This thread will be about how I and others prepare their baits for trolling. There are other ways to prepare baits, but the technique to be described on the this page and other pages has worked great for us in the Carolinas and elsewhere. First, we scale the bait fish and this allow the pores to open up and thus put out more scent. You should have as fresh a bait as you can get for this to be effective. First photo depicts the scaled bait. Second step is to filet off one side and then the other. If you have big blues in the area, you can use a whole filet for bait. Take note that I leave the tail fins on the filet. While you are trolling at 1/2 MPH of less, this gives the appearance of a live fish. Second photo depicts the whole filet. Third step is, half the filet if you are fishing for medium to small cats. Take notice that I leave some of the tail fins on the strip filet, for the same reasons stated above. Third photo depicts the filets cut in half. Fourth step is to disconnect the head from the carass. The head is a great bait and believe it or not, a trophy flathead will bust it if it comes across his domain. Photo for this will be shown later.