Carolina Rig Fishing For Dummies

Carolina Rig Fishing For Dummies

June 08, 2020

The Carolina Rig has been around for many, many years and has caught hundreds of thousands of bass all over the world. Many anglers have forgotten about the Carolina Rig. Many anglers have never fished the Carolina Rig. Either way, we are going to break down the basics on how and where to fish it.

The Rig

The Carolina Rig consists of a weight then a bead and/or clacker that is tied to a swivel. On the other end is more line (usually lighter line than the main) that goes to a hook with a soft plastic bait that is rigged weedless. This rig is known to many as the “bass and chain” because of the weight and bait being separated. It is more efficient to use bait casting gear with this technique, but it can be fished with a spinning setup too.

My preference is a Cashion Rods 7’3” medium heavy rod with at least a 7:1 ratio Daiwa Tatula bait casting reel. I like 20 pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon for the main line on my reel that goes to through the weight, bead, and to the swivel. The leader is usually 16 to 12 pound Sunline Sniper FC. That leader is anywhere from 12” to 36”. The clearer the water means my leader will be a little on the longer end of that. The Gamakatsu Offset Shank Round Bend Worm hook or G-Finesse Hybrid Worm hook are at the end.

What Bait?

The bait choice is widely varied but I keep them into two groups for me. There is the action and straight groups. My first option in the action group is the Missile Baits Baby D Stroyer. I have caught so many fish on this little bait it is crazy. It works for smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass. I have caught a number of bass on the Craw Father but that Baby D Stroyer is just so hard to beat in the action category. For the straight bait, the Zoom Trick worm has been the standard for many years. I like the centipede for smallmouth and post spawn tough bites. Recently I have seen the Missile Baits Quivers underwater on the C-rig so that is going to get in the line-up for me too.

Where To Throw

The Carolina Rig is great for covering water, feeling the bottom, and catching bass. There is something about that bottom disturbance that triggers bass to look for an easy meal trailing behind. Points are the first place to look to throw the Carolina Rig. Points often have hard bottom and are just natural places for bass to feed. You can even throw a Carolina Rig over grass. Lighten up your weight and you can pull it over many types of submerged grasses. The one thing you want to do is fish it in open water. It is not easy to cast accurately or quietly.

Tips to Remember

The Carolina Rig is the way to catch bass in open water for beginners to seasoned pros. It is tried and true and works almost anywhere. Hard or clean bottoms are the best places to throw it. The bites can be tricky and subtle but they mostly feel like the bottom does NOT feel. Don’t be afraid to use a Carolina Rig and you might start singing “Carolina” by Eric Church like I do when I fish it!