Hello and Happy New Year. This is Capt. Jonathan Moss of Go Castaway Fishing Charters with another edition of Pro Tips! Winter is here which does several things to our lagoon systems. First, cold fronts and and North winds will cause the water temperatures and water levels to drop. Hopefully the water temperature becomes cold enough to kill the severe algae blooms that plague our waterways and at the same time, stays warm enough to not kill our fish populations. Secondly, SHRIMP! This time of year I see shrimp everywhere on the flats. They truly give themselves away as they launch out of the water in an effort to escape a hungry predator. That’s all I need to see to know it’s time to pull out my favorite popping corks, D.O.A’s “Deadly Combo”.
Popping corks are great, simple, effective baits consisting of a brightly colored oval shaped bobber with a thin piece of sturdy aluminum that runs through the middle for the bobber to slide on. Attached is a section of fluorocarbon leader and my lure of choice, a D.O.A. Shrimp. These lures attract fish by noise and by sight. The fish hear the sound made from the popping cork sliding and rattling as it is being pulled through the water and then the fish sees the trailing artificial shrimp as it retreats back to the bottom. Hence the name “Deadly Combo” as most fish fall victim to the rig’s natural appearance.
Rigging: When setting up a D.O.A Deadly Combo rig, I like to begin with a piece fluorocarbon leader attached to my braided line. I prefer to attach the rig to a leader line using a clinch knot for a strong connection. If you are using a monofilament line, there’s no need to add leader in this scenario but again use a clinch knot to connect the main line to the popping cork. Next, using a clinch knot, attach a 18 to 24 inch section of fluorocarbon leader to the other end of the cork/aluminum assembly. A 15 to 20 pound leader is recommended for most inshore situations. Lastly, attach your D.O.A. artificial shrimp or Owner SSW 2/0 bait hook with a live shrimp. Using the artificial shrimp saves money, wastes less time by not having to keep rebating the hook and creates the same action as a falling live shrimp.
Presentation: Presenting a popping cork rig to hungry fish is easy. After making your cast, tighten your line and then pop it by pulling aggressively to the side. Be sure to reel in any extra slack prior to popping as this will allow the pop to instantly move that lure. After the pop, reel in the slack and give time for the lure to settle down. This pause allows the submerged shrimp to naturally sink down and create the reaction bite. When the fish eats the lure and swims away, the bobber will dive below the water. Make sure there is no slack in the line so that when you set the hook, you can make immediate contact with the fish and bury the hook well. It’s that easy and so much fun!
If you haven’t added the popping cork to you tackle box, I highly recommend you do! They are a fun, exciting, easy to use lure that flat out catches fish!
Until next time, Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters