Jig and Cork
Jig and Cork Rig
By CAPT. BILL MILLER
On the flats, two common fishing methods are jigging and floating baits. One of my favorite rigs combines the best of both techniques.It’s the jig-and-float rig and it’s undeniably effective for shallow water species like trout, redfish, and flounder.
I fish this rig on 7- or 7 1/2-foot spinning outfits with 15-pound Tuff-Line and 18 inches of 20-pound monofilament leader. I use 1/8-ounce jig heads under cigar shaped floats or popping corks.
Either option works, but popping corks are particularly effective because their slurping, chugging sound attracts fish by making them think another fish is feeding. When they come to join the meal,they see the jig and bite it. By calling in fish that might not initially see your jig, you are covering a bigger area of the flat with a popping cork.
Set the depth of the cork so the jig bounces just over the top of the grass without hanging up. This rig is good for fishermen who aren’t experienced in working a jig over grass. I always start with natural colors like pink or silver tails. After awhile, if I’m not getting bites, I’ll try different colors.
To use the jig-and-float rig, cast it as far as you can over the grass flats, chug the cork, reel up the slack and continue this action all the way to the boat. As you pull on the cork, the jig rises and then drops. It looks like a baitfish hopping over the top of the grass. Properly set, this rig will not hang in the grass.
For an added twist, rig two jigs below the cork and double your chances of catching fish. As with single rigs, you can buy double rigs at your local tackle shop, or make them yourself.
To make a double-jig cork rig, start by running a single strand of monofilament leader through the swivel. Holding the swivel and both strands of mono, tie a small diameter overhand knot. Cut one tag end at 12 inches and the other at 24 inches. Tie 1/8-ounce jig heads to each piece of mono, attach plastic tails and you’re ready to go.
Next time you’re fishing the flats, try the jig-and-float rig and get ready for a bent rod.