How to rig up for huge trout using favorite little baitfish
When Capt. Joey Garriga goes trophy speckled trout fishing, that means he’s geared up for fishing with live croakers.
“Big trout like croakers,” said Garriga, of Poggey’s Boat Charters in Pass Christian.
With that in mind, gearing up for big fish is important. Here’s Garriga’s checklist for croaker fishing:
- Hardware: 1/2- to 3/4-ounce egg sinkers and barrel swivels
- Hooks: 3/0 or 4/0 Kahle
- Corks: Boat Monkey popping cork
- Leader: 20-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon leader
- Main line: 30-pound braid
- Reel: Lew’s 300 or 400 spinning reel
- Rod: 7-foot, medium-action Speedeaux Custom Spinning Rod
- Bait: 3- to 4-inch croakers
Garriga said a Carolina rig is his preferred tool.
“I like about 18 to 24 inches of mono leader, which is usually 15- to 30-pound test,” Garriga said. “I use 30-pound braid on my larger reels and 20-pound on my smaller reels. I use a barrel swivel and a 3/0 or 4/0 Kahle hook, according to the size of the croakers.”
Garriga suggested using a quality leader such as Seaguar Senshi and being certain that the leader has a lesser pound test rating than your main line. Following this simple rule will you allow to break off the short leader and hook if you get snagged or a bull red grabs your croaker and heads south. “
He said when he’s forced to go to fishing a cork, he has a reason to grab a Boat Monkey model. Spinning gear on a long, medium-action rods are his choice.
“The Boat Monkey cork has heavy gauge wire on it,” Garriga explained. “It doesn’t bend, and it throws well. I like to use the bigger cork when it’s a little rougher conditions, it makes a little more noise. On calm days I use the smaller one, the cigar type.”
The washer between the cork and weight on a Boat Monkey keeps the weight from damaging the bottom of cork, and it adds extra sound.
“You want to have that clicking,” he said. “It sounds like shrimp popping. A popping cork sounds like bait hitting the top of the water and fish hitting the bait.”