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Big Epp

Surf Fishing Carolina Rig?

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Hey all,

I'm going down to Gulf Shores Alabama between Christmas and New Years. This year I plan on fishing from the surf and also in the sound behind the island. From what I understand, the primary fish available in winter down there are mullet with the occasional pompano. 

I'll be using a traditional pompano rig with bait from the surf most of the time, but thought I might throw a couple small crappie size jigs out too. Both mullet and pompano have fairly small mouths, so my thought to get small lures out to them is to make a carolina rig with maybe a 2 ounce egg sinker.  Anyone ever try something like this?  Any other tips or ideas?

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Whiting, not mullet. I'm reading up on it a bit, and haven't found too much outside the pompano rig. Might try a heavy jig with a twister tail.  Charter fishing won't be an option, as that's way outside the budget. But I read the the speckled trout move inshore and up rivers (doesn't help me, but it's interesting).

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In the Northeast, two types of rigs are popular. I don't see why they wouldn't work elsewhere.

One is like a pompano rig with the weight being at the end. Your main line is tied to a barrel swivel. You tie a line from the barrel swivel to a snap with a couple of dropper loops spaced apart in between the barrel swivel and the snap. On the dropper loops, you rig a hook with bright tubing, a grub, or a streamer fly. On the snap, you can use a diamond jig if you have a pier or boat you can vertical jig from. If you can’t vertically jig, you can just put on a sinker.

The other rig is a sinker slider rig. We use those instead of a Carolina rig set up. Slide main line through a sinker slider, put on a bead or a silicone skirt collar, tie on barrel swivel, from the barrel swivel tie your leader and hook/jig/fly. The bead/collar will protect your knot from the sinker slider. This set up has some advantages. You can use a braid main line and a mono or flouro leader. If your hook gets snagged, you can break it off and save the rest of the rig. The sinker slider has a clip so you can swap sinkers easily without having to tie a new rig if you need to change weights. You can pre-try some hooks so all you have to do is tie 1 knot if the line near the hook gets frayed. I usually use bait on a circle hook on this rig. I have also used some of the Gulp products and also a saltwater buck tail streamer fly. These flies have no weight and just flutter in the water.

If there is current such as incoming and outgoing tide at a river mouth, we use the flat disc river sinkers. Strong current can cause bank sinkers and egg sinkers to roll on the bottom causing snags and line twist.

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