The Carolina rig is one of the most popular ways of presenting and fishing a lure for catching a boat load of big bass. The rig itself is a simple one to put together.
To your main line add a sinker using a egg type or bullet type weight. Behind that add a bead then tie to a swivel. Decide on a leader both in type and length.
At the end of you leader tie on your hook which should be at least a 3/0 worm hook. My preference is a wide gap offset worm hook.
The lure is typically any soft plastic bait you think a hungry or aggressive bass in the given conditions is going to go after. Popular choices are lizards and worms but you can find success in crawfish and other creature baits. You can also use top water lures or crankbaits to really lift your lure from the bottom and provide action that you wont get out of soft plastics.
Let's look a little more in detail at the Carolina Rig and how to use it
The Carolina rig is used by casting then dragging the rig across your target area. You will drag by positioning your pole parallel to the surface of the water and use a sweeping motion to move the lure over the structure you are fishing. Don't jerk the rig, just a nice smooth sweep will work.
So how much do you drag the lure?
A good rule of thumb is with your rod pointing at the 12 O'clock position move to the 2 O'clock position. Then take up the slack and repeat. This is one of the reasons to use a rod 7' or longer. This small sweep will move a lot more line than one less than 7' so if that's what you are using just move it to the 3 or 4 position.
Remember while you are going through this motion to take note of what your rod is telling you about the bottom. You will feel the difference in the composition of the bottom of the lake as you move across grass, sand and gravel. Learn what each piece of structure feels like.
You can use this rig pretty much anywhere you feel confident there are bass to catch. The only places you may want to keep away from are heavy cover areas. Places where there are a lot of trees or other solid, tough vegetation that can grab a hold of the components of the rig and snag you up.
Other than that the lake is your Carolina Rig playground. Make sure you drag it across and up and down points. Hit up those humps and underwater grassy areas.
Pay extra attention when you feel the structure change. If you feel this you should stop moving your rig and let it rest in the area for a bit. You just may be over a gold mine. Bass will hold in the one area that is different than everything around it. Work this area over again and it should prove to be fruitful.
When should you use the Carolina rig? Well, anytime you want to catch fish.
If you mark fish holding on a point or hump this is going to get you a bite. Even if you don't have a sonar, work these areas from one side to the other. You can cover a lot of ground quickly and either catch fish or make the decision to move on and try another spot.
The Carolina Rig is great place to start with when you decide to target bass. It's a very productive way to set up your line for bass fishing and very simple. Give it a try and see how well it works for you.
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