Use This Simple Rig To Catch A Variety Of Baitfish

How do you normally catch your baitfish to use for fishing?

What if you are out fishing with kids and want to get them on some fish?

Check out how to assemble this super simple baitfish rig down below!!

Learn more here!

Simple Rig To Catch A Variety Of Baitfish

This simple setup will catch smaller fish that you can use for bait or entertain your kids with some tight lines.

All you need to assemble it is a small hook, a split shot weight, and leader material.

If you are having a tough day with artificial lures, this is a great way to get some live bait and change things up.

You do not even need to change your rod setup and switch it out for a lighter setup.

Whatever you normally use for inshore fishing will work with this rig.


You want to use no less than 20-lb monofilament leader for this rig and on the end a #2 octopus hook.

About an inch or so above the hook is where you cinch down the split shot.

Split shot #4 usually works for most situations but the weight may vary depending on the depth and current you are fishing.

There is no need to go out and buy pre-packaged rigs when you can assemble this simple rig at home.

Ideal Baits

To induce bites from small baitfish, you need to use small, bite-sized pieces of bait on the hook.

Ideally, you are using small pieces of shrimp, fiddler crabs, or sand fleas.

Make sure the pieces of bait are small and around one inch in size.

If it is larger, the baitfish will peck at it until they are able to tear it off and steal the bait.

If these baits are not readily available to you, then cut pieces of Gulp! will work as well as Fish Bites.

Where You Want To Use This Rig

The location of where you drop this rig is very important to catch the targeted species.

You want to fish docks, pilings, rock walls, seawalls, or bridges with deeper water.

You may even hook into a mangrove snapper or a sheepshead near these types of structures.

Simple Rig To Catch A Variety Of Baitfish [VIDEO]

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how to chum for pinfish

Fishing with artificial lures can be challenging so sometimes switching over to live bait can produce some tight lines.

Whether you are looking to catch live bait to rig up for larger fish or just want to get your kids on some fish, this is a simple and effective rig to use.

Be sure to use the proper split shot weight based on depth and current flow!

Do you have any more questions about this simple baitfish rig?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about simple baitfish rigs, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Dave Frymier
1 year ago

Solid advice. I do this with a #8 Kahle.

Rob S
1 year ago

Tony helping to keep it simple! 👍🎅

John Talmadge
1 year ago

I’m an old timer who’s fished around Rockport TX for over fifty years. My live bait of choice for speckled trout is small perch. Piggies are better than Pin Perch, but these days the Piggies are pretty rare. Maybe one perch in fifty will be a piggy in my minnow traps. I use the plain old metal traps, and never the ones that are coated with enamel. I enlarge the holes on the ends by sticking a Coke bottle in to stretch the wire mesh. Bigger holes equals bigger perch, so you can tune to your taste. I almost always catch my perch in 2-3 feet of water off one of the many piers in Rockport. For bait I use dead shrimp, seafood flavor cat food, or anything that attracts bait fish. My best catches are in the afternoon. In clearer shallow water (from a pier) you can see the perch flashing in the grass beds. Bait stands these days sell live bait fish like perch, mullet, and croakers, but they are expensive. Using a hook and line to catch bait fish is okay, but you’re only going to get bigger ones. Traps work better for perch about the size of an old silver dollar. If you are a night fisherman chasing trout on a lighted pier, live shrimp makes great bait, but live perch won’t be pecked to death by trash fish. In fact, that’s also true if you’re wade fishing the flats or fishing the jetty. If you’re handy with a cast net and know which culvert into the bay works best, you can catch beautiful finger mullet as well as perch. This is my first post here, so forgive me if this is way too simple for most people, but beginners will benefit from these tips and should be able to fill their buckets with live bait. Cheers – T

Larry Poe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Talmadge

Great info John. I mainly use a cast net and minnow trap for live bait, and sometimes dig the beach for bait, but do not have your experience. I appreciate your insights.

roy noblin
1 year ago

long ago i started catching pinfish and cutting about one inch square pieces for bait and caught less catfish but more of the good fish.
pinfish are the worst bait stealers i am aware of so i found about 1/4 inch piece of shrimp flavor fishbite on #4 bream hook on about 8# mono with small split shot near the hook on small rod and reel would catch more pinfish than i needed and they are about everywhere so no wasted time catching a few.
i’ll never forget near a oyster bar i stopped to catch a few pins and use for trout the line took off big time and luckily the drag was real loose so line didn’t break. it took awhile to land that about 18 inch trout that had hit it so yes good rig to catch pins but that was not the only trout and other fish that hit it.

Lyle Crafton
1 year ago

Excellent recommendation on bait size. They’ll certainly pick it off if too big, needs to be just right for what you’re fishing for. Works for pinfish also. Small pinfish, small baits… Kids have a blast catching pinfish. Even without kids on the boat I usually use a little 10$ compact kids reel with just two small hooks for catching pinfish. No tangles like you get with a sabiki rig. Just about two fish on every drop right off the side of the boat. You can get dozens of pinfish pretty quick.

Jorge Contreras
1 year ago

I spoke with some one a couple days ago and I’m glad the team put together a piece on catching bait fish. Thanks SALT STRONG! Tight lines


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