Popping Cork Rig - Sea Trout Fishing with Captain William Toney

April 20, 2021
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Using a popping cork rig during rainy weather can increase fish on the line, especially as the Gulf of Mexico heats up. Use a 20lb. leader tied to the cork to prevent tangling and use a jighead and soft plastic bait. Cast the rig ahead of the boat's drift and give 2-3 good pops.

Using a popping cork rig during rainy weather can help put more fish on your line, especially as we move into warmer weather. Although not as critical at this moment, but before we know it the Gulf of Mexico will be hotter then the fourth of July. Rain can temporally cool the flats and create a good trout bite with the overcast skies.

The wind associated with stormy weather helps move your vessel along covering more water and breaking up the sunlight that trout would rather sulk in the grass on a flat calm day. One of my favorite rigs for over cast/rainy days is the popping cork rig. The corks come in many shapes and colors. I've had the best luck with the oval shape cork in blaze orange.

To keep the cork from tangling when you cast it, use a 20lb. leader tied from the braid to your cork. This stiff line will prevent the braid from wrapping up on the stainless wire of the popping cork.

When fishing in 3 to 5 feet of water, use a piece of leader about 18" to 24" long from the popping cork to the bait. My bait of choice or lure is a jighead and soft plastic. The best baits for me are a 1/8 red D.O.A. jighead with a MirrOlure LIL John or D.O. A. CAL shads and 3" shrimp.

Cast the popping cork rig ahead of the boats drift and give it 2 to 3 good pops then pause for a few seconds and repeat this same motion back to the boat. Most of the strikes will come as the bait is falling from the last pop.

To learn more about using popping cork rigs for sea trout, check out my video Speckled Sea Trout in the Summer

Captain William Toney


Captain William Toney In The Spread, Instructor
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