A cork can make a difference in you’re catch. Many types of fishing will be enhanced by lifting the bait off the bottom. Usually fish will suspend in the water column and fishing on bottom can miss the strike zone for these fish. Cork rigs can also play a pivotal role in exploring the area you fish, as they move you’re bait along in the current. Some fish use the current to await an ideal ambush zone and allowing you’re bait to move in the current can be a good way to locate the zone they want the bait in.
Many types of cork rigs are on the market today. From plain old popping corks that you place on the line to multiple beads and even propellers. The reason for such corks is to attract fish by sounding like feeding birds or fish. Imagine you’re cruising along looking for a meal and you hear other fish feeding on bait, you go to the noise to see if you can get an easy meal right? The same reason restaurants put out neon signs yo attract you’re attention.
I grew up using the old fashioned popping cork for trout on the flats in Florida, so the sound of birds swooping in to bait pods was the idea. Later fishing for Spanish mackerel, the bait pods were being crashed from below by fish and the noise was different. Some of the differences in type of noise you are looking for will guide the decision in corks.
Being able to adjust the depth of you’re lure will also play a role in you’re choice. That is unless you have the ability to carry several rods with different depths already set up. It may be advisable to set up several depths of leader and hook ahead of time to minimize the time it takes to change you’re depth for different depths of water. The beads on the cork rig imitate the clicking of the bait fish being eaten or bitten.
The bigger the splash the further the noise travels and can draw fish from a long distance. If fishing where you know there are fish, you may not want that much noise as it may scare fish off. Some of these corks produce some noise even just sitting on the water, so take some time to consider you’re prey before deciding on a cork rig.
I do recommend fluorocarbon leader as you can use heavier line so you don’t lose the whole rig if you get hung up. Casting these rigs will take some practice, and I recommend spinning tackle for all cork rigs for ease of use. The technique is to pop the cork or sharply pull the cork through the water at some interval as to allow the bait below to look as though is is swimming. You may also be able to mimic a wounded baitfish with this action.
If you are allowing the cork to drift with current, it is still recommended to pop the cork at some interval to mimic natural movement of the bait. Live bait will do some of the work for you, but it is still recommended to jerk the cork a few times for the noise attraction of it. Again, you need to consider the spook factor for the fish you are targeting.
For the most part all fish will swim up to a bait if attracted to the offering. Even cold weather bottom fish will swim up a little for the right bait. Now once you find fish with this method it may be desirable to switch to a bottom rig and target the known arae of fish. Check these deals.