Early spring trout fishing usually means bad weather, high
water and sluggish fish. For that reason, when fishing live bait, I prefer to
use a set-up that includes a ‘Lil Corky Float from Worden’s. These small, round
floats are constructed of foam, with a durable, hard outer shell. They are
available in a wide range of finishes. When placed just above the baited hook,
the ‘Lil Corky helps to keep the bait in a natural drift just above the stream
bed. This is important when the water is high and cold, and when trout are
hugging the bottom - only moving inches within their feeding lanes.
The streams I fish in Pennsylvania are generally on the
smaller side and can be difficult to navigate with a long rod. For this reason,
I use an ultralight spinning rod in the 4’6” to 5’6” range. I recommend trying the
St. Croix Trout Series or the Daiwa Spinmatic. I combo this with a small, 500-size
ultralight reel, such as the Shimano Symetre FL or
the 20-size Pflueger Trion. I spool up with 6.6 lb. test DAM Tectan Superior Monofilament Line. This line is the
same diameter as 4 lb. test Berkley Trilene XL, which also works great.
To rig, I slide a 'Lil
Corky Float in size 10 on the line in a bright color. I then tie on a Matzuo Model 140 Sickle Baitholder Hook in size 8 and
slide the float to the hook eye. Then I place a Water Gremlin Removable Split
Shot in size 3/0 about eight inches above the hook. With a half crawler, this
is the set-up I start out with on opening day of trout season. The ‘Lil Corky
keeps the bait just above the bottom and allows you to feel the “tic-tic” of
the split shot bouncing along.
As weather and water conditions
change, I will change the size of the split shot, ‘Lil Corky, hook and bait. If
the water begins to clear and flow rates lower, I often change to a smaller
size BB split shot and size 12 float. Try the ‘Lil Corky in more subtle colors
as the water clears.
This rig works and will catch
you more trout. As an added bonus, this set-up tends to hook trout in the
corner of the mouth, allowing you to practice catch and release if desired.
It’s important to note that this
rig might not be legal in your area or the stream you fish. Some states
restrict the use of lead shot, some restrict the use of floats or beads in
between the hook and weight or sinker. Be sure to check your local regulations.
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It is kayak fishing season! Well, it seems that way as summer starts and more anglers are starting to explore kayak fishing. Kayak fishing is great for adventurous anglers or for those who want to get out on the water, but cannot afford a larger boat. Kayaks give anglers the ability to access smaller and shallower fishing areas and to reach places that bigger boats or even shore anglers cannot reach. Plus, there's the added More...
Summer is finally here! As the water heats up, crappie schools move to deeper water. Vertical presentations are ideal for pulling suspended slabs from their cool-water feeding zones, and when the schools of baitfish become impossible to net the savvy angler breaks out their squishy arsenal. Soft plastics can be tipped with meat (grubs, minnow heads, worms, etc.) or More...
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