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ometimes as anglers we get stuck in a rut. We know that works, we know what we like, we know what we have confidence in and stick with it no matter what. Most of us won’t admit to trying anything new, due to the fear of us looking really stupid when it doesn’t work, so we stick with the basics. One of the old stand-by rigs for bass anglers is the Carolina-rig and I’m willing to bet that most of you fish it exactly the same way, with the same baits, every time. While it started out as a way to fish lizards and worms (which it does just fine at), I just want to make you aware that it’s possible to Carolinarig anything. That’s right, anything. Ever wondered how to get a small floating jerkbait really deep? Have you ever thought that it would be great to keep a crankbait slowly moving just a couple feet off the bottom through a suspending school of fish no matter what the depth? Have you ever considered the insane idea of somehow using a topwater popper under the water just to see if it would work? With a Carolina rig you can do any of these.

could fish a lizard or worm b u t let’s get beyond that simplistic thinking and imagine what else we can put on the end of the leader. Hard plastic jerkbaits are typically a shallow water bait. There are a few sinking models but for the most part they float and typically you cast it out, reel it down a foot and twitch it back. However, if you tie one onto the end of a Carolina-rig you can now drag this same bait across main lake points or over the top of deep-water humps. Bass have seen jerkbaits their whole life, but never this deep so it will fool a lot of fish. You can even downsize the jerk bait to a small panfishsized bait (one inch long) and chase crappie around deep brushpiles. When’s the last time you threw a jerkbait around a brushpile for crappie? Probably never because you couldn’t get it down to it. Now you can. If you’re worried about the treble hooks on the bait grabbing the brush and not letting go, the simple solution is to change the tre-

bles out for single With the single on you

hooks. hooks c a n almost drag the rig directly through a brush pile without worrying about hanging up. When fishing a hard plastic jerkbait or crankbait on a Carolina rig you have to remember that the fish isn’t going to hold the bait in their mouth like they would a soft plastic. So when you feel a fish hit it, you need to set the hook immediately instead of pausing for a second. Another modification you can make to the Carolina rig is to use it to fish two baits at once. Run your main line through the bullet weight just like before but before tying it to your barrel swivel run it through the eye of a worm hook. Now do the rest just like before where you tie on the leader and put a small floating jerkbait on the end of it. On the worm hook, rig a creature bait, plastic crawfish, or lizard and you give the bass two options. The creature bait drags along the bottom with the weight while the jerk bait suspends a few feet about it. Think of it this way, when there are two anglers in the boat and you are searching for fish you typically use two different kinds of baits until you figure out what the fish want. This way you can fish two baits at once to eliminate options or get to a pattern quicker. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

texas guns second. I shot groups with each of the brakes without changing the sight setting. Miraculously, every one shot into the same group – and at 300 yards! Some of the 3-shot groups measured well under 3 inches, and this on a windy West Texas day. I really was amazed,

as I had expected at least some difference in point of impact. This is machine work at its very finest. I guess the moral of this story is this: If you have a hard kicking gun that needs to be tamed, I recommend Active Tuning Solutions (http://activetuningsolutions.com/) without any reservations, at all. These are the

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finest muzzle brakes I have ever used, and the best gunsmithing I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. If you decide to use their services, tell Johnny I sent you.

A L M A N A C

E-mail Steve LaMascus at SLamascus@fishgame.com

illistration by paul bradshaw

Carolina Rigging Anything

Before we get too deep into the alternate applications of a Carolina-rig, lets look at the basics. The standard Carolina-rig starts by sliding a heavy bullet weight onto your main line. Follow this by tying a barrel swivel onto the end of the main line. On the other end of the swivel, tie on a short (two foot) leader. On the normal Carolina-rig you would now attach a worm hook on the other end of the leader so you

March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...

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