Friday, August 28, 2015

New Ideas for the Carolina Rig

I know most if not all of you have heard of the tried and trued Carolina rig.  It has been around for many years now and has effectively been catching bass all those years.   Most tough days on the water will find a lot of fishermen going to this rig because it seems to get hits even when everything else fails.  It is a great deep water tool, but let me tell you it also works in shallow water too.  In fact it will work on light weight rigs as well, so don't be scared to use it on your Drop-shot rod.  That is the point to this article, don't get caught in a rut when fishing the Carolina Rig.  The same ole rig with a worm, slow fished deep can be a much better fishing tool if you use your imagination.

At one time I was like a lot of you and fished everything just like the Pros said to in magazines or on TV shows.   Then I realized that if we all fished the same way all the time the bass would get wise to us and so I started to use my imagination and experiment.  I didn't just always fish a worm when I went to the Carolina Rig, I did some things that some folks would call crazy, but I caught fish.  Sure you will catch fish using just a worm on the Carolina Rig, in fact my go to is an 8 inch Scoundrel Worm from Creme Lures.  I know I will catch some bass and some big bass using a Scoundrel, but are there even more bass that will bite if I did something a little different?  So I started to fish creature baits like the Creme Lures ST Beaver and guess what they worked great on the Carolina.  However something that seems to get me bites when nothing else works is going Wacky on the Carolina.  That's right, using a Creme Lures ST Wacky Stick has turned a bad day into an awesome day in just a few casts.   I actually rig the wacky sticks two (2) ways when fishing them Carolina.  The first is to rig them on a worm hook just like a worm and the second is to go with a wacky rig.  I like to use a heavy sinker with a 24-36 inch leader when rigging wacky.  Now I generally only go to the wacky rig when fishing deep rocks or rip raps like along dams.  When you make a cast with this rig be ready as you will get a lot of hits on the initial fall.  There is some thing about that wacky rigged stick coming down really fast on that heavy sinker and then stopping a couple feet off the bottom that make even the biggest bass go nuts.

One of the other things I've done to my Carolina Rigs is I've been making some pre-rigged sinker and bead setups.  I find that I lose too much contact with my bait when rigging the standard old fashion way.  If your sinker can slide down the line too far you can lose contact with your bait and miss hits or even worse have a bass that takes your bait too deep.  If you are using a fish attractant like Liquid Mayhem, the bass will not think twice about swallowing your offering all the way down.  Using these pre-rigs you won't lose contact as much.  Sure there will always be some loss of contact from time to time, but it will give you a better than 50% improvement.   Here is a pic of some of my pre-rigs.
 

I know some of you might think, hey I can buy those at the tackle shop.  This is true, but where is the fun in that?  This gives you something to do on rainy days or evenings to get ready for the next big trip.  Besides you can't buy your own custom setups that no one else has and that just might be the ticket for filling a limit.  I get some of my beads at craft stores, Walmart and some at tackle shops.  As you can see I make them with different size sinkers and use a mix of brass and plastic beads of different size and shape. Each of these combinations has a different sound to them and that sound must might be the difference.  Basically all I do to make these rigs is get some steel leader wire.  I like it to be 80-100lb test leader wire as that size doesn't cut into your leader as bad.  You can use lighter wire but only if you re-tie your knots, both sides, about every 10-15 casts.  You also want to re-tie after every bass you catch because a fighting bass will  really cause them to cut into your knots.  Even with the bigger wire you will want to re-tie or at least check your knots regularly.  Also when making these it is very important to leave enough room between the two eyes so your sinker and beads can move and make that all important "clicking" sound.  I like to have at least an inch of movement available.

One of the other ruts that a lot of folks get into is working the Carolina Rig the same way every time they use it.  Sure some days that old tried and trued method of long hop, wait, long hop works like a dream.  However if you are in a spot where you know there are bass, but you are not getting hits or a lot of hits play with your technique.   Use short quick hops with little or no wait in between hops or something completely different.  Again use your imagination and come up with some technique that someone else may have never thought of using.  One of the techniques I love to use in down timber is to just make a long cast, let it settle to the bottom then drag the sinker back to me.  When I feel the sinker come over a branch or stump then I let it fall and wait before continuing my retrieve.  The point is don't settle for the same old rut, again use your imagination.  If you have fished an area and caught some bass using one retrieve and then they stop biting, don't leave before you change up your retrieve some.  You might be surprised and catch even more bass with the new retrieve.

The bottom line here folks is don't get stuck in the rut of always doing the same thing.   I know even today after I preach about not doing it, I will find myself stuck in a rut from time to time.  When something has worked in the past it is hard to change, but you have to remember that bass are a moody sort and what works one day or even one hour might not continue to work.  Be flexible and you will be surprised how many more bass you can put in the boat!!

Until next time, Tight Lines and Take a Kid Fishing!!!

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Also Checkout the great folks that help make my fishing adventure possible and the tackle I use and trust.
Santone Lures
Throw-n-Thunder
Creme Lures
Dunamis Rods
Liquid Mayhem Fish Attractants
Stealth Rod Holders
New Pro Products
Squiddies Flip Reel


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