To be successful, fishermen have to be creative

April 24, 2005|by BILL ANDERSON

Fishermen are a creative bunch.

Most are constantly using new rigs and variations of rigs to gain an edge on a given species. The Carolina rig is a favorite rig for fishing plastic worms. The basic setup is to tie the hook to a leader of about 24 to 40 inches. The other end of the leader is tied to a barrel swivel. On the running line above the barrel swivel you thread on a sliding egg or barrel sinker.

Most anglers include a bead between the sinker and the barrel swivel. Some say you need the bead to protect the knot from the sliding sinker. Others say that the clinking noise of the sinker hitting the bead or beads helps attract fish to the bait.

Since no one has figured out how to do an exit interview with a bass, you will have to make your own decision on the use of the beads.


Anglers like this rig because it is really easy to fish. The basic presentation is to make a long cast and wind in slowly. The sinker drags across the bottom of the lake while the worm on the leader will float above. When a fish hits, it's important to keep winding until you are tight to the fish and then set the hook.

The Carolina rig works very well with plastic baits such as worms, lizards and tube lures. It is considered a good presentation to use when you want to cover a lot of water to locate fish.

Over the years, I have talked and e-mailed with many anglers who have worked out variations on the Carolina rig to catch a variety of species, including smallmouth bass, walleyes and channel catfish. Last week, an angler from the Eastern Shore of Virginia told me about another creative and interesting application for a Carolina rig, this time for flounder in the Chesapeake Bay.

This flounder rigging was very similar to the setup for largemouth bass - sliding sinker, barrel swivel and 3-foot leader to the hook. One important variation was that they use an inline float about a foot in front of the hook to make sure the baited hook stays above the bottom. The preferred bait is strips of squid.

Their approach is apparently to drift fish until a fish is caught and then anchor up and pound the area with Carolina rigs. The fish are apparently schooled at this time of year and some excellent catches were reported.

This is a really good example of how several innovative anglers took a presentation for one species and successfully deployed it for another. There are probably dozens of others just waiting to be tested.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at

The Herald-Mail Articles