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The two most popular baits are herring and anchovy, but sand lance, pilchard and shiners also work well. You can add a plastic holder to the baitfish that will create an enticing roll as it is trolled.
You can also cut long strips from the sides of baitfish, which can be trolled in action-inducing plastic holders. Or a herring may be plug-cut; this means you cut the head off at a beveled angle, causing the "cut plug" to rotate when drawn through the water. The degree of angle and bevel determines the speed of rotation. To add a darting action, use "flashers" or "dodgers" ahead of a trolled bait. They also give the impression of a salmon actively feeding on smaller baitfish.
Use baitfish to tempt bottom fish, too. This can be easily done by placing a small piece of cut bait on a hook for flounder, or you can use a whole herring to entice a halibut or yelloweye rockfish. For this type of deep water fishing, use L-shaped spreader-bars of stiff wire to prevent the bait and sinker from tangling with the line as everything plunges toward the bottom.