Spring Bass Fishing | Lake Guntersville – Mike Gerry
Every year as we move to the spring transition time where the largemouth bass are staging a lot in the creek beds, roadbeds and ditches prior to the spawn and it seems difficult to get a consistent bite, the Carolina rig comes into play. It is the kind of spring bass fishing bait that has much more versatility than most people imagine. When you drag it with floating baits you totally change its presentation and create something many bass have never seen. Just must be creative when you set it up and when you fish it.
If you’re an old timer like me, you probably learned that the Carolina rig is a bait that can be dragged on the bottom with a heavy weight about two feet from the end of the line. In fact, we use to throw two of them out and drag one on each arm moving them slowly with the power of the trolling motor; it was called fishing a ball and chain! Many times, being extraordinarily successful working back and forth from one side of a creek bed to the other and being a bait that is easily dragged, it became a great bait to quickly get to the bottom of the ditches. Today the options to change it and make it look different are wide and many. The only limitation is your imagination! In fact, there are many baits that can be rigged in the Carolina fashion and dragged on the bottom. Be imaginative and try baits from crank baits to flukes. Any bait can be a candidate to be dragged in this Carolina style!
We first made the rig more versatile by changing the bait you were dragging, for many years it was just commonplace to rig it with a Do-Nothing worm. It had 3 hooks. The bait was very short and any novice could catch fish with it, as it hooked a fish without a hook set. We then changed the weight from a heavy 1oz. to a variety of weights addressing different depths and different situations. We then started changing the length of the leader allowing you to address heavier cover as the lighter weight and changed leader length became ways to move it through different types of cover from rock to grass and all in-between. All you had to do was let the bottom surface and structure tell you what could be dragged effectively and catch fish.
Today, the options have become endless, with just a slight change in leader length, weight, and type of bait you can address many different situations and fish for bass deep, shallow around grass, rock, and stumps. If you change the bait on the end it also gives you options. You can fish floating baits and fish it off the bottom, fish a long worm and give it more action with many possibilities. I have even seen double fluke hook-ups that were highly effective along different types of bottom structure. Today, you can go to fluorocarbon line that sinks and also change its presentation. The point is using your imagination and a Carolina Rig can address about any bass fishing situation and catch you more fish, as we approach the spawn! Do not be fooled by traditional baits, sure they have worked but the ability to put a bait on the bottom that is traditionally different than they have ever seen can be the change you might need to become a tournament winner instead of a participant. One thing is for sure, with all the boats on the water and all the baits bass are exposed to, trying something different might just be what you need to change your bass fishing day!
Capt. Mike Gerry
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Phone: 256 759 2270