The inclination of most anglers is to drag a plastic lizard or French fry worm to catch bass while Carolina rig fishing. But with some tinkering, you will discover there’s more innovative ways to fish the rig.
Here are four improvisations for Carolina rig fishing to catch more bass.
1. Rapid Retrieve
With a Carolina rig a lot of people just throw it out and drag it around real slow, but you can cover more water quickly and get aggressive bass to hit a Carolina-rigged bait just like a crankbait or spinnerbait by working the rig faster. So in a day’s time you can fish several areas looking for those one or two spots that hold several bass.
A heavier weight such as a 1- or 1 1/4-ounce egg sinker works best for Carolina rigging at a fast pace because the heavy weight helps you detect a strike easier. You need a lure that generates plenty of action so you can use either a plastic lizard or a creature bait with lots of curly appendages for speed rigging.
Retrieve the Carolina rig in a pumping fashion or drag it along the bottom with a long sweep of the rod so the lure moves about 3 to 5 feet at a time. When moving the rig at this faster pace, you still need to keep it in constant contact with the bottom.
Bass can be taken on this Carolina Rig Fishing technique year-round, but it produces best when the fish are moving on or coming off the nest when the water temperature is in the mid-60s or higher.
2. Jighead Carolina Rig Fishing
To increase your chances of catching bass on a Carolina rig, you can replace the regular Carolina rig weight with a specially designed Carolina jig weight for the front of your rig. Start your double lure rig with the a 3/4- or 1-ounce jig weight followed by a skirted double-tail plastic grub on a hook at the back end of the rig.
There are times when bass hit at the sinker, so the jig weight increases your odds of catching that fish. The jig weight also seemed to move through rocks better than egg sinkers do.
You can use a standard Carolina rig retrieve for fishing the jig weight and trailer lure. Just drag it 2 or 3 feet and then reel in the slack line. Most of the bites on the jig weight or the lure will come on the pause.
3. Three-Way Swivel Rig
Using a Carolina rig with a three-way swivel allows you to fish two soft plastics at one time.
Start the rig by slipping 20 to 25-pound test fluorocarbon line through a 3/4- or 1-ounce weight and then tie on a number 8 three-way swivel with two leader lines. The first leader consists of a 3- or 4 –inch piece of 25- to 30-pound monofilament with a French fry worm on the end. The other leader of 17- to 20-pound test should have a plastic lizard or worm attached 2 1/2 to 3 feet behind the swivel.
You should switch to this rig whenever bass keep biting the sinker of your standard Carolina rig. The two baits trailing the sinker will usually draw a bass’ attention away from the weight and towards the double meals on the back of the rig.
Most of the time you can drag the two lures in the same fashion as regular Carolina rig fishing. In colder water drag the rig slowly for short distances and then move the lures at a steady pace when the water warms. If you pull it up against something on the bottom and it hangs, let it sit there for a while and shake it until a bass grabs one of the baits.
4. Triple Threat Rig
If you know how to pour your own jigs, you can make a triple-threat Carolina rig.
You can mold a swivel into a 3/4- or 1-ounce flat jighead and connect the swivel to a split ring followed by a three-way swivel with two drop lines. You can enhance the jighead by adding a craw worm to the jig’s hook.
The leader lines should be different lengths with the first line 10 to 12 inches long and the second about 3 feet long. Use 14-pound line for the leaders for most situations, but switch to 10-pound test for fishing in cold or clear water. Attach a French fry worm to one leader and a 4-inch finesse worm on the other.
The triple rig works best retrieved in a normal Carolina rig fashion along gravel flats. The prime time to throw the triple rig is during the postspawn when spotted bass school along the gravel flats.
If standard Carolina rig fishing techniques fail to produce, try one of these rig presentations to catch more bass.
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