Whether trolling, drifting, casting or jigging, anglers' lures typically mimic live prey. "Sometimes predators know whatever we're pulling or throwing isn't the real deal," says Capt. Damon McKnight (superstrikecharters.com), "but when you put out a real fish with an actual heartbeat, it triggers their brain to attack." This is particularly true for McKnight, fishing out of Venice, Louisiana, where oil rigs — often far offshore in cobalt-blue water over a thousand feet deep — present for predators permanent smorgasbords of live offerings. For most anglers, live-bait choices can be diverse. How can anglers be sure which to select and how to fish them? Nine professional skippers— spread far and wide — offer their advice here for live-bait choice, as well as tips to produce the most bites.