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Cork Is Hard To Beat


Last updated 10/20/2020 at 2:42pm

Larry Sellers and his wife, Loraine, were drifting a short stretch of Louisiana shoreline and was obvious that Larry was more than a little frustrated as he closed the distance between our boats on his troll motor. “It isn’t unusual for me to not catch fish, but there is no doubt

that they are here and we can’t get a bite!

I was a little frustrated as well as I was steadily catching trout, but the majority of them were too small to keep.“I don’t even want to know what y’all are using,” I replied, “but if you just want to get bit, tie one of these on under a cork.”

I was not surprised that they didn’t have a four-inch Mirrolure Lil’ John in their arsenal, but they were without a single cork as well. Fishing some type of plastic under a clicking cork is a mainstay for local anglers this time of year and certainly no secret.

Larry held our boats together while I dug through a rod locker in search of an extra pack of the Lil’ Johns. I was ready to go try something else anyway so I gave them what I had left and handed Loraine two corks.

It turned out to be an unexpectedly good trade for both of us. Loraine insisted that I take a bottle of Gatorade and a huge homemade sausage biscuit in trade. By the time I drifted far enough away to start my big engine they were already catching and releasing small trout.

Larry texted me later and said that they never caught the first keeper trout, but his wife will now fish with him again. Apparently, a slot red that buried her cork and pulled until she complained, closed the deal. “She’s at Rambo’s looking for more of those Lil’ Johns right now.”

Capt. Johnny Cormier was scouting the lake Sunday evening and fishing the cork rig as well when a significantly larger red buried his cork. It was a battle that he wasn ‘t sure he would win with his spinning rod, but patience eventually earned him the victory.

Following a second look at the massive red lying in the bottom of his boat, he gave me a call looking for someone with a certified scale. “This fish might be a Sabine Lake record,” he said, “and I would love to at least know what it weighs.”

When all was said and done, he was unable to find the necessary scales, but did weigh his big fish on a legitimate scale. As it turned out, he had good reason for his suspicion as the massive fish weighed thirty-five pounds which is less than a pound off the record of 35.44-pounds!

If you believe that catching quality reds on the cork rig is a fluke, look no further than the pre-rigged rods sticking out of the rod holders of anglers fishing Redfish Circuits for big bucks.The rig is as deadly fished at the end of the jetties as it is in a shallow ditch in the marsh.

I don’t think there is a better technique for anglers that don’t get to fish all that often or just have no clue where to start their day. The combination of the clicking noise and the ability to keep your lure in the strike zone throughout the cast can be irresistible to both trout

and reds. The only bad part is that a ladyfish or gafftop will crash the party in a heartbeat.

I have seen folks fish a leader of all lengths, but a two foot leader is consistently productive. That length also make the rig much easier to cast. I will use a quarter ounce head at times, but prefer an eighth ounce. I often simply rig five inch plastics with a worm hook as the

slower fall can be deadly on larger trout.

If you find yourself in the middle of fish chasing shrimp to the surface, there is no better choice than the Vudu shrimp or one of the many shrimp look-alikes available today. When you are not surrounded by gafftop, adding a scent can make a big difference as well.

I haven’t made many cold boat rides thus far, but as surface temperatures drop, the easy bite will only improve.If you are more into bites than size, tie on a cork and give it a try.


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