Over the years, bass fishermen have developed numerous techniques that are especially productive in specific conditions. One of these is the Carolina rig for deeper water bass, which is associated with summer and early fall patterns. Yet, this technique may be used at any time of the year and help you catch lots of bass.
Not knowing much about the style and the equipment, I asked a veteran bass angler, Frank Powell of Frank's Guide Service, who is considered by most as a real teacher of the Carolina rig.
He enjoys deep-water structure fishing because bigger bass are notorious for hanging around these haunts.
When Frank is fishing a Carolina rig he uses a 6.5 to 7 foot medium heavy bait-casting rod made by Rogue, spooled with 15 to 20 pound fluorocarbon line.
With the late summer and early fall pattern, he is fishing in 15 to 30 feet of water which means a heavier weight of .5 to .75 ounces is needed to bounce the bait along the bottom. This is done very slowly and methodically, hopefully getting a big fish's attention to bite the soft plastic.
To tie the rig, start by threading the bullet or mojo weight through the line. Then, slip on a small red or black glass bead, which freely slides on the line and will hit the sinker. This creates a clacking noise, which is considered a fish attractant. With the sinker and glass bead on the line and freely sliding, it is necessary to tie on a number 5 or 6 barrel swivel.
From the barrel swivel, Frank will tie a 1 to 3 foot leader of 10 to 12 pound test monofilament line.
The lighter leader line will allow a fisherman to break off if snagged and not lose the entire rig.
Hook and soft plastic bait sizes are determined by the conditions and what the fish are biting that particular day. The current conditions at Roosevelt call for bigger baits which are catching bigger fish. The baits most Carolina rig fishermen are using are Zoom lizards in 6 to 8 inches or Berkley power worms in 7 to 10 inches. The color pattern varies according to the daily bite. They are threading these baits on a 2/0 to 4/0 extra wide gap hooks made by Gamakatsu or Owner.
Big bass are being caught on Roosevelt Lake with the Carolina rig and Frank Powell has caught numerous 5 to 7 pounders recently using this technique. By the way, he practices nothing but catch and release on bass, which means they are there to be caught again.
If you have any questions on the Carolina rig, give Frank a call at (602) 526-3038 and he will be glad to share his expertise.
This weekend take someone fishing and enjoy God's creation.