Live Lining and Trolling

Live lining is a very popular method for teaching new anglers to fish. To live line, drop your live bait from a boat or pier into the water, allowing it to swim freely at the end of your line.

Live Lining

Live lining is a classic example of fishing with a worm on a hook suspended under a bobber. The bobber or cork keeps the bait at a preset depth and alerts you to a fish bite by disappearing under the water. This is also one of the best fishing techniques to teach children as it is easy to do with a spincaster reel.

Your fishing line is “live” when your boat is anchored in a flowing body of water like a river or stream. Use live or prepared fishing bait and keep it on or just off the bottom. Live lining off the bottom allows your line to drift with the current through holes and rocks where the fish may be holding. Your equipment and the size of your fishing hooks and lures depend on what type of fish you’re after.


Trolling is done using a small electric motor that moves the boat quietly through the water so fish aren’t spooked. But you can also troll by towing a lure while walking along the edge of a shoreline, bridge or pier. The speed of the boat determines the depth of your bait. And the depth of the bait is determined by the species of fish you’re trying to catch.

Use a spinning reel or a bait caster for trolling. Some states don’t allow motorized trolling, so check out your local fishing regulations to avoid tangling with the fish enforcers.

Learn more about other fishing techniques using live bait in our next section.