Shrimp rigs for trout

Suspending a live shrimp beneath a popping cork is a tried-and-true trout-catching tactic.

Like skinning a cat, there is more than one way to rig a live shrimp to catch speckled trout. The old standby is a length of leader beneath a stemmed popping cork, sometimes referred to as a rattling cork. Even with a popping cork, some anglers prefer to use a standard J-hook, while others may opt for a Kahle hook or circle hook and still others a jighead.

Two things to keep in mind when selecting a hook is that you want one that’s going to hold the shrimp securely without ripping free after only two or three “pops” under the cork. Another consideration is the availability of live shrimp for bait. If local shrimp aren’t available, this often relegates anglers to buying shrimp imported from Florida where the winter cold had little or no effect on the shrimp populations.

Another consideration is the cork itself. Some anglers become frustrated with stemmed corks because the wires frequently bend and don’t cycle correctly, or the line gets wrapped around the stem of the cork.

Standard clip-on corks work well, but don’t provide the rattling noise associated with the beads and weights incorporated with the stem.

Before rattling corks were made commercially, anglers used to make their own by taking the big, round, plastic bobbers, drilling a small hole in the side of the cork and placing anywhere from 10 to 25 bird shot from a shotgun shell inside the hole. The tiny hole was then sealed up with silicone caulk.

About Phillip Gentry 823 Articles
Phillip Gentry of Waterloo, S.C., is an avid outdoorsman and said if it swims, flies, hops or crawls, he's usually not too far behind.

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