Bait and Rigs

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
bperks166's picture
Bait and Rigs
<p>I need advice on what rigs to use when<em> carp </em>and <em>drum</em> fishing because what im using is not working well, i have been using a carolina rig with nightcrawlers and it works but not very well.</p>
D.T.'s picture
Carp and drum?

All I can tell ya is the almighty nightcrawler is king of baits where I fish. What are you using now? Also, what type of water are you fishing? If it's a river try finding some deeper slack water adjacent to some faster current.

For rigs, (again where I fish) try a slip sinker pinned with either a split shot or a swivel for a stop,  and a #4 octopus circle hook. Almost any rig will catch a drum.

bperks166's picture
carp and drum

Right now I have been fishing eddies and slough's of of the Meremac river, and have been using a carolina rig with a size 1/0 baitholder hook and have beeen experimenting with trebble hooks

bperks166's picture
Thanks for the advice

Thanks, I will try smaller hooks and your fishing advice, happy fishing.

andy's picture
Nightcrawlers and angleworms

Nightcrawlers and angleworms are the bread and butter of most river fishing. When fished properly absolutely any species of fish can be caught on them. Fish just love worms. It’s as simple as that. They are basically your only bait option for many fish like redhorse, buffalos, sturgeons, white suckers and blue suckers. Catfish, bass, panfish, drum, mooneyes and walleyes can’t resist a juicy crawler either. The most common mistake I see is anglers using a whole nightcrawler, hooked just once in the nose and with the remaining ten inches hanging free. This doesn’t work. Fish will simply steal your bait or tear it in half. I usually fish halved nightcrawlers on the bottom of rivers using some kind of stationary free-sliding weight rig, using different weights depending on the conditions. I’ll thread the crawler chunk on a #4-#10 circle hook and leave it at that. Circle hooks are recommended because of a the fish’s tendency to swallow a crawler very quickly and this hook style reduces deep-hooking. After casting out to a deep spot very near or in the main current or an eddy, I will set my rod in a forked stick and reel up the slack so any tiny twitch can be seen on the rod tip. Many suckers, perches and trout will barely move your rod tip when they take a crawler, so you must pay close attention. When a fish takes your bait, either let him tap it for a few moments then set the hook, or pick up the rod being careful not to let the fish feel you, then gently feel for the bite with the rod in your hand and set the hook when you think he has it. It usually takes no more than a few seconds for a fish to have a crawler. Worms and crawlers also are a deadly bait presentation when drifted with the current. A slinky or split-shot rig is best for this type of fishing. Cast the rig upstream and allow it to sink on a slack line, then follow it downstream as it bounces along with the current, occasionally hanging up is all right too. Strikes will be either a halt in the drift or sometimes a sharp tap-tap. Set the hook if anything feels out of the ordinary in your drift. There really is no better presentation for stream trout, as they just can’t resist a drifting angleworm or small nightcrawler. Fishing a worm or crawler under a float is one of the simplest ways to fish, but can be effective. Work the float around riprap, logs or brush, on current seams or eddies. This is a deadly panfish tactic.

TonyS's picture
Yeah #4-8 hooks are your best

Yeah #4-8 hooks are your best bet for most species.  Use a half or quarter of a crawler.  Current breaks and deep holes are a great place to start.  Lots of other places can work well too but I'd start with those two areas.  If Drum are common in your rivers they will find you pretty quick.  I don't know what the population looks like there but in the upper Mississippi and many of the tribs in MN and WI I figure it takes me less than 10 minutes to get a Drum bite if I'm in a good hole or current break, so might not hesitate to move around.  Carp, suckers and other species can be tougher and you may need to wait longer at times.

I may be wrong...but I do

I may be wrong...but I do believe that it is easier to fish for carp in the rivers than in a lake.


Part of the reason are two things I've personally observed...


1) Scent dispersion is much easier in a river. If you use method fishing or even fishing a bait with some scent, the current helps to carry that scent downstream. This helps to bring active fish to your area to find your bait. In a lake with little to no current (aside from wind driven current), scent dispersion is much reduced...and you need to bait the right area where carp ventures to get them to hit.


2) Like other minnow species, carp will release chemical signals into the water when they are spooked or under stress. A hooked fish would be considered under stress. When I fished in ponds, I've baited (chummed) carp into an area and hooked up a fish. During the fight, I suspect that the fish release stress signals to warn other carp. After the first hook up, if I'm lucky, I may get another fish from the same area; but more often than not, I can see carp avoid the area completely in the clear waters that I fish. It is very dramatic since I can see a pod of carp feeding and moving toward the area where I've baited with chum, then they either suddenly turn away in another direction, or they stop feeding even if they continued to move in the same direction. I've seen this so many times that it cannot be a coincidence. When I chum a new area, I don't see the carp behave in the same way. In fact, I often have to keep moving to continue catching carp. In the river, the current quickly disperse any of these chemical signals and keep your area "warning free".


Just a couple of my thoughts...



TheHugbot's picture
I would recommend using corn

I would recommend using corn instead of crawler, corn seems to relaese more scent and atrracts fish to you bait much quicker, particluarly when you throw in a few free offerings. over here in England there are  many techniques used for carp fishing that havn't realy reached america yet, but I'll bet any money it'll be someone on this site that realy gets america interested in carp and starts to introduce the more specialist equipment used over here.

I fish mostly with sweet corn

I fish mostly with sweet corn when I target carp. I've caught the odd one on nightcrawler...but they do love that sugary taste that corn has.


I've tried maize...and still returned to corn. Boilies are still under experimentation...

TheHugbot's picture
I've never tried boilies or

I've never tried boilies or pellets, but from the huge success people have had with them I think I may have to give them a try. bread works well when the fish are feeding near the surface too.

bperks166's picture

Thanks for all the advice from everyone and it will be put to use as soon as the rain stops here

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
weight, leader, and hook


You have gotten some pretty good advice so far and there is very little I can add to it. But, I will still try.... 

First, don't be afraid to use very little crawler - maybe just enough to fit over the shank of a #8 hook. Most fish, especially carp and suckers, are eating many small items while feeding. Half a night crawler is at least 20X bigger than a suckers usual diet items. If you use only 1/2" of worm your bait is still very tempting to fish, but they will take the bait faster and you are more likely to hook them. 


Second, it is important to remember that your weight, leader and hook work together as a system. Pick up a small selection of good hooks (circle and octopus) in sizes #6 and #8 (one pack of  #10). And, carry a wide selection of weights. If you know you are using a good hook (Gamakatsu #8 circle), and your weight is holding (but not to heavy), and you are getting strikes that you can't hook... put on a longer leader. Or, maybe if you are in heavy current - try a shorter leader. Sometimes using a heavier or lighter weight can improve your hook up ratio too.

But whenever you use a slip sinker rig, start with "enough" weight, ~12" (+/- 6") leader, and a #6-#10 hook. Then make small adjustments from there until you get it tuned to the perfect combination.