Knowing how to fish a Carolina rig maybe simple to some but it also can pay off to take a more tactical approach to this classic technique. in getting bit in this classic technique. Dragging a Carolina rig along the bottom is one of the most productive methods for catching bass throughout the year. However this technique becomes even more effective if you vary your retrieve depending on the type of cover and bottom structure you are targeting. You have to experiment to see how the fish want your Carolina-rigged lure presented, so here are four retrieves to try based on the cover and structure you are fishing.
How To Fish A Carolina Rig: Steady Dragging
When keying on barren red clay points or sand bars, just drag the rig along the bottom at a steady pace. Make a long cast, then steadily reel in the rig while keeping your rod tip low, which allows you to keep the rig’s sinker constantly bumping the bottom and stirring up sand and silt.
Since you are dragging through an area devoid of cover you can use a longer leader (3 feet) without having to worry about hanging up.
Sweep And Snap
For about three quarters of your retrieve, sweep your rod along at the 10 o’clock position to keep your rig in close contact with the bottom. When your rig gets close to the boat, snap your rod to about 12 o’clock to jerk a 3/4-ounce sinker and lure off the bottom. After letting the rig fall back to the bottom, hop it again and let it fall. If bass are following the lure crawling along the bottom, the fish will strike when it is hopped at the end of the retrieve because the hopping action resembles a fleeing crawfish.
How To Fish A Carolina Rig: Pop Over Rocks
By using a short leader (14 inches to 2 feet), you can pop your rig over rocks to prevent it from snagging along rock bottoms. The erratic hopping action of this retrieve triggers strikes from bass clinging to the rocks.
Bang And Shake
When working a rig through standing timber, you can rely on about the same retrieve as popping the rocks, except switch to a 3-foot leader and add a little shake to your presentation. Cast past the timber and let the rig fall back towards the target. When the sinker touches a limb, tighten your line, bang the weight into the limb a couple of times and shake the lure for 10 to 15 seconds. Then jerk the sinker over the limb and let it fall to the next snag where you repeat the process