Many anglers imagine that nothing beats fishing with dwell bait for coastal inshore species like speckled trout, redfish, and snook. Whereas angling for such fish I primarily use lures, but in addition have readily available a rod rigged with a popping cork and dwell shrimp or minnow, which has made the day on many events. So right here’s some recommendation on easy methods to fish with dwell shrimp or minnows with popping corks whereas plying inshore waters.
Measurement and Rigging
I’ll take what I can get, however desire bigger bait for bigger fish. A number one or 1/0 J hook is utilized by many anglers when fishing with dwell shrimp and minnows, however I desire the identical dimension circle hook, which minimizes deep hooking of caught fish and facilitates simple unhooking and unhurt launch. One of many absolute tenets of easy methods to fish with dwell shrimp or minnows utilizing a circle hook is to not make a tough hook-setting movement when a fish takes the bait, however to easily come tight and maintain strain fixed.
Stay shrimp might be hooked by the highest of the pinnacle or the tail free of charge swimming. Minnows (known as bull minnows or mud minnows) ought to solely be hooked by the lips; deliver the hook level up from the decrease lip after which by the higher lip.
I take advantage of pre-rigged popping corks which have plastic beads on the higher wire shaft and brass beads on the decrease part, the latter producing clicking sounds when the rig is moved. The principle physique of the cork could also be formed in a cylindrical type, an oval or egg type, or with a tapered physique and concave prime floor. The latter makes essentially the most commotion, which is particularly good in murky or deep water. The opposite shapes are extra delicate, which is sweet in clear and shallow water.
Tie your fundamental fishing line to the highest of the popping cork rig, then tie an 18- to 30-inch fluorocarbon chief (longer for deeper water) from the underside of the rig to the bait hook eye. Relying on depth and the quantity of present or tidal motion, add a small lead break up shot to the chief 6 to eight inches forward of the hook.
Working (Or Not) the Cork
There are two methods easy methods to fish with dwell shrimp or minnows below a popping cork: casting and slow-trolling or drifting.
The principle objective of the popping cork is to name a fish’s consideration to the bait, primarily by sound. Do that by decreasing the rod tip, pointing it towards the cork, then jerking the rod tip down and again to make the cork “pop.” So casting and popping it’s the major motion.
Fluctuate the cadence – the occasions between pops – to see what works, protecting in thoughts that clear and shallow water could require a much less aggressive motion. The tougher and extra ceaselessly you pop, and the extra present that exists for a dwell bait to swim in opposition to, the shorter the time that your bait will keep energetic. So chances are you’ll want to vary ceaselessly; that is very true for minnows, that are hardy however of little worth when lifeless.
Should you’re drifting, or slowly transferring your boat through an electrical motor or poling, or for those who’re fishing from shore with a number of rods, you may fish a minnow below a popping cork with out really popping it (or popping it occasionally). The popping cork simply turns into a float (or bobber). You’ll be shocked how usually this slow- or no-movement tactic catches fish, supplied that the bait is energetic and doesn’t get snagged with grass or different particles. A small break up shot is often essential to maintain bait from driving up close to the floor, the place the fish could not see it however pesky seagulls will.
So get your fishing license, a cork rig, some dwell shrimp or minnows, and get popping.