Live Bait Underwater Study (Shocking Results)


The results and evidence from the 1-year underwater live bait study are in!

World-record holder, Capt. Peter Deeks has been working on a secret project for the past year where he’s been studying how different baits react in different scenarios underwater…

Here’s why this is so important:

Many people think that just because they have live bait, the fish will automatically want to eat it.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Yes, live bait is the best way to catch lots of big fish, but if you don’t present the bait correctly, you won’t catch anything.

Big fish are smart and if your bait doesn’t look natural, they’ll want nothing to do with it.

So if you rig your shrimp in the middle and it’s helicoptering in the water…

Or if you hook your pinfish in the back and it’s flopping on the bottom on its side…

Then you probably won’t catch anything (except maybe a slimy catfish).

Listen in on this podcast as Capt. Peter Deeks and I share some of the main discoveries from the underwater live bait investigation he went on over the past year and show you how you can catch more (and BIGGER) fish.

You can get your copy of the exclusive Underwater Bait Forensics course here.

You can listen to this episode by clicking the play button below, or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.


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Live Bait Underwater Study [PODCAST]

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Before we get into the notes for this podcast, I just want to make one thing clear: when we talk about live bait fishing here, we’re not talking about using shrimp to catch little snapper under a bridge.

We’re talking about catching trophy fish.

And live bait is the best way to catch lots of them.

So let’s get into it…

How Baitfish Drown In Water

Maybe drowning isn’t exactly the right word here, but baitfish can suffocate in water.

For fish to get oxygen, water needs to flow through their mouths and out of their gills.

But if a fish is hooked so that it’s facing the same direction as the current, and water is flowing through their gills and out of their mouth, then they won’t be able to get any oxygen.

They’ll get really tired at first, and they’ll eventually die.

When Should You Use A Weight With Live Bait?

This is a great question that really depends on where and how you’re fishing.

If you know where the fish are feeding and it’s within casting distance, then you can use a weight to keep your bait in the feeding zone.

Also, if you’re fishing in an inlet or a pass, the fish are on the bottom, out of the strongest part of the current, so you’ll need a weight to get your bait down there.

On the other hand, if you want your bait to go out and find the predator fish for you, then don’t use a weight.

By tail-hooking them, you can get them to swim 100 yards away from the boat to where the fish are much less spooky and more likely to eat.

How To Choose The Right Hook Size

For a long time, Capt. Peter (and Luke and I, and probably the rest of the world, too) thought that you needed to match the hook to the fish you’re targeting.

For instance, if you’re targeting 40″ snook, you’d need a big ol’ hook.

But that’s not true at all.

What you need to do is match the hook to the bait you’re using.

Your first priority when rigging live bait is to get the strike.

If you rig a shrimp on a 4/0 hook, the hook will be too heavy for the shrimp and it’ll sink down to the bottom and die (and not catch any fish).

So you won’t even need to worry about if the hook is strong enough (because you won’t get any strikes…)

Instead, match the hook size to the size of the bait and use a smaller hook with shrimp, usually around a size #1 hook.

Now you might be thinking, there’s no way you can catch a decent size fish with a #1 hook…

And that used to be true, but these days the top brands make really strong hooks so that even a #1 hook can bring in a big fish.

So the big takeaways here are:

  1. Match the size of the hook to the size of the bait
  2. Buy quality hooks

Why You Should Never Use Store-Bought Rigs

Capt. Peter is on the water nearly every day and he always pays attention to what other people are using.

One of the most common things he sees (that nearly guarantees you won’t catch fish) are people using bulky, heavy, flashy store-bought rigs.

These rigs are made to catch fishermen, not fish, and there’s just too much going on to make the baitfish rigged on them look natural.

Sure, you might catch a catfish, but you most likely won’t catch a snook, trout, or redfish.

All you really is 3′ of 20 lb. fluorocarbon, a 1/0 hook, and a 1/4 oz split shot and you can catch nearly every inshore fish.

Top 3 Live Bait Rigging Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Once you actually see how baitfish behave underwater in different scenarios, it’s a whole new ballgame.

You’ll realize how many fish you’ve missed out on and never go back to rigging baits the wrong way again.

Want to start catching more trophy fish with live bait?

Then click here to get a copy of Underwater Bait Forensics.

Have any questions about how fish behave underwater?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who rigs bait the wrong way, please TAG or SHARE this with them.

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Giomar Jaramillo
3 years ago

Can you elaborate on the leader? So in his example if tarpon are spooky then he will connect his braid to a light flourocarbon like 20 then add a “bite leader” which is the 80lb leader? I’m assuming flouro to flouro would would be tied with a double uni knot?

Ed Carlson
3 years ago

I’m in Pensacola Florida. Last week, we saw several pods of 20-40 redfish in the shallows nearshore…. fish were “meandering about.” Threw many different lures (including Slam Shady) and only got two hookups. Gotchas, spoons, gulp shrimp, topwater, yo-Zuri, Hogey, etc…. These redfish would stay in same general area for extended period of time, and sometimes we were casting at same fish from only 10-15 feet away. They weren’t scared or spooked. This occurred on two separate days.

Bait store guy surmises they are pre spawn and not biting…. but directly after spawning they’ll be voracious. 

Your thoughts on why they wouldn’t hit? Suggestion on what they may hit? 


3 years ago

Not able to find the under water video for bait fishing.


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