Jul
21

Bay Fishing Rigs

By
I was wondering what kind of rig is the best set up as far as hook size, weight, and how you rig it for bay fishing.  What baits might be best?
I use my bass rods & reels for bay fishing.  Just be sure to wash the reels with freshwater after every use (even if you don’t get them wet; especially if you fish from a boat as the spray coming over the deck will get saltwater on them).  I have mainly medium and medium heavy baitcasting rods, but got a medium spinning rod (and reel) a few days ago for my birthday.  I’m always more accurate casting with baitcasting rods, so they’re my go to’s.  My reels are equipped with 12 – 15 lb. test line.  Most of them are monofilament, but I have a couple of rods with braid.  If you use braid, be sure to tie on a 20 or 25 lb. mono or fluorocarbon leader, as braid is easy to cut.
As to hook size, weights, etc., it depends on the fish you’re targeting and where you’re fishing.  If I’m targeting slot redfish (20 – 28″), speckled trout, keeper black drum, flounder, etc., with live shrimp I’ll use a size 2/0 hook and a 1/8 or 1/4 oz. pinch weight or egg sinker above a size 2, 3, or 4 barrel swivel (tie about 18″ of line from the swivel to the hook).  If the current is preventing the shrimp from sinking, use a heavier weight.  The lighter the weight, the more action the shrimp will have.
If the bait stand is out of shrimp or I’m going after speckled trout exclusively (which is very rare), I’ll use either live croaker (and a 3/0 Mustad croaker hook) or piggy perch with a size 2/0 hook.  See above for weight recommendations.
If I’m going after oversized drum (big uglies) or bull redfish (over 28″) with cut sardines, mullet, or 1/2 crab, I’ll use at least a 5/0 – 12/0 hook, as those fish are strong and will tear up lighter hooks.  Below a picture of a heavy rig that Daryl Shipper came up with and directions for it and another one (a Carolina rig).  If you’re going to fish off of jetties I highly recommend Daryl’s rig, as the golf ball keeps the weight out of the rocks (somewhat).  Use a one-ounce egg sinker up to 2 oz. (the brand doesn’t matter, as it’s just lead) inside of the golf ball (you’ll need to cut a 1/2″ slit in the ball (from a hole to another) and push the weight inside it.  You’ll also want to use 25 lb. mono or fluorocarbon as a leader, as those rocks will easily cut lines used for bass fishing.  Also, if you catch a ladyfish (aka baby tarpon or poor man’s tarpon) keep it.  They’re not good to eat, but they make good cut bait for big uglies, bull redfish, sharks, sting rays, etc.
For artificial lure recommendations, see the bottom of this web page – https://fcs-texas.org/self-guided-chartered-bay-fishing-trip-rotation/.  If you fish with soft plastics (e.g., paddle tails) use either:
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Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

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Bible Verse of the Day

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.