Butterfish make an excellent live bait, they are quite hardy and if hooked through the back survive repeat casting and they wriggle like hell. I lost what felt like a very good fish a couple of seasons ago fishing close in on a shallow sandy gulley. Ive had bass butterfish just about every time ive used them. they are very consistant. I use them over sand either float fished or freelined. I ve used them over rock but find they swim under rocks and into weed and you quickly loose your gear. maybe setting the depth on a float shallower will solve this. Its a very exciting way to fish just not as practical as lure fishing. Catching butterfish is easy enough if you turn rocks at low water and use a small fish net, but they dont like heat and need to be kept cool.