesome video! Love the live podcasts by far my favorite and Capt. Deeks is always great

3 years ago

Thank you so much William!!! You’re great!! ????

Marc Floyd
3 years ago

Enjoyed the tips and live show. Capt Deeks has to be the most well spoken, clear and calm voice around. Keep the shows coming and be safe out there.

3 years ago
Reply to  Marc Floyd



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