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  • Carolina Rig in the Spring

    Even though I do not fish a Carolina rig a lot it is however a very effective fish catching bait for spring time fishing. My bias against it has nothing to do with its ability to produce bites only that I have had customers hit each other or hook each other because of the leader and safety for me as a guide always has to come first.


    The bait without question is a great presentation and an easy bait to hook a fish with for a novice fisherman; you just have to make a few adjustments to how you rig it. The key is that in the spring you are generally fishing shallow as the spawn is occurring generally in water less than 10 ft. deep. When we are in this period the thought of this rig presenting itself by basically pulling it along the bottom is very enticing; the bottom change makes the bait raise and drop with the contours of the bottoms. Grass, shells, rock and more just constantly change how the bait appears to the fish as it is pulled along the bottom; causing the bait to move or crawl along the bottom like a crawfish and offering a meal that is always in the strike zone.


    The adjustments that need to be made to make the bait work are very few; the first thing is because you are fishing shallow water you must lighten the weight; the most popular Carolina rig set up is fished with to 1 oz. weights in deep water. With this spring time set up I never go much lighter than a oz. or much heavier than 3/8 oz. this allows the bait to be pulled without hanging up easily on the bottom. The next thing is to shorten the leader to no longer than 18 inches; this shorter leader also adds to the bait ability to not hang up on the bottom as much and also keeps the bait in the strike zone in shallow water. It is also true that the shorter leader makes the hook set easier, in fact many times just tightening the line and reeling will hook the fish when you have a short leader.


    The key to fishing a Carolina rig is pulling the bait parallel to the bottom slowly and allowing the bait to do the work by maintaining contact with the bottom.
    Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service