A great way to catch bass in Minnesota is to fish with a Carolina rig, an easy-to-assemble slip-sinker setup.
A Carolina rig is good for deep bass for two reasons. First, it gets your bait where the bass is. Second, when a bass takes the bait, it doesn’t immediately feel resistance. That’s because a glide board has a hole in its center that is different from splitshot or other types of weights that stick to the leash. This difference means that a bass inhaling your soft plastic bait won’t feel any immediate resistance as the line slides through the hole in the board until it becomes taut. Then feel the fish and put the hook.
Another benefit of the Carolina rig is that you can cover a lot of water in a short amount of time. This is a big reason the Carolina rig is a great choice for both amateur and professional anglers.
To assemble a Carolina rig, all you need is a slip sinker, swivel, leader and a light wire hook. Check out the following video to learn how to assemble a Carolina rig in five easy steps. It’s pretty damn easy. To assemble the rig:
- Thread your leash through the hole in the board (ball or eggs are common) and slide the board over the leash.
- Tie a small swivel to the end of the leash.
- Tie a six inch to four foot long leader to the other end of the running swivel.
- Tie a light wire offset hook to the leader.
- Tip the hook with your favorite plastic bait.
Typically, anglers use a Carolina rig fish with a medium-weight rod in the 6-foot and 6-inch range and use line-loaded reels in the 15-pound test range. Many anglers use a slightly lighter line for the leader because it is less visible and may present the bait in a more natural way. Short executives work best in shallow or weedy waters. Long guides are best for deep water. An 18 inch leader is a good compromise for most anglers.
A reasonable approach for sinkers is to use half an ounce weight for water 8 to 12 feet deep and three quarters weight for water 3 to 12 feet deep. Your hook size should match the size of your bait. To fish a Carolina rig, simply drop the bait on the bottom while holding the spool open until it lands.
Next, rewind in the slack. Then pull your bar to the side in one sweeping motion, winding up the slack as you go. Repeat this movement until you need to rewrite. At some point, a bass is likely to attack your plastic creeper, crayfish or whatever, and if it does, reef back and hook the hook.
Before planning your next fishing trip, make sure you have a Minnesota fishing license. Buying a license helps in supporting educational programs. At the same time, you support and protect the natural aquatic resources in this state.
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CB Bylander is a longtime Minnesota angler with extensive angling experience throughout the state. He is a former field editor for outdoor magazines, outdoor editor for daily newspapers, and fisheries communications specialist for the Department of Natural Resources.