Redfish - Popping Cork Rigs with William Toney

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Instructor: William Toney

Capt. William Toney, a knowledgeable inshore fishing angler with over four generations of experience, shares his tips for free-lining live shrimp under a cork rig for redfish. This technique is highly effective in challenging conditions like windy days and heavy tides. Toney emphasizes the importance of understanding tides and how fish react to them. By following Toney's techniques, anglers can become smarter and more successful in their fishing endeavors.

Description / Review / Instructor

Having a redfish popping cork rig and understanding how to utilize it is one of the most fundamental yet effective tools in your redfish or red drum fishing toolkit. The adaptability it offers can be game-changing on certain days. Especially when the weather is windy and tides are strong, a bobber or strike indicator can help maintain your bait in the optimal strike zone.

In this In The Spread fishing video, Capt. William Toney will share his insights on how to make the most of a cork rig. This video is shot on a windy day post a significant storm, with the water levels fluctuating more than usual. Dive deep into the art of free-lining live shrimp using a cork rig for redfish. With his rich heritage as a fourth-generation hunting and fishing guide from Homosassa, Florida, William Toney is a treasure trove of inshore fishing knowledge. Few can claim to understand the inshore saltwater fishing of the nature coast and big bend area of Florida as he does.

Why Use a Popping Cork Rig?

  • Precision: It enhances the accuracy of free-lining baits.
  • Depth Control: Maintain your bait at the desired depth.
  • Strike Indicator: The sinking cork indicates a redfish strike.

While there are various corks, bobbers, and strike indicators available, the popping cork rig stands out. Not only does it indicate bites, but the noise it produces also attracts other fish like sea trout, snook, flounder, and more. The sound and vibration mimic another fish striking the surface. William also touches upon the significance of cork color in the video.

Weather and the Visual Element

For redfish fishing, especially in unpredictable weather, the visibility of the redfish rig is crucial. William will demonstrate his popping cork rig for red drum, ideal for controlled drifts along key areas where redfish gather during tides. This rig allows for optimal bait movement, drift speed, and depth control. Without a cork rig, one can only guess the bait's position, which can be problematic in uneven terrains.

Hook Styles and Preferences

The video will explore various hook styles suitable for cork rigs. Be it a circle hook, j hook, or a jig head, all serve their purpose. In windy conditions with strong tides, a weighted jig head can be beneficial to keep the bait submerged.

Bait Choices and Techniques

William, with his vast experience, knows the best baits for each season. Whether it's shrimp, cut mullet, cut pinfish, or live pinfish, each has its time and place. This video focuses on shrimp as the bait of choice. Learn the nuances of hooking live shrimp, keeping them alive without a live well, and casting techniques.

Tides and Their Importance

One cannot stress enough the significance of understanding tides in saltwater fishing. If you're familiar with Capt. William Toney's seminars or other videos, you'd know his emphasis on tides. Knowing how to fish the tides and understanding fish behavior during different tidal movements can be a game-changer.

Conclusion: Equip yourself with the knowledge shared in this redfish fishing video and elevate your angling game. Learning from seasoned fishermen like William Toney can drastically improve your skills. So, head out, apply what you've learned from In The Spread, and aim to be the best angler you can be.

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User Reviews

Chris Vanthul 04.08.2021


Louise Eastty 01.28.2020


Captain William Toney

Captain William Toney, a Florida native, is a fourth-generation fishing guide known for his expertise in Redfish, Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Snook and other fish species. He is a licensed and insured guide, a Homosassa Guide's Association member, and hosts 'In The Spread', an online fishing instruction platform. Toney's expertise in redfish, tides, and bait presentation is unparalleled, and he shares his knowledge on seasonal fish migration patterns and tidal flows. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to younger generations is invaluable.

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