Fishing tip of the week

Carolina rig and the spring
by Mike Gerry

As we move into this transition time every year, where the bass are staging a lot prior to the spawn, it seems difficult to get a consistent bite. This is the time the Carolina rig comes into play.

The Carolina rig is the kind of bait that has much more versatility than most people imagine, you just have to be creative when you set it up and when you fish it. If you’re an old-timer like me, you probably learned that the Carolina rig is a bait that can be dragged on the bottom with a heavy weight about two feet from the end of the line.

In fact, we used to throw two of them out and drag one on each arm, moving them slowly, with the power of the trolling motor. We called it: “fishing a ball and chain!” Often, we were very successful, working back and forth from one side of a creek bed to the other. Today, the options to change it are wide and many! In fact, there are many baits that can be rigged in the Carolina fashion and dragged on the bottom; be imaginative and try baits from crank baits to flukes!

We first made the rig more versatile by changing the bait we were dragging. For many years it was just commonplace to rig it with a Do-Nothing worm. It had three hooks, the bait was very short, and any novice could catch fish with it, as it hooked a fish without a hook set. Then we changed the weight from a heavy one ounce to a variety of weights addressing different depths and different situations. Today the options have become endless.

With just a slight change in leader length, weight, and type of bait, you can address many different situations and fish it deep, shallow, around grass, rocks, and stumps. If you change the bait on the end it also gives you options: you can fish floating baits and fish it off the bottom, fish a long worm and give it more action with many possibilities. Today you can go to fluorocarbon line that sinks and also change its presentation. The point is, using your imagination and a Carolina Rig can address about any situation and catch you fish as we approach the spawn!
Captain Mike

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