There are many inshore fishing rigs that you can use with live bait to make your fishing trip a successful one. A Carolina Rig and a Popping cork rig are the two most essential and ones that I continually use trip after trip. The Carolina Rig is most simply referred to as a bottom rig. After casting, this rig goes to the bottom (usually under a dock) and holds your bait in one spot until a fish picks it up and runs with it. A popping cork rig suspends the live bait over an oyster rake or hard sandy bottom and assists in covering a lot more fishing territory. Both of the rigs are situational and you will use one where another can’t be fished.
While I’m out on an Inshore Fishing Charter and I find a nice creek mouth that flows out into a larger one, I set the anchor and cast a few Carolina Rigs into the mouth of the creek. Sometimes, I check my bait only to find that my rig is hung in an oyster rake and end up breaking off my rig. At this time I will switch to a popping cork and float bait over the oyster rake, instead of casting a bottom rig.
The Carolina Rig is made with an egg sinker, a swivel and a 12” piece of leader to a circle hook. The Popping Cork Rig is made using a popping cork attached your main fishing line, connected with a leader attached to the bottom of no less than 3 feet, and a circle hook attached to the end of the leader. Use a split shot an inch or so above the hook to assist in keeping your leader tight to the popping cork. Check out the photos to help you better understand what these rigs will look like and good luck on your next fishing adventure.