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Popping Cork Redfish Rig
Having a cork rig and the knowledge of how to fully capitalize on all the it offers is perhaps the most basic, yet lethal, tools to have in your redfish or red drum fishing arsenal. The versatility a cork rig provides can be the difference on certain days. When it is a little windy outside and maybe the tides are a little heavier, a bobber or strike indicator will really help you keep your bait in the strike zone. With this In The Spread fishing video, Capt. William Toney is going to break down how he approaches taking advantage of what a cork offers. This is a windy day following a big storm system and the water is rising and falling more the usual. Learn how to free line live shrimp using a cork rig for red fish. William Toney oozes inshore fishing knowledge. He is a fourth generation hunting and fishing guide from Homosassa, Florida. There is perhaps nobody that knows the inshore saltwater fishing of the nature coast and big bend area of Florida better than he does.
Why would you want to use a cork rig with your red fish bait? It makes free lining baits far more precise. You can keep the bait at the right depth in the water column. You can see the cork go down, which tells you when the redfish strikes the bait. Now, there are all sorts of corks, bobbers, strike indicators, as such on the market. It is probably the first thing you ever used fishing. For this particular instructional fishing video, William is using a popping cork rig. Popping cork rigs do more than just indicate when you are getting a bite. The surface noise they make attracts other fish. Sea trout, redfish, snook, flounder and other inshore fishing species can't resist investigating the commotion the popping cork makes. They noise and vibration they make mimics another fish striking the surface. Cork color can make a difference, so see what colors William prefers.
For red fish fishing, with the weather being a tad dicey, the visual element of this redfish rig is key. William Toney is going to show you his popping cork rig for red drum, for use when running a controlled drift along a series of keys where the redfish setup when moving in with the tide. This red drum rig allows him to manage the movement of the bait, the drift speed and depth where the bait needs to be situated. By free lining a bait without a cork rig, you are left to guess where the bait is, at all times. And, as in our case, if the bottom is craggy and snaggy, keeping the bait off the bottom is critical. You can control all these elements by using a popping cork rig for redfish.
We will examine various hook styles for cork rigs and which William prefers. Anything from a circle hook, j hook or a jig head will work. With our given conditions, where it is windy and the tides are heavier than normal, the cork rig will tend to move faster through the water, causing the bait to get towed or rise up in the water column away from the fish. Even if you hold the cork in place, the water movement can sweep the bait up. A weighted jig head can help prevent this, by keeping the bait down below the cork.
Since William spends the vast majority of his days on the water, he knows which bait happens to be working best this time of year. You can use shrimp, cut mullet, cut pinfish or live pinfish to catch redfish this way. For this video, shrimp happened to be the more productive bait, so that will be our area of focus. William will cover how to hook live shrimp through either the head or the tail and the benefits of each hooking point. For casting, hooking shrimp through the tail is better, as all the weight is in the head. You will learn how to keep shrimp alive all day, without the use of a live well.
Learn casting techniques, how to keep bait in the strike zone and how to keep the belly out of your line. In windy conditions, a bow or a belly can develop, can hinder your ability to set the hook. William has a few simple red fish fishing techniques to help.
One of the most important aspects of saltwater fishing you have to deal with is tides. If you have ever watch any of Capt. William Toney's other fishing video or attended one of his seminars, you know how he talks a lot about tides and how to work them. Knowing how to fish the tides, for a given inshore fishing species, is a big factor in your success. Knowing how fish respond to tides and being able to efficiently work the water movement is huge. William will share his experience of staging yourself in ideal fishing areas and moving with the tide.
Take the information shared in this redfish fishing video and be a smarter angler. Learning fishing tips and techniques from super accomplished fishermen is the best way to advance your skill set and catch more redfish. Get out on the water and apply what you learn at In The Spread. We want you to be the smartest angler you can be.
Watch other red fish fishing videos HERE
Total time: 48:39