How to Guide a Live Bait

A free-lined live bait generally goes where it wants

guiding live bait
Live bait generally goes where it wants, but you have some control.Illustration by Steve Sanford

A free-lined live bait generally goes where it wants, but it can be steered. When fish are lying down in the water column and you don't want the encumbrance of a lead weight, hook the bait low and forward. It will resist the pressure of the line and swim away while the hook placement guides it into the depths.